Credit unions around the country have gone out with CUNA’s latest Member Activation Program (MAP) to educate members and seek stories about the credit union difference in action. The campaign launched in February to ensure credit union members are aware of the many benefits that come with belonging to a non-profit financial cooperative.
Tim Lyons, president/CEO of TTCU FCU, Tulsa, Okla., has participated in several MAP campaigns, and says the overall response is always positive.
“Many of our members are loyal to credit unions. They care about the credit union's success, because we care about our members' success,” he said. “This [campaign’s] message reminds our members of why they chose a credit union as their financial partner. As member-owners in a financial cooperative, they play a large role in the positive impact that credit unions have in the communities we serve."
The goal of this campaign is to highlight how the credit union difference helps members and communities, which aids on credit unions’ larger advocacy goals. Ron Summerall, CEO of Alabama Teachers CU, Gadsden, Ala., said MAP campaigns, fit with their efforts to get messages across to policymakers.
“It is important that rulemakers understand what regulations protect consumers and financial institutions, while at the same time allowing for an appropriate level of service,” he said. “MAP creates a simplified process of credit union members connecting with local, state and federal rulemakers.”
Emily Mayben, marketing director at Alabama Teachers CU, says they have been using MAP materials for the past several years, and try to utilize MAP campaign messages at least once a month.
“These messages help to develop a basic understanding to those who may not know how a credit union is different than a bank – a good foundation, if you will. When we launch these communications, I always find participation higher than expected,” she said. “It seems that credit union membership recognizes there is a significant difference in the benefit we offer versus other financial institutions. As a result, ATCU members are more than willing to advocate on our behalf for that special type of service.”
Mayben also says she likes the way MAP campaigns help to underscore what’s special about a credit union.
“MAP campaigns help to emphasize that as a credit union member, you are part of a larger whole, a collective greater than self. I believe it is the sense of belonging that forges a connection between the member/owner and our institution,” she said. “That connection is the reason our members choose ATCU as a long-term financial partner. Part of our credit union’s mission statement is to ‘strengthen lives’ and ‘embrace the teaching moments of life.’
“CUNA MAP campaigns help to do just that through engaging members in advocacy efforts, ensuring credit unions thrive and informing members about legislation that directly affects their lives,” she added.
MAP credit unions can download, customize, and distribute long and short-form template, as well as an additional template asking members to share their story about how they became a credit union member.
CUNA’s MAP Community also contains social media graphics and messages that can be used on a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.