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Workers Credit Union had a story to tell, and Caroline Santangelo found it captivating.
“The mission of Workers Credit Union, coupled with how innovative and ahead of the curve it is, amazed me and drew me into the organization,” says Santangelo, vice president of marketing at the $2.1 billion asset credit union in Littleton, Mass.
Workers had shifted its focus from transactions to a holistic approach to member financial wellness called the Workers Way™. All member-facing staff are certified financial coaches who provide judgment-free guidance so members can pursue their financial goals.
Santangelo and her team crafted a multichannel campaign, “Achieve Your Dreams,” centered on members who tell compelling stories of how Workers Way has changed their lives. The first-person videos, produced in-house, were the basis for a comprehensive campaign that included emails, social media, outdoor media, direct mail, and more.
The campaign has garnered more than 15 million impressions, significantly expanding the reach of the credit union’s message. That success hasn’t gone unnoticed. Achieve Your Dreams won 11 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Diamond Awards and two Telly Awards, an international competition honoring video and television across all screens.
With a background in for-profit financial services, Santangelo is now inspired to come to work every day not only because of the credit union’s mission but also the fact “that this is such an out-of-the-box place to work and create.”
She cites the credit union’s four newest branches, called “PlanIt” locations, that feature comfortable private booths for member sessions with Workers Way certified financial coaches and an interactive hologram named Olivia who speaks several languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, and American Sign Language. Members conduct routine transactions via an interactive teller machine.
To manage her own stress, Santangelo savors the benefits of exercise. “I can’t feel mentally or physically healthy if I’m not exercising every morning and spending some portion of the day outside, even if it’s just for a short run or walk, no matter the weather,” she says.
“Some people say, ‘the strength of the team is each individual member.’ That’s how I feel about the people on my team,” Santangelo says. “Trust and willingness to do whatever it takes for each other is the magic. You can’t buy that.”