Emily Beatmann
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Emily Beatmann awards prize money to a lucky member during Section 705 FCU's 2014 annual meeting.

Happy to Start from Scratch

This voracious reader sets aside two hours each day when preparing to launch a new product or technology.

January 1, 2016

WHEN EMILY BEATMANN joined Section 705 Federal Credit Union in Lafayette, La., the former postal credit union—which derived its name from a local ZIP code—didn’t have a consistent marketing program.

That didn’t last long. Beatmann soon became Section 705’s one-woman marketing and business development director. One of her first projects was to revamp the credit union’s Facebook presence.

“I’ve been on Facebook for 10 years, since I was 16, and I know we have to stay up to date for millennials. Although we were on Facebook, we weren’t doing it in a concerted manner. It works best if you have a steady stream of fresh items,” she says.

As she reanimated Section 705’s Facebook page, she quickly learned the credit union’s Facebook followers weren’t interested in being sold products. “They were interested in following us as people.”

Case in point: Last May’s Facebook announcement that Emily had given birth to a baby girl generated a flurry of warm messages from members.

The $33 million asset credit union soon not only had a revamped Facebook presence but also a redesigned website. Beatmann managed both projects from conception to execution.

A voracious reader, she sets aside two hours each day when preparing for a new product or service to learn about new ways to use technology to reach members.

“When it came time to design a mobile banking app,” Beatmann says, “I learned everything I could about app design and applied it throughout a six-month process.”

Right now she’s working on creating short YouTube tutorials that teach people how to use online banking. As with her other social media projects, she’s starting from scratch—learning how to make videos, write scripts, and use video software for filming, editing, and final upload.

These types of projects typically start when she goes to her CEO, Anna Trahan Suire, to pitch an idea. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, I’ve read a lot about this and think it’s something we should pursue.’ ” Given her track record, Beatmann almost always gets the go-ahead then and there.

Section 705 has expanded its select employee groups (SEGs) to include federal employees and a blue-collar segment of machinists and workers in the area.

Beatmann visits them often. “I try to put a lot of heart into what I present to each group, tailoring my presentations and marketing approaches according to the SEG.”

Knowing many postal workers are wary of electronic financial products, for example—and their effects on regular mail—helps her adjust what products to suggest to this group.