Boosting Their Signal

Boosting credit unions' signal

N.J. League takes Banking You Can Trust v2.0 awareness campaign to the airwaves.

April 1, 2017

The New Jersey Credit Union League is re-energizing its Banking You Can Trust consumer awareness campaign with an added focus on radio.

The campaign’s “Leaders Series” is a regular feature on the NJ 101.5 (WKXW-FM) radio station, which can be picked up throughout much of the state by roughly one million listeners. The show is broadcast monthly during the morning commute time.

The “Leaders Series” is the second of a three-phase effort by David Frankil, league president/CEO, to boost the program.

“We wanted to talk about brand awareness in terms that resonate with consumers,” says Frankil, who joined the league in June.

He explains that many consumer awareness campaigns focus on the “Xs and Os” of credit unions—such as dividends and rates, or membership—which don’t always translate well to consumers in the realm of financial services.

Instead, Frankil wanted to use the power of storytelling to touch consumers on a “visceral” level, leveraging the memorable origin stories of New Jersey credit unions to showcase the credit union difference.

The first phase of the program was the “Legacy Series,” featured on the Banking You Can Trust blog, which shared how many credit unions were started by friends and family members.

One post, for example, shared how Thunderbolt Area Federal Credit Union in Millville, N.J., traces its name to the Thunderbolt P-47, a plane flown during World War II. Thunderbolt pilots were trained at the nation’s first Army airfield, Millville Municipal Airport. 

The credit union’s president, Bob Millard, is the son of its founder, Asher K. Millard. The story was picked up by the Press of Atlantic City, which ran a story on the $20 million asset credit union and a video that highlighted Millard and his credit union lineage.

In the “Leaders Series,” league member credit union CEOs share advice with radio host Bill Spadea.

“We want to highlight the difference in how a credit union CEO thinks of the financial well-being of members versus how a bank CEO considers customers as a source of profit,” Frankil says.

The CEOs also field questions from callers and visitors to the Banking You Can Trust website. By capturing the ZIP code of each visitor submitting a question, the league can forward these questions to credit unions in the visitor’s area, giving them an opportunity to connect with a potential member.

Linda McFadden, president/CEO of $192 million asset XCEL Federal Credit Union in Bloomfield, N.J., and a league board member, was the guest on the initial installment of the “Leaders Series.” 

McFadden discussed the benefits of joining a credit union, the difference between credit unions and banks, and personal finance for millennials.

The third phase of the Banking You Can Trust campaign is a “Service Series,” during which Frankil will interview longtime
credit union employees to capture their most memorable member service stories.

Again, Frankil is confident the storytelling aspect will help credit unions distinguish themselves with consumers from their for-profit competitors.

“I challenge you to find a bank that will be able to match these stories,” Frankil says.