For a member owned financial cooperative, these 11 simple words “I have a blog, and I wanted to let you know” is the equivalent of the member leaving the credit union lobby circa 1978, walking across the parking lot to the lunch room after an unpleasant transaction and sharing their experience. Only back then, they may have told only 5 people. Today they can tell 5,000 in less time than it takes them to cross the parking lot.

Today my Google Alerts gave me this:

How PSECU (Pennsylvania State Employee’s Credit Union) Swindled Me

If you want to understand why social media is so important. If you want to convince your boss that it’s not a waste of time for you to be in front of your computer reading blogs or following smart folks on Twitter, you need to read this blog.

Better yet – if you want to understand what brand is really about – not your logo, your tag line or the shiny happy people that adorn your website, brochures and branch walls ad nauseum – read this blog.

Your brand is your reputation. Period. If you mess with that, you’re toast. You can’t improve your reputation by purchasing shinier, happier people.

This is the new world for marketers. Members are in control. Not us. We can market our spanky new VISA card all we want. Lobby posters. Direct Mail. Newspaper, radio and even TV ads. Most people will ignore those. We’d like to think they don’t, but they usually do.

The power of this blog? I had to opt in. I wanted to read it. So will your members.

And the brand word was in there. This member understands what’s at stake. Reputation. I have to take her word for it – but if this credit union is dabbling in predatory lending practices to make ends meet, it might help them this year – but the future is bleak.

I had the honor of co-hosting the year end CU Watercooler Roasts & Toasts show last month. We awarded the first ever Golden Dixie Cup award to the best moment (in our opinion) in 2009 to Ondine Irving. [Oh, and Ondine, that trophy is on its way as soon as I figure out how to pack it..]

Ondine has single-handedly created a web presence that has captured the attention and devotion of Suze Orman by highlighting credit union credit cards that do not engage in predatory lending practices. At last count there were only 500 credit unions on her “dean’s list.” Suze is promoting her site on Larry King Live, CNN, and soon on Oprah.

Are there only 500 credit unions listed because the rest are….well……..like this one? Please say it isn’t so.

Thank you to Kapauldo.com for the reminder – it’s your credit union and…. “I have a blog and I wanted to let you know.

Advertisements