Posts Tagged ‘Andrea Pruna’

Let’s give the kids a boost

June 15, 2010

Watching an 8-minute video created by St. Mary’s Bank Credit Union, the first CU in the United States, about its history (thank you again Andrea!), I learned that from the very early days, the credit union had a kids savings program. Children walking home from school could stop at the credit union and deposit their pennies into a tin cup, and the savings were carefully recorded.

Here’s an idea: How about if in your credit union kid’s club, you paid a FANTASTIC rate of return for these tiny balances…. say they got a quarter back in one month for two dollars deposited as a term deposit. Yes, that’s a sky-high rate of return, but the credit union would cap this great rate on a maximum of $10 or $20, and limit it to only kids 14 years old or younger. Kids would be incredibly eager to save their money, and probably track the date of maturity like a hawk. What a boost, and good life lesson.

You could give this term deposit a fun name like the Lollypop Certificate, and explain to the kids they can use their quarter earnings on anything like, or of course, to reinvest it in more savings.

We know that kids have a very short attention span, and one week seems like a year to them. One month feels like a decade. And psychology 101 tells us that the sooner the reward comes after the desired behavior, the more connection there is between the two.

Let’s help our kids develop better savings habits by rewarding them big, and relatively swiftly. They will be thrilled with their earnings of a quarter, and the credit union will be paying out a relatively tiny amount.

Look who’s talking about YOU!

June 14, 2010

I’ve had the great pleasure of presenting this social media topic (or online community communication is perhaps a better term): Look who’s talking about you. I was first invited to give this presentation by Jodi Torres (Thanks Jodi!) of CU Tech group for her organization’s Spring Consortium in Boston. I also presented this information to the Northeast Harland’s User Group in Portsmouth NH (Thanks Andrea!), and will give a webinar on it for EverythingCU.com this Thursday, June 17, as well.

This information is based on my own online experiences, and also draws heavily on groundbreaking work done by William Azaroff way back in the dark ages of social media (approx 2006-07 AD). Way back then, blogging was still the primary connection media, meaning Facebook and Twitter had not yet exploded in popularity. I’ve also drawn on the experience of various PR professionals in how to handle critiques (and worse) of your organization online or offline.

Here is a list of resources for further exploration on the topic, as well as links to first-hand information I covered in the presentation:

WILLIAM AZAROFF, Monitoring your brand health
WILLIAM AZAROFF, Responding to bloggers
DREW McLELLAN, 6 Steps to take if your company is criticized in a blog post
JOHN SOAT, Reputations at risk
MORRISS PARTEE, Motrin gives itself a migraine
CHRIS LOCKE et al, The Cluetrain Manifesto
RYAN UNDERWOOD, Tell us what you really think
LESLEY LAMBERT, BofA is on Twitter for the win
STEFAN BETZOLD, SM Monitoring Tools-an overview
DAN SCHAWBEL, Top 10 reputation tracking tools
DARREN BAREFOOT, I wanted to love Vancity, but now I loathe them
CULLEN WATERS, Vystar CU – Worst bank ever
JEFFRY PILCHER, Fighting axe grinders and their online vendettas

Congratulations Credit Unions, on a Century of Service

March 12, 2008

I have the great honor and pleasure of talking to credit union professionals all over the nation. The subject of the proud history of CUs, holds special meaning to me because I had worked with the movement for about ten years before I learned ANYTHING about its incredible history. I certainly had no idea that the movement started in my backyard, a hop skip and jump across the border, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

I gave a talk on social media and World 2.0 this morning to a group of about forty credit union marketing professionals from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire at the CU League’s headquarters in Marlborough, Mass. I asked about the movement’s founding, and it was wonderful to get a detailed answer. In our presence was a representative of that very first CU, Andrea Pruna of St. Mary’s Bank. Not only did she know the date by heart (November 24, 1908), but she let us know about a wonderful section of their web site devoted to this, the Centennial Year of Credit Union service. I encourage everyone to check out Celebrating 100 Years for a terrific look at the amazing road we’ve traveled so far.

This is one of the reasons I’m especially excited that BarCampBank NewEngland will be held in America’s Credit Union Museum on April 5. The museum is the actual house where St. Mary’s Bank first began operations 100 years ago, out of the home of Attorney Joseph Boivin, who served as the CU’s President. If you listen very carefully, you may hear the whispers of the generations that have preceeded you when you stand in the parlor of the building.

Shout-outs to so many of the fabulous credit union marketers who came today. Thanks to Jon Reske and Anne Pinkerton from UMassFive College FCU, Mark Vautour from Telephone Workers CU, Deena Bernier from NMTW Community CU, and Debra Perrin from Southern Mass CU. I’m not good with names, so I haven’t remembered those who I met for the first time, but thank you also. It was fun that we had four one-billion-dollar CUs represented as well, Greylock FCU in the Berkshires, HarborOne CU in the South Boston area, DCU of the Worcester area, and Navigant CU in RI. Thank you to Rob Kimmett for organizing a great event and inviting me, and it was wonderful to catch up with CU whirlwind Bonnie Doolin.

My presentation today included demonstrating and explaining Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and showed examples from Shari Storm and the Verity CU team, William Azaroff of Vancity CU and Change Everything, Ginny Brady, board member of UFirst FCU with the Boardcast, and Tim McAlpine of Currency Marketing with Larissa Walkiw, spokesperson for Young and Free Alberta, and her infamous Credit Union Difference video part one, currently at 16,228 views. On the topic of Facebook, I have started writing a paper on the Facebook as Marketing Engine and plan on publishing excerpts to this blog. For those interested in checking out twitter, here’s the one-page PDF of Twitter Tips.

I also touched on Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P Lending), Prosper’s amazing growth rate, and how CUs can participate by getting in touch with Doug True, SVP of Lending, at Forum CU. Doug has been instrumental in having P2P Lending company Zopa partner with CUs to offer NCUA-insured loans and investments.


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