MADISON, Wis. (10/13/08)--Several state credit union leagues are continuing to spread the message to credit union members and the media about credit unions’ safety and soundness in uncertain economic times. The Maine Credit Union League has had a significant amount of media opportunities responding to questions and concerns arising from the current financial crisis going on nationally and the uncertainty that the crisis has created. In a recent past week, the league’s outreach efforts to educate, inform and respond to the media on federal savings insurance and the availability of liquidity has resulted in unprecedented media coverage in a seven-day period, the league said. During that time, the league has been a part of a total of 83 stories about Maine’s credit unions that have appeared in various forms of media outlets. “Our approach has been to be proactive in our media outreach efforts and this has proven to be an effective strategy resulting in positive media coverage for Maine’s credit unions. We have focused our messages on educating consumers on the fact that every Maine credit union is federally-insured as well as reinforcing the message that Maine credit unions have plenty of liquidity and that credit is available and lending remains strong,” said John Murphy, president of the Maine Credit Union League. “We continue to be sought out by media outlets looking for answers and perspective on what is happening in Maine, and our ability to provide information helpful to consumers has made us a valuable resource during this period,” noted the league's Governmental and Public Affairs Manager Jon Paradise. Borrowing on the theme of a print ad created by the Credit Union National Association, the Association of Vermont Credit Unions (AVCU) began a newspaper advertising campaign last week to inform Vermonters that credit union deposit insurance limits have been raised to $250,000 as a result of the passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Newslines Express Oct. 10). “Vermont credit unions have always been a safe place for money and they offer a full range of modern financial services,” the ad stated. It explained that Vermont credit unions haven’t made the same types of risky investments and loans that have harmed other institutions. The ad statement, “Today, as they always have, Vermont’s credit unions continue to make responsible loans to 280,000 members,” further drives that message home. The ad’s copy is completed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) share insurance sign, AVCU logo, and an action message directing readers to the AVCU website to learn more about share insurance and how they can find a credit union to which they can belong. The ad was placed in a number of the state’s daily newspapers and appeared on multiple days. It also appears on a complimentary basis in weekly publications related to the paid placements in the dailies. After the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association’s board of directors approved a special ad campaign to spread the message of credit union safety through Pennsylvania, staff quickly went to work preparing scripts and developing media schedules. A series of radio spots, featuring Jim McCormack, association president/CEO, were taped last week (Life is a Highway Oct. 8). The radio commercials began airing Thursday as part of the three-week intensive campaign to inform consumers that credit unions are safe and sound; NCUA share insurance coverage is backed by the full faith of the U.S. Government--the same as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and that non-members can visit iBelong.org to find a credit union to join. The North Carolina Credit Union League, in its Oct. 6 CU Communicator newsletter produced by the leagues communications department, provided tips on boosting a credit union’s safety and soundness message in search engine results from Christopher Morris, web manager for CUNA Councils in Madison, Wis. It is important for credit unions to come up with list of key words and to use those keywords wisely. “If you have access to good website statistics for your site, you can usually get a listing of keywords that visitors use to get to your site via search engines,” Morris wrote. “There might be some good information in there to add to your listing.” For more information on Morris’ tips, use the link.