Your Association Provides CU-Specific Communications Training for the Digital Era


Spreading the good word about credit unions is no longer dependent only on an advertising budget and a local news media contact list. We’re fully immersed in the digital era.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. adults are getting at least some of their news on social media platforms.*  That means the information they are getting may not be fact-checked, balanced, or prepared by professionals. Everyone is a “reporter” these days, and every smartphone can capture content that can go viral in an instant.

“Bad things can happen to good credit unions,” said Lynn Heider, NWCUA’s Vice President, Public Relations. “How they manage the messaging around these situations is critical.”

The NWCUA’s Communications Training for the Digital Era can help your team of spokespeople to tone their messaging muscles so their communications are effective, and clearly understood. NWCUA’s training brings the best of “best practices” to your credit union.

“In the digital era, a member complaint can require just as much time and expertise to address as a media inquiry,” said Danielle Sittu, NWCUA’s Vice President, Marketing and Communications. “Outside public relations agencies often offer generic templates to their clients, but ours is uniquely credit union specific, and you are our priority stakeholder.”

“As a former reporter and television news executive, I intuitively look at situations from a reporter’s perspective,” Heider said. “That approach gives you a clear understanding of what reporters are after, how to address a situation without letting it explode, and how to leverage news relationships for positive coverage.”

The program NWCUA can bring to your credit union starts with group training, broken down into several key areas:

  • Tenets – What to do when you receive an inquiry, response options, and procedures.
  • Talking Points – Proactively developing key messages and practicing them to tone your muscles and help you to prepare in fluid situations.
  • Techniques – The do’s and don’ts of effective messaging, pivoting to the points you want to be understood, and the “Ambush Survival Guide.”

Afterwards, each attendee receives “Training-in-real-time,” a private, on-camera interview during which questions are asked about the real scenarios you are likely to experience. Your responses are reviewed on-site and follow up guidance is provided.

“We are delighted to offer Communications Training for the Digital Era to NWCUA members,” Sittu said. “By combining our corporate, media, and industry experience, we were able to develop a comprehensive training program that we believe will exceed the best training available, and enable our members to access world-class services at a value they deserve and expect.”

Your Association always is available to help member credit unions prepare responses to media opportunities and crisis situations. Communications Training for the Digital Era is an added service we offer to help our members message the Credit Union Difference, at pricing much lower than offered by outside agencies.

Editor’s note: Interested in Communications Training for the Digital Era? Contact Lynn Heider, Vice President, Public Relations. or (503) 329-7208.

*Pew Research Center, September 2017

Posted in Marketing & Communications.