CU Link Michigan Campaign Ready to Kick Off 

By David Adams
MCUL & Affiliates CEO
The credit union industry always touts its cooperative nature in everything we do. So it makes sense that Michigan’s credit unions come together for our annual advertising program promoting all the things that make credit unions great.

We know that by pooling our resources, our industry can do more to explain the credit union difference to members and potential members more effectively than on our own. That is not to say that advertising by individual credit unions isn’t important. On the contrary, your local advertising can be tailored to build on MCUL & Affiliates’ CU Link Michigan cooperative advertising campaign. This week, you should have received an email explaining how contributors can leverage additional campaign resources and update your own profile page at CULinkMichigan.com.

The campaign gets under way on April 22 with advertising in a number of types of media including billboards, radio, television, online and more.

This year’s campaign saw Michigan credit unions contribute more than $1 million to the campaign for the first time. With matching funds and additional contributions made possible by the success of our subsidiary, CUcorp, this year’s $2.4 million campaign is among the biggest in league history.

This year, 59 of the 152 SAS credit unions (39%) contributed $122,920. Matching funds from the league added another $145,347 for a total of $268,267.

Besides all of the benefits from the overall campaign, the league is providing $500,000 in supporting materials and funds to help individual credit unions tie their own marketing to the message, which changes slightly this year. Instead of “Own Your Money,” the message has been changed this year to “It’s Time to Own Your Money.”

Surveys show that the credit union message is getting through. Awareness of credit unions rose to 64% in 2012, demonstrating that more consumers are beginning to understand the credit union difference.

While this year’s campaign is already under way, it’s never too early to begin planning for a contribution to next year’s campaign. Contributions averaged $3,500 for small-asset-size credit unions in 2012. Our smallest credit unions – under $1 million – are asked to give just $78 for their fair-share contribution. That’s a small price to pay for a program that reaches so many consumers.

And it just goes to show that by working cooperatively, we can do more than we can do individually.

Also in this issue, you’ll find updates on plans for the AC&E, MCUF scholarships for CUNA Management School, Financial Counseling Training Certification Program, an update on Bank Secrecy Act training and an SAS meeting with the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (formerly OFIR).