Gallup recently studied perceived ethics with United States citizens and found that 72% of Americans believe moral values are getting worse in this country rather than better. Credit unions have long been held in high regard by their members and communities for their charitable and altruistic deeds, and perhaps this is a good time to sound off!
Before embarking on a campaign, one of the first things your credit union needs to do is address the differences and similarities between public relations and marketing efforts. Ultimately, many of their focuses are intertwined, and depending on the size and resources of your credit union, these roles may very well be enacted by the same individuals.
How they’re alike…
- The Narrative – At their core, both PR and marketing look to tell a story, and look to frame it in a very specific way.
- Creative Development – Not only do they both seek to establish a narrative, they both rely on talented content developers to plan and execute. This often requires a capable and clever writer.
- Media Channel – More and more, social media is becoming a fundamental component of both marketing and PR for credit unions. There are other channels of course, but whether radio, TV, print or digital, the public consumes this info in increasingly similar ways and through similar channels.
- Bottom Line – Driving traffic, increasing awareness and bringing more members into the fold. The bottom line will often the same in this aspect.
How they’re different…
- Message – One of the more obvious aspects. Marketing typically promotes a product or service, whereas PR spreads information to gain exposure.
- Direction of Interaction – Marketing promotes the transfer of a product or service from the credit union to the member, and PR promotes a bond between the organization and member.
- Measurement – Marketing tends to be more quantitative in nature, and is measured in dollars and cents by return on investment. PR is more qualitative, and bases success on expressed public opinion and support.
- By Way of… – In the end, they often serve the same purpose of fortifying and strengthening your credit union, but they achieve this in different ways. Marketing’s goal is financial strength by way of profit, and PR’s goal is enhanced connection with members by way of positive perception.
Depending on your credit union’s needs, public relations and marketing can be approached as two distinctly different ventures, or combined and synthesized into a single effort. With either approach, it’s important to understand and draw distinctions so that you can set the right expectations and get the most out of your labor.
If your credit union needs help promoting all of the great things that you do in your community, or are just looking to help drive the bottom line, CU Solutions Group can help! Contact us today to learn more.