Craver Offers Tips to Get Credit Unions in the News

As plugged earlier in the blog, the NW Chapter meeting featuring Richard Craver happened last night. Craver, the Senior Business Writer for the Winston-Salem Journal and a 22-year veteran journalist, gave some great tips to the audience about how the media works … and how to increase the chances of getting stories placed in the newspaper. Among the suggestions:

  • Call or e-mail reporters regularly to pitch your stories. It helps reporters get to know you better (and it helps them gain a better awareness of credit unions, too);
  • Contact reporters early in the day with story tips and suggestions;
  • The Journal, like many newspapers, publishes staff hires and promotions in its Sunday edition, but the deadline for submitting this material is 5:00 pm Tuesday. Keep this in mind, or you may have to wait a couple of weeks to get your “people” news published;
  • Follow up with a reporter when you feel a story element or angle has not been covered. “Some of the best stories I’ve ever done have happened because someone called me up and said, ‘Did you think about this?’”, Craver noted.;
  • Let reporters know when you are doing something unique, or providing a product or service that is innovative.

When asked by an audience member why people don’t think of credit unions when they are considering switching financial institutions, Craver, who has won 11 awards in his career for business and sports reporting, suggested that credit unions need to do a better job of telling their story. Craver noted that in a world where banks advertise liberally and many people believe they are not eligible to join a credit union, “If you do not tell people what you offer, people are not going to recognize you.” Hear, hear!

For those credit union folks in NC who would like to do media outreach, the League’s web site has a listing of most of the media outlets across the state. You can access the Media Contacts List at http://www.ncleague.org/www/MediaContact.asp. (Let me know if your town’s paper is not represented or some other changes/updates need to be made.)

Also, if you go to the Marketing Resource Center on the web site, you’ll press release templates for various credit union events, including Annual Meeting announcements, staff hires and promotions, as well as charitable events. This section is available at http://www.ncleague.org/www/MarketingResources.asp.

And of course, call me if I can help you with media outreach in NC. The League is always happy to help!

Now shut down your computer and call a reporter immediately!
Jeff

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