How to Leverage Your Local Media

media news displayed on tablets and newspapers
James Lenz Photo
Professional Development Manager

3 minutes

Show notes from the CUES Podcast episode 57

Ever wish you could get some positive free press in a publication or on a TV show that reaches the community you serve or one you want to serve?

You can.

In Episode 57 of the CUES Podcast, I interview both Lisa Hochgraf, CUES’ senior editor, and Sharon Renault, public relations manager for $5.8 billion Delta Community Credit Union, Atlanta. 

Lisa describes techniques for getting to know the media outlets in which you’d like your credit union’s subject matter experts to appear. A great first step is doing your research up front about each outlet before you get in touch with the editor or producer.

Sharon explains how her credit union developed a speakers bureau a few years back that offers the media and community groups access to its experts. The CU’s speakers bureau listing includes the expert’s name and title, plus topics that they can address in an interview or an article.

Both Sharon and Lisa point out that credit unions can provide sought-after expertise about personal finance and financial literacy. They also note that being timely in the ideas you offer the media can really pay off.

For example, Sharon describe a Valentine’s Day story her credit union successfully pitched to the media that addressed how having a good credit score and financial literacy can help save your romantic relationships. She says her credit union also has had good success with getting articles published about the tenth anniversaries of several of the credit union’s branches.

Sharon emphasizes that it’s “important to connect with the media, (to) connect with news reporters before you must deal with them” on something negative. 

“We started developing our speakers bureau, so over time,” she explains, “I created a working list of local news reporters, bloggers and non-profits. I also take care to read those newspapers so I have a feel for the kinds of stories they want to report on, (and) set a calendar reminder to touch base. Even if I don’t have a story to pitch, I reach out periodically to see how I might be able to help them.”

Listen to this episode to learn more about:

  • How to get to know members the local media
  • How Elevations Credit Union in Colorado used media coverage to help it expand into a new market
  • How to make a timely pitch to the media—in the best way for them to hear it
  • How to build a speakers bureau that features experts from your credit union
  • The value of knowing members of the media before there’s a problem topic they want to talk about
  • How to translate your blog posts into media coverage

Listen to my conversation with Lisa Hochgraf and Sharon Renault.

The CUES podcast is an audio program hosted by James Lenz, CUES professional development manager. James talks to credit union and cross-industry experts for their perspectives on trends and topics that matter to you.

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