Armed with a ramped up e-mail program, a website and viral TV spots, Houston credit unions are bent on enlarging their awareness profile this fall through a series of low-cost, but hopefully productive co-op endeavors arranged through the Houston Chapter of the Texas Credit Union League.
As a side benefit, chapter leaders hope their stepped-up advocacy campaign will demonstrate to moribund chapters in metro areas of other states the business model to creating more relevancy and pushing the CU message to the public, said Paul Withey, president of the Houston Chapter.
"From what I can gather, there are unfortunately many chapters that are fading away and so we feel it is important now to invigorate our chapter network," said Withey, who also is vice president-strategic development/public relations at the $242 million Texas Bay Area CU of Houston.
As part of that effort, the Houston Chapter solicits its 110 big and small CUs for donations to help absorb the cost of a series of e-mail blasts to potential members combined with "front page and all-day exposure" on one of the major TV station's websites.
To pay those online/ad costs, which can run $80,000, the chapter yearly conducts silent auctions and this year is expanding the effort statewide with its first-ever online auction of prizes ranging from gourmet dinners to fishing trips on Galveston Bay to an Apple iPad. The online auction contained on the chapter's website will help fund the tab on its "Experience a Houston Credit Union" website, said Withey.
The website auction ends Aug. 21 and precedes the chapter's annual Credit Unions Business Expo slated Aug. 24 at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston.