This letter is in response to the article on Pennsylvania’s credit union awareness, iBelong campaign [cutimes.com, June 23].
While the article accurately states that the campaign will no longer be funded by mandatory assessment, we are very proud of the success of Pennsylvania’s iBelong campaign to date and look forward to continuing it into the future using alternative funding sources.
Pennsylvania’s iBelong campaign, which began in 2007 and continues to run, has been and will continue to be extremely successful on a number of levels. First, credit union awareness has increased substantially among Pennsylvania consumers, as has consumer perceptions that credit unions are member-owned, offer better rates, and offer low or no fees.
In addition, growth in Pennsylvania credit unions has increased substantially in every measurable category. Prior to iBelong, membership growth in Pennsylvania credit unions was virtually stagnant. Over the course of the iBelong campaign, Pennsylvania membership growth is now twice the national average, loan growth five times the national average and total assets more than twice the national average. These numbers are particularly striking considering Pennsylvania is a low population growth state, ranking 43rd in the nation.
After five years of a highly successful iBelong campaign, it is now time to re-evaluate and reposition the campaign for the future. As such, we currently have a group of credit union leaders from across Pennsylvania exploring how best to move iBelong forward.
Our board of directors and management staff are committed to continuing the success of iBelong. Whether that will include heavier reliance on social media, regional media buys or some other combination of media or public awareness tools will be determined by the iBelong 2.0 Task Force.
While the Credit Union Times article focused on the mandatory assessment portion of the iBelong campaign, it is our opinion that the real story is the success of the campaign and the commitment of Pennsylvania credit unions to carry the campaign forward so it continues its success.
Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight.
Pennsylvania Credit Union Association