Credit unions from the Houston Chapter of the Texas Credit Union League were picked Tuesday as winners of the first “12 of 12” advocacy program honoring grassroots initiatives.
The Houston group was recognized by the league as having the most successful grassroots campaign pushing the “people to people” message through ads and other channels.
The chapter’s initiative, said the league, “combined elements of branding, advertising, community and political outreach, as well as grassroots organizing.”
At the core of the Houston initiative, said the league, “is an advertising cooperative that included a website” that generated unusually high levels of traffic in a short time span.
“Most importantly the effort didn’t stop there with advertising. The chapter also bused in members of the chapter for a legislative day at the state capitol and donated 7,000 backpacks to area school children,” said the league.
In debuting “12 of 12” last December, the league said it hoped to recognize on a monthly basis CUs or groups of CUs which perform “innovative tasks” and demonstrate high collaborative skills, particularly in PAC funding.
Clint Hartman, CEO of the $215 million Houston Texas Fire Fighters FCU and president of the Houston Chapter, said work on the “12 of 12” entry has proved to be “a real unifier for the credit unions in the area.”
He recalled initial difficulties in building a website that backers thought would “be a little like the movie ‘Field of Dreams.’”
“Unfortunately no one came,” added James Tuggle, president/CEO of the $40 million Transtar FCU, noting how CU marketers were recruited to redesign the website and raise ad funds. Eventually, $63,000 was contributed and following the redesign, the website traffic increased markedly.
“By the end of two months the redesigned site had hit over three million impressions – and by the end of the year was at 7 million,” said the league. “The team also added a local spokesman to the mix, Michael Garfield, who now promotes credit unions regularly in his role as the ‘High Tech Texan’ on talk radio.”