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I am in strong agreement with Publisher Mike Welch with the points he made in his June 25th column “CUs Need to Hire Full-Time PR Professionals.” For 65 years Credit Union ONE, an open chartered credit union in Ferndale, Mich. has successfully maintained a balance between marketing and public relations/community affairs as part of our corporate culture. In 2000, the disciplines were separated, reporting individually to myself. This move has proven successful in fulfilling our brand awareness and product marketing goals. Also, by creating a department dedicated exclusively to public relations/community affairs, we have been able to focus on publicizing our involvement within the communities we serve, thereby enhancing our image as well as member trust. This has been proven with our participation in Michigan’s financial literacy initiative through our mentoring high school students in financial planning. This effort has garnered Credit Union ONE statewide media coverage, solidified member relationships, created new business opportunities and gained the recognition of state legislators. Another example of public relations being utilized to create awareness of our community involvement is our sponsorship of two Detroit high school students in the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Detroit High School Summer Research Apprenticeship Program. In this program, the students worked for 12 weeks along side mentors in various areas of cancer research. This publicity campaign gained Credit Union ONE high visibility in print, radio and television and has been instrumental in creating new business partnerships within the Institute. Implementing a comprehensive public relations program to promote community involvement greatly serves to benefit not only individual credit unions but also is crucial to bringing awareness for the philosophy and mission of the entire credit union movement. Armando R. Cavazos President/CEO Credit Union ONE Ferndale, Mich.

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