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ARLINGTON, Va.-After NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker had a successful radio tour earlier this year, the credit union trade association decided to work a similar campaign in at the end of the year. With the help of Medialink, a global leader in news and media services, according to its Web site, NAFCU has put out a 60-second audio news release, NAFCU Communications Manager John Zimmerman explained, and more than 9,000 radio stations will be alerted that it is available for air time. Additionally, Medialink’s syndicated network of over 400 stations in major markets will receive the bit directly, reaching more than 10 million listeners. Medialink also promised multiple drive-time satellite transmissions through ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, and CNN radio news feeds and audio posted on Newstream.com, which reaches more than 11,000 online news sites. The effort cost NAFCU around $5,000, according to Zimmerman. He said he expected word last week after deadline as to how many stations aired the piece after the first week. It was released Dec. 22. The audio news release, entitled “CREDIT UNIONS: Membership Has Its Rewards,” focused on the rising interest rate environment and how credit unions often offer better deals than other financial service providers. Zimmerman pointed out that it was particularly timely given the recent rate hike by the Federal Open Market Committee. The release goes like an interview. “As car loan and credit card interest rates have increased, many analysts believe mortgage rates can’t be too far behind. As a result, consumers should consider credit unions because as member owned non-profit financial institutions, they often offer lower loan rates,” Becker states in response to a question on the possibility of increasing long-term rates. At the conclusion, the announcer tells consumers to visit www.nafcu.org for more information on credit unions or rate comparisons by state. “Ultimately, the return we’re looking for is members of credit unions in their car driving to work listening to the message and say, `Oh yeah, I should check the rates at my credit union,’ ” Zimmerman explained. “ Our return is that consumers in general, members of credit unions in particular.that their interest is perhaps peaked with regard to interest rates, both in short-term revolving and on longer-term mortgage loans and that credit unions are a good place to go. So our return is simply to help out credit unions the best we can.” -

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