MADISON, Wis. (4/21/08)--Credit unions looking to garner some publicity for their activities during National Credit Union Youth Week, which kicked off yesterday, should keep a few things in mind. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) offers this advice:
* Be timely. A story in late May has little chance of publication; * Include photos--pictures of children are great--and be sure to identify everyone in the photos; * Consider using a video such as digital clip of a child explaining why he or she loves the credit union; * Keep stories concise--focus on one or two points, and offer a title. The more work you do up front, the easier it will be on the editor; and * Include all contact information. Editors may need to follow up, so be sure to give them names, titles, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
This year’s Youth Week, hosted by CUNA, is shaping up to be the “best year ever,” according to CUNA Youth Week Coordinator Joanne Sepich. The theme is “Got Green? Grow it at Your Credit Union.” Youth Week will continue through Saturday. So far, 517 credit unions from 49 states and the District of Columbia have registered for the National Youth Savings Challenge. “We have some of the very largest credit unions and some of the very smallest credit unions participating,” Sepich said. About 83,000 youth are expected to deposit $7.6 million during Youth Week. Credit unions can report their totals to CUNA until May 1. Youth Week coincides with National Financial Literacy Month, which is designated for April. Credit unions often underestimate their deposits, Sepich noted. “For example, last year we had 476 credit unions register, with the goal of 84,950 youth depositing $7,917,200. Only 393 reported results, which were more than $10 million,” she said. Some credit union Youth Week activities occurring this week:
* PEFCU, West Lafayette, Ind., is giving a free “green” gift to youth aged 18 or younger when they make a $5 deposit. The gifts have been distributed all month, and a seedling will be given during Youth Week; * Wright-Patt CU, Fairborn, Ohio, will elect a local high school student to be president for the day. The student will win a $1,000 scholarship to Wright State University, personal limousine service, an executive office and assistant, catered lunch and a prize package including $100 cash. Students can participate by writing an essay or submitting a YouTube video; * The Austin (Texas) Chapter of Credit Unions is hosting a Youth Financial Literacy Fair today to celebrate Financial Literacy Greater Austin Week and Youth Week; and * Synergy One FCU, Manassas, Va., planted a money tree at a local middle school to promote saving for Youth Week. Synergy One, school staff, and students also will attend a brief ceremony to remind students that money doesn’t grow on trees.