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News Now

CU System
Joe Knows Mortgages campaign touts experience
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (2/2/09)--Executives of Carolina Postal CU (CPCU) turned to a familiar face to spearhead a campaign to help ease any fears their members might be experiencing due to a troubled economy. “We wanted to promote our strong, secure mortgage program in 2009. What better way to do that than show off our most experienced and well-known employee, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer Joe Jones,” said Joy Watts, CEO of CPCU (Weekly Update Jan. 26).
The ‘Joe Knows Mortgages’ campaign at Carolina Postal CU, Charlotte, N.C., uses an experienced senior mortgage loan officer to spearhead a campaign to help alleviate any fears its members may have about a troubled economy. (Photo provided by North Carolina Credit Union League)
Jones has been a part of CPCU for more than 17 years. “We were brainstorming on what was going on in the mortgage industry, how to answer members’ concerns about their mortgages, their financial situation, and every time we had a question it was ‘let’s ask Joe,’… ‘why don’t we call Joe’…. or ‘Joe knows,’” said Watts. “We finally turned to our marketing vice president and said …. well … what do you think about using Joe in a promotion?” “I loved it,” said Deb McLean, vice president of marketing and business development. “I’ve worked with Joe at the U.S. Postal Service and member functions in the past, and to our members, Joe is a rock star,” she said. But while Joe has the knowledge and capability to front the campaign, the $65 million asset, Charlotte, N.C.-based CPCU knew it couldn’t rest the entire campaign on his shoulders. He may be the face of the campaign, but he has a team of account managers to assist him. “We came up with a ‘Team Joe’ concept,” said McLean. “[We] had a lot of fun playing off a ‘Petticoat Junction’ theme with our account managers--they all have nametags with their names listed as Chrissy-Joe, Lindsay-Joe, Maddie-Joe.” McLean also sent out a YouTube video of “Petticoat Junction” since some younger staff weren’t familiar with the show, a situation comedy than ran from 1963 to 1970. Initial reaction has been positive to the point of being overwhelming, the credit union said. “When the first postcard went out to our members, Joe got 98 voice-mails in one week,” said McLean. “Many were teasing or just congratulatory, but most were ‘Oh yes, please help me understand my situation.’” When a follow-up e-mail blast went out the next week, Joe received 78 voice-mails and multiple e-mails in one day. The biggest challenge? “Joe takes his reputation with the members seriously and wanted to follow up personally with every single response,” Watts said. “We had to encourage him to rely on his Team of Joes to help out with the initial response.” “Joe Knows Mortgages” will run for three months, and if the response continues to be strong, the campaign will be incorporated throughout 2009 with other CPCU loan products. “This campaign truly supports the credit union difference,” Watts said. “In a time when long-term, experienced employees are being laid off by corporations with a misguided attempt to impact their bottom line, we celebrate and promote our experienced employees and their depth of financial knowledge because they are the ones who will make a positive difference to our members.”
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