NEW YORK (7/8/13)--More than 100 credit union advocates decided "what better way to start off 'Today'" than to gather outside of NBC's Today Show in bright-blue Unite-for-Good and aSmarterChoice T-shirts to help spread awareness about credit unions. The fun and unique effort was the brainstorm of the Credit Union National Association and was executed the final day of CUNA's America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC), held in New York City from June 29 to July 3.
| Today Show host Savannah Guthrie waves to some of the 100 or more credit union folks who showed up in the New York City dawn at the Today Show site wearing Unite for Good and aSmarterChoice t-shirts to foster awareness of credit unions. (CUNA Photo)
As anyone familiar with morning television knows, the Today Show attracts an iconic crowd each morning it airs, as fans visible through windows behind the show's hosts can be seen as they wave "Happy birthday, Mom" signs or wear "Will you marry me, Josie" T-shirts.
"When we first conceived of this, we were kind of wondering what kind of turnout there would be when we asked attendees to get up at 6 a.m. on the last day of the conference for the show," CUNA Vice President of Marketing Communications Amy Nigrelli said of the event. "It became clear really quickly that credit union folks were really up for this. We are thrilled that so many people participated."
The credit union crowd, not part of the official show, got some great exposure as they formed a window-framed backdrop--waving their Unite for Good and aSmarterChoice signs--to musical giant Usher as he chatted and joked with the show's hosts.
The Unite for Good T-shirts, however, were no joke. They refer to CUNA's new strategic vision, being embraced by credit unions across the country, where "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner." The vision promotes three key goals credit unions will need to reach to achieve CUNA's shared vision for the credit union system: removing barriers, creating awareness and fostering service excellence.
And the aSmarterChoice T-shirts, of course, refer to the consumer website created by CUNA and the state credit union leagues, which helps people find a credit union to join.
Also during the ACUC, the throngs of people moving through one of Manhattan's most bustling thoroughfares, Times Square, saw a message in the neon lights letting them know that, in part due to their current tax status, credit unions provide benefits for their members including higher rates on savings for members and lower fees. The message also shared shared the DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org website address.
In June, the Times Square crowds saw they would get better rates and lower fees by switching to a credit union, and were urged to find one at www.aSmarterChoice.org on the same CBS electronic billboard.
CUNA arranged for the message to run hourly--and four times for the tax message--on the iconic CBS Screen on famed 42nd Street beginning April 15 and running through July 4.
Attending the Today show was one of many media news outlets CUNA interacted with while in New York City for the ACUC. The other outlets included The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune Magazine, FOX Business Network, Reuters and USA Today.