Cornerstone recently announced the roll-out of its next-generation advocacy, grassroots, and political action campaign, known as ROAR—Ready, Organize, Activate, and Respond. ROAR consists of three key components to ensure credit unions gain political ground at state and federal levels: the Army of Advocates, payroll deduction, and the Member Activation Program, or MAP. Together, these components make advocates a more agile, vigilant, and robust force in Congress and in state capitols.
Let's take a closer look at MAP and see how one credit union found that MAP gives them a big advantage and inspires member loyalty.
Texas People Federal Credit Union has been using MAP for a while, although CEO Andy Reed admits that, at first, he was apprehensive to talk to the membership about political matters because he didn’t want to "alienate anyone or give the appearance of being partisan." But because other CEOs had told him they had really positive experiences with their membership and MAP, he decided to try it.
"We decided to take the plunge, tailored a MAP email message to our membership and brand using CUNA’s template, and held our breath after we clicked send," said Reed, who has a strong marketing and business development background and tracks metrics for messages they send to members. "We were shocked to see the open rate on the MAP email was nearly double our normal open rate on marketing emails, which typically runs close to the national average. There were no negative consequences from sending the email either. Not a single person unsubscribed or complained."
Texas People did receive one question asking the credit union to expand upon the matter, though. "I spoke with that member, answered his questions, and he was pleased," said Reed. "I was grateful for the opportunity to engage with the member and help him learn how credit unions are different from banks and the unique challenges we face. I’d venture to say the member is more loyal today than he was before the conversation."
Reed's only other concern was frequency of messaging. "I didn’t want to overwhelm my membership with political rhetoric," he said. "CUNA and Cornerstone both do a really good job of managing frequency and time email campaigns strategically for maximum impact. My MAP experience has been nothing but positive, and we’ll continue to participate as long as our membership shows the desire to engage."
You Can Become a Member of ROAR Too!
To become a member of ROAR, members must commit to instituting the three key components of the program.
- Army of Advocates. Employees, board members, and members you identify who are interested in becoming more involved in advocacy.
- Payroll Deduction. PAC dollars go to candidates—not red or blue, but purple—who show an understanding of credit union value to their members; who take pro-credit union positions; and who serve on committees of jurisdiction or in leadership roles. Even $1 per paycheck can make a big difference.
- CUNA's Member Activation Program, or MAP. MAP is designed to get members engaged in credit union advocacy, which in turn makes them part of the Army of Advocates. Research shows that members who receive MAP messages from their credit union CEOs become more loyal members. For example, in one of last year's MAP campaigns, 75 credit unions reached 4 million members with MAP messaging and got a 32.1 percent open rate—a high rate for any campaign.
If you have questions about joining up with ROAR, please contact April Krause at 800-442-5762, ext. 6487, or firstname.lastname@example.org.