We live in an age where everyone is deluged with information every minute of every day.  We are so overloaded with marketing messages, sales offers, e-mails, tweets, Facebook posts, and Yelp! reviews that it is often a challenge to know what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

The result is that your members, your employees, and everyone else you are trying to reach is often left struggling to find the information that they need.  They live in a world where searching, i.e., Googling, has become a way of life and the key approach they use to find information.

And that has significant implications for everything that you do to communicate.

E-mails that are responded to and sent to everyone on the team are having less and less impact as they require too much effort on the part of the recipient to figure out the real message.  Printed documents that provide too many details tend to be ignored or pushed aside to be reviewed later. The desire for a direct, immediate, and accessible answer to the question of the moment has never been higher.

Enter the blog.

What started as a tool for sharing personal insights, ideas, and opinions can be a very powerful solution to your communication challenges.

Here are four ways your credit union can use blogging to increase your effectiveness in communicating:

  1. Connecting with Members–A member facing blog can be a great way to share updates with members in a way that makes the information easily accessible, not just at the moment the information is posted, but in the future when the member needs it.  You can add a human touch to your credit union by sharing information about the ways that the credit union impacts the lives of your members, and in the process you will earn the right to secure additional business.
  2. Celebrating Team Success–Few things have more impact on your culture than capturing and sharing success stories.  A blog can be a quick and easy way to do this, and it makes the process accessible to the entire team.  Creating a place where everyone in the credit union can catch someone doing something right and share it is powerful.  It keeps the focus on the member experience and rewards the team for the great work they do, while also providing a chance to share and learn from the things that  didn’t go as well as intended.
  3. Educating Members–Teachable moments are the key to educating members, and that requires connecting the lesson to the problem the member is currently experiencing.  A blog can be a great way to do this as it provides a quick reference for members and a place where they can learn about the things they are interested in at any moment in time on their own schedule.  Connecting the educational messages to the products and services that your credit union offers that will solve their problems will deepen your connection with them and increase the amount of business they do with you.
  4. Documenting Processes–Updating processes and procedures is a very real and significant challenge for credit unions today.  Documentation needs to be updated regularly, sometimes in major ways and often in minor ways.  But capturing the attention of someone who is not dealing with a specific process at the moment it is changed can be difficult.  A blog can solve this by providing a place where all processes and procedures are updated and everything is connected in an easy to reference, searchable location that is accessible only to the team.

ACTION ADVICE:  Engage your leadership team in a discussion of how your credit union can use blogging to improve communications within your credit union and with your members.  Define an action plan and get started as soon as possible.  Don’t fret over the details and the rules–just use the tool to help you deliver critical messages in a way that makes them searchable and puts them within easy reach of those who need to receive them.  And don’t forget to let others in on the conversation.  At a minimum, make a commitment to monitor a handful of blogs across the next several weeks to familiarize yourself with the powerful potential of this tool.

IT’S YOUR TURN:  How has your credit union (or others you are aware of) used blogging?  How could you use it to increase your impact and effectiveness?  Please post your insights and contribute to the conversation.