When one (government) door shuts, another opens

first_imgWant to make your marketing team’s job easier? Whenever you have the opportunity to actually take action on the words and messages you project about what your organization stands for, you’re cumulatively building a brand story that makes people much more likely to believe what you say each and every successive time.In today’s complex, unpredictable, ever-changing economic environment, the pressure is on financial service providers to anticipate consumer needs, and serve up solutions before people need them. Not only is it important to anticipate, but you also have to act fast with your solutions, because when it comes to financial binds, people can’t wait around for business decisions to be made.Several banks and credit unions have been quick to announce that in the face of the government shutdown at midnight on Friday, January 19, they will be offering assistance to military personnel to ensure they can continue to have funds coming in to pay bills while their February paycheck may be delayed or reduced. Service Credit Union announced that to assist members directly affected by the government shutdown, they will be automatically posting credits to members with existing direct deposit on or before February 1, and they are offering short-term military advance loans with 0% APR with no required payments for 90 days. USAA is offering something similar, with loans up to $6,000. Navy Federal Credit Union posted on their Facebook page at 7 a.m. the morning after the shutdown, “we are offering all eligible members a 0% APR loan to help cover their pay in the event of a government shutdown.” The post, in less than 48 hours, had more than 1,000 comments, questions, concerns and gratitude, with responses from Navy’s team members.From a purely business perspective, these loans aren’t smart. In fact, giving product away with no profit margin is a quick way to go out of business. Plus, this isn’t the time to cross-sell other products or ask for referrals, or even expect to see more loans brought in because of this nice gesture. These members simply need their credit union right now to help them out of a bind. However, the value of acting on your words cannot be understated. I said it would make your marketing team’s job easier – but I didn’t mean they could work any less hard. With the myriad of financial service options we all have to choose from today, no financial service marketer’s job is ever easy. But when your organization has the mindset to make it a strategic priority to do whatever is truly in the best interest of each and every member—not just on paper, not just in charitable donation, but in everyday actions large and small — it will make your marketing team’s hard efforts much more effective, because your messages will be believed.   Just of few of the responses this morning on Service Credit Union’s social media channels: “Thank you so much for taking this stress off of us,” “We are so grateful for the services you provide us. Thank you for taking care of us,” “One of the many reasons I’ve stayed with SCU for so many years, thank you,” “They did this during the 2013 shutdown. Grateful to SCU then and now,” “Always recommending SCU.”Actions speak louder than words…AND can make your brand story a lot more believable. Is your mind set on doing good business so your business will do well? Here’s how you can build a genuine brand:Decide what you’re willing to do to help your members – Determine if you have the “where there’s a will, there’s a way” mentality before you need to evoke extreme or unique measures to serve your members. If you serve military personnel, or immigrants, or women, or college students, or you know, human beings, chances are they will eventually need something from you that might be a little different from today’s standard financial offerings. If you are set on finding a way to serve that need, regardless of how different or scary it might be, regardless of the fact that no one else is doing it yet, then you have “the will!” It might look a bit like Point West Credit Union or result in unique offerings like NorthCountry Federal Credit Union.Act fast and act for real — This is where you make your marketing team’s job easier (or really hard, so do not screw this up.) Listen to what members are telling you they need and be willing to adapt and take a few more steps forward to truly help them. In addition to the examples above, I love to share the story of when my grocery co-op in Madison opened a new location in a new neighborhood, demographically different than its other locations. Rather than assuming it knew what products the neighbors want to see on the shelves, the co-op asked what they wanted–asked for their receipts from other shopping trips to understand what and how much they buy, and then they put those products on their shelves, even when it meant adjusting “business as usual” practices to be able to do so. As a board member, one of the comments I hear from members is, “wow, you actually listened to us and gave us what we asked for!” Simple, right? Then why is it so surprising to see?Keep the momentum going and make it part of your brand – Each successful example of your business understanding member needs and acting fast to provide an actually helpful (for them) solution (whether or not it was business profitable at the moment) is cumulative to your brand story. There is no better way to build a brand story or brand reputation than through the story your members know and tell about you. This extends to media coverage, too. Sorry marketing team, there’s no time to rest on our laurels. We all still have a ton of work to do to get the word out about how we can help people, but working for a brand that does what they say makes all the effort a lot more effective, not to mention more fulfilling!I’ve heard countless awe-inspiring stories of the work that credit unions do in my time with Filene. One common thread that I’ve noticed woven throughout is the simple but brilliant concept that where there’s a will there’s a way. The will leads to the action and the action leads to the public’s belief. Look for the doors you can open for your members, regardless of who shuts them.  25SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Holly Fearing Holly lives and breathes social media; if you can’t find her IRL, try reaching out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll likely get her right away. … Web: www.filene.org Detailslast_img read more

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Master trusts must consider ESG impact of investments – NEST

first_imgThe National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), the UK auto-enrolment pensions provider, has said master trusts within the new, broader system of workplace pensions have a duty to take an active interest in where they invest and consider issues such as climate impact.Publishing its first responsible investment report, NEST said incorporating ESG factors into its investment process across all its retirement date funds and fund choices improved long-term returns and reduced investment risk for all its members.Mark Fawcett, NEST’s CIO, said: “Good-quality master trusts have a responsibility to take an active interest in where members’ money is invested and act on behalf of their members as owners of securities.“That means considering a broad range of investment risks and opportunities, including issues like the move to a low-carbon economy, the way corporations treat the planet and how companies conduct themselves.” The first report sets out how NEST engages directly with companies, regulators and industry bodies, and works with fund managers and other large institutional investors to increase effectiveness.It includes case studies showing how it aims to understand and act on a range of matters that have an impact on long-term returns, sustainable markets and good business practices.These include climate change and managing the transition to a low-carbon economy; banking culture and behaviour; the quality of company audits and the interaction between shareholders and auditors; and the role of pay in company performance.Fawcett said anyone who thought this type of consideration was not relevant to long-term wealth creation should consider the billions of pounds in fines and damages imposed on large sectors of the banking industry.“Companies that are well run, with engaged and active investors, are more likely to be successful in the long term,” he said.In the report, NEST said that, though most of its equity investments were now made via indexed funds, this did not mean it was “passive”.Unlike active managers, it said, it cannot sell its investments if a company is performing poorly, but it is able to be effective because it can “engage with a number of companies in a sector and feed back our findings industry-wide”.It said its aim was to raise standards across the whole industry.“From 2016,” it said, “where we don’t agree on issues we feel strongly about, NEST has the ability to override the voting intentions of our global equity manager.”last_img read more

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Guyana to get US$40 million in forest protection funds

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! 14 Views   no discussions NewsRegional Guyana to get US$40 million in forest protection funds by: – April 2, 2011center_img by Global News StaffPresident Bharrat Jagdeo (L) pictured here with Norway’s Minister of Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, at Guyana’s Kaietur Falls.GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The priority projects under Guyana’s revolutionary Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) will become a reality this year with development partner Norway announcing its readiness to release a tranche of forest protection funds.The Guyana Chronicle reported that President Bharrat Jagdeo, during a joint press conference he hosted at State House in Georgetown on Thursday night with visiting Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, stressed that the Guyana REDD Investment Fund is safe as regards fiduciary oversight and noted that the projects to be funded will be carried out in accordance to the strictest standards.This assurance by the president coincided with the simultaneous announcement by Solheim that Norway will live up to its part of the agreement and contribute another US$40 million to Guyana for 2011. The country has already released its US$30 million for 2010 under the agreement.Solheim also pointed out that the two countries need to find ways of speeding up the way the money is disbursed into the Guyanese economy, while at the same time having the necessary mechanisms in place when it comes to anti-corruption and environmental and social safeguards. Tweet Sharelast_img read more

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Ice accumulation leads to power outages

first_imgBatesville, In. — Power outages are being reported throughout the area.Here is a link to the Duke Energy outage map.Here is a link to the Decatur County REMC outage map.Here is a link to the Southeastern Indiana REMC outage map.Here is a link to the Whitewater Valley REMC outage map.last_img

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Pellegrini not thinking of Chelsea

first_imgManchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists he is unfazed by the champions trailing Chelsea by eight points in the Premier League after being held to a 2-2 draw at survival hopefuls QPR. Sergio Aguero saved City further embarrassment after their Champions League loss to CSKA Moscow with a double at Loftus Road, cancelling out Charlie Austin’s opener and Martin Demichelis’ own goal as the visitors twice came from behind. “I’m not thinking about Chelsea,” Pellegrini said. “I’m thinking about my team. We have 27 games more and the championship is very long. “For the moment, it’s difficult to say it was two points lost because we came less than 72 hours (after Wednesday’s Champions League match), (in a) very difficult moment. “The way the game was during the 90 minutes, we deserved at least a draw. We had more chances to score. “Of course I wanted the three points, but if you can’t win it, it’s better not to lose.” Pellegrini admitted the champions were in the midst of a crisis of confidence following their latest European defeat and QPR seemed determined to increase City’s misery. Without injured talisman Vincent Kompany, City’s defence was a shambles as Eliaquim Mangala was exposed time and time again. Asked about City’s confidence now, Pellegrini said: “Absolutely the same. “There can be a lot of criticism of the team and the way we are playing, but not of the way we are working or the character and personality we have. “It was a difficult test. We didn’t play our best game, but we still had four or five clear chances to score before they scored their second goal. “We didn’t but we continued to fight till the end to the last minute to try to win. “It was not our best performance in defence. We must improve, but I don’t divide the team in defending or attacking. We must improve generally.” QPR boss Harry Redknapp described Aguero as the Premier League’s best and Pellegrini admitted his side must match the Argentinian’s efforts as a collective. “In this moment he’s a very important player for us,” Pellegrini added. “He needs the whole performance of the team to grow again as we normally play. A lot of offensive play. “I am sure this will happen after the international break.” Austin scored the opening goal after finding the City net for the third time after 21 minutes. He had two strikes ruled out, firstly after heading in while offside. Then City goalkeeper Joe Hart kicked the ball twice, firstly with his standing foot, before the striker scored. Referee Mike Dean correctly ruled out the effort. “No-one seemed to realise what it was for,” Redknapp said. “I didn’t realised he’d had two touches. I thought he’d just mis-kicked it straight to Charlie, but he’s obviously had two touches.” Austin’s strike was his fourth in three games and his sixth of the season and came in front of watching England boss Roy Hodgson. Redknapp would not champion the former non-League player’s international hopes just yet, though. “Charlie’s improving,” the QPR boss added. “I saw the other day Harry Kane for England. Harry’s a good player, but he’s not in the Tottenham team. “Maybe a few years ago you had to be playing in the team every week for a long period. “I love Charlie. No-one’s a bigger fan than me. There’s no way that, if he keeps improving as he is, he can’t go on and play for England one day. “(But) he’s only had a handful of games in the Premier League and it would be nonsense for me to (push him for England).” Aguero was the standout player, but City were by far second best to a much improved QPR. “I’m disappointed,” Redknapp added. “We worked hard enough and played well enough to have won. I thought they were on the ropes at 1-0, got the equaliser out of nothing. “I’d thought when we went 2-1 up we would go on and win. “We’ve played very well, last four games. We’ve deserved more than the four points we’ve picked up. “We’re playing well. If we continue to do that, we’ve got a great chance (of staying up).” Press Associationlast_img read more

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