Since this blog is primarily a story about small businesses and organizations using the internet for marketing, or more accurately, learning how to use the internet for more effective marketing, it is important, as in any story, to introduce the main “characters”.
At this time, the most important character in our story is the Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union. I have supported them for about eight years as their “webmaster”. Until late 2011, the web site was their only foray into the world of internet marketing and it was essentially an information reference for its members.
Their membership base of approximately 2400 members is primarily the teachers, active and retired, from three local communities in Connecticut; Westport, Weston and Wilton. Membership is also available to family members of eligible employees.
In September 2011, the management held two listening sessions with members to learn how communications could be improved. The message was loud and clear, especially from the younger teachers; the Credit Union had to do a much better job at using the internet to reach it’s members. One could say those “listening sessions” were an epiphany for the Credit Union. They heard the message! They were committed to respond in a positive way. The problem was “how “. The staff consisted of four; a manager, an assistant manager, and two office administrative persons. None of them had the time to take this on, not to mention the technical background needed. The operating budget did not have the flexibility to hire another staff person for this role.
Because I had been their “internet” person for several years and had been encouraging a move in this direction, they asked me if I could provide the support they needed as an outside contractor. We worked out an arrangement and late in 2011 began with a blog focused on financial matters that would be of interest to young and mid-career teachers.
The blog soon gave way to a weekly e-mail. That project has consumed the time budget we worked out to begin this initiative. But, now that we are about six months “down the road”, the weekly e-mail is taking a little less time, so I am optimistic we will soon be able resume the blog. We also have a Facebook page and a plan to use that in a different way than the e-mails or how the blog will be used.
To summarize, the Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union is a prime example of an organization that is successful in their mission but believes it needs to embrace the internet even more. They do not have the resources to take this step, but they are willing to use an outside resource to, at least partially, provide the resource they need to move into the world of internet marketing.
Does this description of the Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union sound familiar? Are there others who have traveled down this road? Or want to? If so, please comment and let us know. There can be strength in numbers.
For those interested, their web site is www.tritownteachers.org.