Morriss has written a blog “How many credit unions should be blogging” over at EverythingCU.com. Some very interesting ideas that I need to expand on.
Beyond the point of every credit union should be blogging is a crucial concept that constantly churns in my mind. Credit unions’ common cause is that of a co-operative financial institution serving the needs of its members. The blog as a means of communicating should augment this premise, again by serving member needs. But how does something as verbose as a blog truly represent the entity? There will be views and ideas proposed that are representative of the individual, blogging about the credit union. That could be staff, management, CEO, board member, or even a member themselves. The credit union’s blog is also it’s banner and that communication will have a human perspective, not necessarily the credit union’s perspective. And this is maybe why CUs are hesitant. Some understood the mantra that their message must be pure, sanitized, non-controversial, politically correct, easy to understand and always towing the marketable CU (company) line.
I don’t believe a blog is a tool in a marketing toolkit. It can’t be a blog if it has to follow the above mantra. It needs to be resilient, challenging, inclusive, fair, honest, thought provoking, communicative, informing and whatever other attribute that will evolve over the next years. It is fundamentally the conversation that those 10 charter members had around that kitchen table that started the credit union. Those people got together out of a need, not out of a marketing direction.
The readers of credit union blogs need to understand the nature of blogs, that they aren’t marketing instruments (they may be tainted with marketing though). That they are open dialogues. They are a member notice board. They are Luther’s Wittenburg door. They are the radio call in show. They are the emotion, passion and human attribute of the credit union in a textual form. Again I would use the phrase – they are like nailing jello to a tree, sometimes very tough to define.
What is so necessary is that blogs become what each credit union needs them to become, developed in the context of their own culture. That diversity is something that should not be feared but embraced because that is what this system is all about. And here is where I will disagree with a number of my blogging peers. It cannot be solely or utterly defined in the realm of marketing because that isn’t what it is. Members will eventually see it as that. Do we really want our blogs to be the cloaked hype machines that so many businesses have made their blogs become? We are co-operatives. Realizing that just makes us different. And blogging should fit so easily with credit unions because diversity is and always is the domain we live in. If don’t realize our difference then we have a bigger problem that goes beyond blogging.