November 7, 2012

JayRay Strategies Lead to Three Successful Credit Union Mergers

JayRay has been part of three successful voting efforts this year, helping six credit union clients approve mergers that bring more services and access to residents throughout the Northwest.

Credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions owned by members. Business decisions such as a merger must be approved by a vote of the credit union’s members.

Montana First Credit Union joined Horizon Credit Union in Spokane; Kitsap Credit Union added Quimper Credit Union to its family; and Harborstone Credit Union and Prevail Credit Union merged to continue their strong performance.

“In all three situations we used research to guide our approach and messages to members,” said Shari Campbell, JayRay vice president. “The campaigns had to show members the benefits of a merger and alleviate their concerns.”

Employee testimonials were part of each campaign, which included a mix of emails, website banners, ads, posters, direct mail and more to reach employees and members.

Highlights of JayRay’s work:

  • ŸHarborstone Credit Union/Prevail Credit Union: Two healthy credit unions decided to merge because they knew they could do more together. “Merging for more” was the tagline that immediately communicated the benefits and reasons for the merger – more services, more access. Locations now span the Puget Sound area from Lacey to Woodinville.  
  • ŸQuimper Credit Union/ Kitsap Credit Union: JayRay heard Quimper members’ concerns that losing the local credit union also would end its important community support. The “Still local. More to love.” campaign supported Kitsap’s community focus, and Quimper members approved the merger with a 93 percent “yes” vote.
  • ŸMontana First Credit Union/Horizon Credit Union: The “Better for you, better for Montana” campaign gained credibility by featuring member ambassadors. Focusing on benefits helped ease Montana First members’ initial reluctance to joining an out-of-state credit union. 
JayRay’s merger communications efforts also were mentioned in a recent Credit Union Times article: Merger Pitfalls May Hinge on Failure to Talk up Benefits