Building Brand Awareness The Leaders Series
in Consumer Awareness & Advocacy
By: David Frankil, NJCUL President/CEO

You may have seen an article in the Daily Exchange yesterday about XCEL CEO Linda McFadden’s upcoming live appearance on 101.5 FM, January 31st at 8:00 AM, as part of our new Leaders Series. I wanted to provide more background on how this fits with our other brand awareness initiatives, unveiled formally at the NJCUL Annual Convention last year.

If you recall, revamping our brand awareness campaign is a priority 2017 strategic initiative for the League. We started with the Legacy Series, which uses the power of story-telling and unique credit union origin stories to show how credit unions are different from banks. It has been very successful, with pick-up by local media outlets and broad exposure via social media.

The Leaders Series shares the same objective of highlighting the credit union difference, but with a twist. It is focused on showing how our leadership—CEOs of credit unions—truly cares about the financial well-being of their members by offering financial advice to consumers. This accentuates the contrast with how bank CEOs see their customers, as a source of profit.

More than just “selling against your competitors,” it is a way to palpably demonstrate the core of the credit union brand: people helping people.

We originally planned to implement the Leaders Series via our blog and social media networks, but in looking at the 2017 marketing strategy, we realized our reach and impact could be significantly extended by working with our radio partner 101.5 FM. Not only does 101.5 FM have a footprint that extends practically the entire length of the state, with more than 1 million listeners, but their morning drive-time host Bill Spadea is a member of several credit unions and an ardent advocate on our behalf.

101.5 FM has given us the prime morning drive time slot from 8:00 AM to 8:15 AM—everyone knows what traffic is like here in New Jersey, it brings new meaning to the phrase “captive audience.”

Look for more extensions of the strategy—scaling the concept by offering a way for consumers to submit questions via 101.5 FM and our Banking You Can Trust Web site, integrating the content (transcripts and video) with our blogs, helping participating credit union CEOs leverage their appearances with their social media networks, and more.

If you would like to be added to the list for a live appearance, please contact NJCUL Vice President of Marketing Marissa Anema at