Michigan Bankers, Local Newsrooms Work Together to Promote Banking

By Rann Paynter

The Michigan Bankers Association is partnering with statewide media stations WLNS and WLAJ to strengthen the reputation and brand of the Michigan banking industry and to provide ideas, tools and resources to help small businesses grow and prosper.

Over the course of a year, 24 segments in two series—”Focus on Business” and “Focus on Banking”—will be distributed to local ABC and CBS stations throughout the state. Bank CEOs and other executives are featured in two-minute videos and 15-minute roundtable discussions with other industry professionals across the state on topics like cannabis banking, women in business, business conditions, cybersecurity; the modern workplace, scaling up financially, martech, reviewing a financial statement and much more..

This was certainly new territory for us, but we found it to be a valuable, cost-effective way to promote the industry in partnership with local media and the broader business community. Through the videos, we were able to highlight local banking leaders while connecting with customers and the policymaking community in a new and innovative way for our association. And we’re very excited about the results.

Along with the news segments, WLNS created a separate webpage to share the videos, which has received more than 5,000,000 impressions. Additionally, the social media campaign we started has been targeting advertisements to business owners and managers throughout the state resulting in over 1,000,000 impressions. On average, we’re seeing 1,325,000 impressions for each video. That’s a lot of eyewitnesses to the positive role banks play in their communities.

In the last decade, news organizations have emerged with a model that depends on creative partnerships. At the same time, most commercial newsrooms have seen deep cuts to staffing and resources, leaving them in search of ways to sustain quality and depth in their journalism. These forces are pushing many commercial news organizations to be less concerned with competition and more open to collaboration. That’s where MBA saw an opportunity. By embracing this partnership and by matching MBA member CEOs with topics of interest to local viewers, we were able to showcase our industry and make some great TV.

Banking has become a generic term that the general public associates with any depository or lending entity. With our partnership, we are raising a level of public awareness of what a bank is and does, the level of safety banks provide for their customers and the support banks provide in communities across the state. That’s a win-win and a result we can be proud of.

Rann Paynter is president and CEO of the Michigan Bankers Association.