In the course of helping out a member of EverythingCU download a marketing plan from the EverythingCU.com site, I checked out her credit union online a little bit. It turns out that she works at a large (more than $500M in assets, 50,000 members) credit union in the Pacific Northwest. I looked at the CU’s web site and noticed a celebrity, apparently prominent in their area, featured front and center on the home page. And there was also a link to the credit union’s blog, featuring the celebrity. So naturally I clicked on it. I thought to myself, “hmm, this is interesting, let’s see what this is.”
When clicking the link, I was taken to the blog, which stated that it was the credit union’s blog. But what is rather apparent is that it is the CELEBRITY’S blog. The sole entries made in this blog are written by the celebrity, about once every month or so, for a total of five entries since March of this year (2007). The entries are interesting, dealing with a range of life issues. But they have NOTHING whatsoever to do with the credit union, finance, or anything about the region which the CU serves. NOTHING. There is no tie, no connection. And here’s the real kicker: there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the blog stating that the postings made in this blog are the celebrity’s, and do not represent the views of the credit union.
THEN HOW IS THIS THE CREDIT UNION’S BLOG????
I just don’t get it.
Let’s put aside for one second the strategy of a credit union featuring a celebrity front-and-center. (Aren’t credit unions founded by, and exist for, regular people? How does featuring a celebrity, no matter how beloved in the area, further the credit union’s brand?)
Given that this CU is featuring the celebrity, the way that this particular blog should be presented is that it is the celebrity’s blog, sponsored by the credit union. That would be honest and true, and would not create a disconnect between the reality of the situation and the expectaction that this credit union is creating by calling it the credit union’s blog.
Advice: There’s nothing wrong, really, with this blog per se. What I have issue with is how it’s presented. If your CU is going to have a blog written by a third party, that’s fine. But call it the third party’s blog, sponsored by the CU.