COLUMBUS, Ohio (10/15/12) — The Federation of Romanian Credit Unions (FEDCAR) visited credit unions in Ohio the first week in October to learn modern marketing strategies to help their credit unions build visibility and membership with limited resources. The Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL) hosted FEDCAR officials through World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) International Partnerships Program.
As part of their partnership agreement signed in 2011, OCUL provided marketing training geared toward bringing more credit unions into FEDCAR's membership. Training focused on techniques to improve member products and services, raise visibility and overcome perceptions that Romanian
credit unions are remnants of Soviet rule.
The Romanian delegation visited several other credit unions ranging from the state's largest, Wright-Patt CU in Fairborn, to the newest and smallest, Nueva Esperanza Community CU in Toledo. Additional visits included Corporate One FCU in Columbus, Directions CU in Sylvania, and CSE FCU in Canton. Each credit union presented a different set of useful marketing strategies and tools for FEDCAR, according to John Florian, OCUL vice president of government and political affairs.
"Since FEDCAR's primary objective was to learn best practices in marketing, we asked some of our best Ohio credit union marketing professionals to share their most effective promotional strategies, and they did a fantastic job," Florian said.
Throughout the visit, FEDCAR officials learned about several credit union marketing initiatives, including product lines targeting youth members and a local reality TV program with a financial education spin. FEDCAR CEO Florin Simion said they plan to adapt and apply many of the things they learned to their own credit union system.
"We have learned a lot about their marketing products, projects and day-by-day activity," Simion said. "We participated in presentations regarding what is to be done for more visibility in the community, how to better assess people's needs and how to serve them better."
Joining Simion on the visit were FEDCAR Chairman Serban Nicolae and board members Sandu Marian Scirlet and Cristian Florin Bota. OCUL hosts included Paul Mercer, president/CEO, and Florian. Victor Miguel Corro, WOCCU vice president of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions and director of the International Partnerships Program, coordinated the visit.
"Regarding our visit to Ohio, I have to say it was a real success," Simion said. "It was a real lesson of how marketing and promotions have to be conducted in a credit union. We will surely use all the information gathered during our visit."
OCUL delegates will visit FEDCAR and its credit unions in Romania in mid-2013 for additional marketing training. OCUL also plans to provide lobbying support for better credit union legislation in Romania, according to Florian.
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