Integris CU’s partnership with local broadcast station CKPG bears fruit.
Since early 2022, Integris Credit Union has been partnering with CKPG, the only broadcast station in the area, to produce “Money Matters” segments that are part of the station's CKPG Today programming.
Such key topics as loans, managing inflation, estate planning and creating a financial plan have been discussed by experts from the credit union, which has $1.8 billion in assets under management and is headquartered in Prince George, British Columbia.
We followed up with Mandy Guerin, Integris CU’s marketing and strategy manager; several Integris CU staff members who were guests on the show; and show host Christine Midgley of CKPG. Check out the details in the Q&A below.
CUES: How did Integris CU and CKPG connect?
Mandy Guerin, Integris CU’s marketing and strategy manager: We have worked with CKPG, our local broadcast station, for many years and developed a great relationship between our account reps and the broadcast team. CKPG does a great job connecting with local businesses, and we have partnered with them on many initiatives through CKPG Fundraiser, a program that provides attendees and engagement with local events to hand out swag and promotional items. Since we’re the only local financial institution, being a part of a financial segment made sense for us!
Christine Midgley: We discussed making a finance segment on CKPG Today right from its inception in the fall of 2021, but we knew we had to find the right fit. Often when it comes to talking number-crunching, people’s eyes glaze over (mine included). The problem with that is you get a large part of the population intimidated by talking finances, so this was a way to break down that barrier! After having the opportunity to chat with some of the team at Integris, I knew they'd be the perfect match to make discussing personal finances fun and approachable—and the rest is history!
Guerin: We connected with CKPG early in 2022 when they approached us with an opportunity for the Money Matters segment. CKPG initially presented this opportunity with our wealth management team in mind. We quickly recognized that this could be so much more than just wealth management. It was our opportunity to showcase all that Integris has to offer our region.
CUES: How has the relationship developed?
Guerin: Our relationship goes back a long time. Being from a smaller community, we are usually well-connected with everyone. It all started with a partnership opportunity, and we ran with it! We really kept things open and flexible, and we trusted each other in the process, which fostered really great conversations and topics.
Midgley: The relationship has developed the same way a friendship would. You start out strangers, not really knowing what to expect from each other, what each person brings to the table ... but you’re eager to find out. Then, as you spend more time getting to know each other, you start to learn each other’s strengths, build trust and feel comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone to try new things.
This is exactly how our conversations on the show have evolved. The mutual trust has enabled creativity to thrive, and we wind up with fun ideas like putting me through a fraud-prevention quiz! Each month I look forward to hearing what ideas the Integris team has come up with, and we collaboratively build from there!
CUES: What is the market reach of CKPG, and how does it overlap with Integris CU’s membership?
Guerin: CKPG is an affiliate of the Jim Pattison Broadcast group, a major media company that spans British Columbia. It is the only local television station in our region. The station’s viewership is broad and representative of our membership, skewing a little older. CKPG Today has opened up a new younger demographic offering a variety of content from fashion, lifestyle food, wellness and advice. It is also broadcast via social media channels, which really opens the viewership demographic and reach.
Midgley: What I really love about CKPG Today is that it resonates in some part with all demographics. We cover art, adventure, sports, décor, food, beauty and more—which means there’s something for everyone. We find an older demographic tunes into our show to watch on television, but there’s a large demographic that watches the segments uploaded online afterwards (and not just people in Prince George!) Having the online platform enables us to have a reach across Canada, as the majority of these topics are interesting regardless of your postal code.
CUES: What preparation was needed before each segment?
Guerin: No formal training was required for this specific segment, even though these segments were taped live, which adds an element of unpredictability. We worked closely with staff who would be interviewed to prepare speaking notes and provide any confidence boost they might have needed. Our staff know their stuff and Christine is a natural interviewer.
Midgley: On my end, I like to prep general talking points with upcoming guests to make sure they know the scope of our conversation. I never want to throw a curve ball at anyone, but I also don’t want to have a scripted segment because that isn’t natural! By using general talking points, we’re able to have authentic conversations where I can ask questions as we go! It's less of an interview, and more of me just eager to learn. Sometimes guests can be nervous not knowing exactly how the conversation will go, but once they start speaking about something they’re passionate about, those nerves melt away!
CUES member Amy OBrien, CPA, VP/finance at Integris CU: Having the opportunity to build financial literacy through this medium has been so fun. Initially the idea of being “on TV” was a bit unnerving, however preparing with our marketing team, the host of the CKPG Segment and others who were on the segments before me was helpful. The host, Christine, allowed me to be creative with the content, including props and speaking points, which made the process much easier.
CUES: What was it like being the guest on a segment?
CUES member Alison Hoskins, CCE, CEO of Integris CU: Anytime you are recording something live—no matter how knowledgeable your team is on a subject matter—it can be unnerving. Christine is an excellent conversationalist, and that makes our team feel at ease. We have been deliberate to keep the content informative but not exclusive to ensure we can add value to a broad viewer market. I found the time flew by and could have continued talking about “why credit unions” with Christine all day!
CUES: What are next steps for this financial education series?
Guerin: Technically, the Money Matters segment is a one-year commitment, but we have had a lot of great feedback and would love to continue. Our mission as financial experts is to provide innovative solutions to our communities. Financial literacy is a big part of that, so continuing to share our knowledge and advice is core to our business. We have also been incubating an Integris podcast so perhaps we continue and expand the success in the pod world.
Midgley: There are so many directions to go! The list of topics is virtually endless when you start talking personal finances, business finances, or teaching your kids financial literacy! There’s only so much you can fit into a segment at a time, so each month is an opportunity to teach a new skill or continue to build on a topic we've covered before.
CUES: What advice would you give to credit unions considering doing financial education in this way?
Guerin: The credit union system is full of talented people who know the importance of financial literacy and how it can change people’s lives. Don’t be afraid to share what you know with your community in any format you can. It can be as simple as tips and tricks all the way to a podcast or TV interviews. Sharing our financial expertise with our members and community is a key differentiator.
OBrien: Improving the lives of our members and communities is at the heart of what we do as a credit union and what better way to connect with your community than through the local broadcasting partners like CKPG, who reach their audience through so many different channels?
Midgley: Finance doesn't have to be scary or alienating. The more you can make financial conversations approachable, the more impact it will have on the general public! Any opportunity you have to humanize the conversation, take it!
Lisa Hochgraf is senior editor with CUES.