pen once-a-month,” Castilla says. “It’s not just people from
The community has responded with praise and gratitude.
One downtown Edmond merchant said, “This event is a game
changer [for my business]. Welcome to downtown Edmond
2.0.” Here are some sample comments on Twitter: “Heard on
Hurd is our new favorite Saturday night! Wish it was every
weekend!” and “Heard on Hurd is the best thing that’s hap-
pened to Edmond. So. Many. People!”
Here are some lessons, tips and best practices concerning
bank-sponsored community events based on the experiences
of these two banks.
1. Make your bank’s role in the event highly visible.
As mentioned, often for community events, all your bank
is asked to contribute are money and a logo. Hardly two
ingredients for high visibility. Instead, consider creative
ways to make your bank a significant part of the event. Or
create your own event. Sure it’s a substantial investment
of resources, but the goodwill and community spirit these
events generate are worth so much more.
2. Make sure the event and the event experience
represent your brand appropriately.
You want people to enjoy an experience that they will associate positively with your brand. If your bank is a quality
brand, then you must participate or host a high-quality
event. A poorly run event may take your brand along with
your investment down the drain.
3. Be smart about your partners.
Creating events that are free and open to the public is a
must. But that doesn’t mean you need to let any interested
business ride your bank’s coattails to success. Be smart
about the other businesses that want to participate. Do
they help build your brand or dilute it? You work hard to
build your bank’s brand, so why taint it by being associ-
ated with other businesses that your community doesn’t
value as highly as yours?
4. Don’t just write a check. Make a plan to engage.
A great community building effort gets your employees
engaged with the event and the participants. When people
interact with your team, they leave with the feeling that
your bank cares about the same things they do. Engaging
can be fun or serious—whatever fits your bank’s brand.
Give your team something to do that gives them a reason
to interact with the participants. Motivate employees to
engage with participants. Don’t let them come just to eat
Choosing to connect with the public in fun and meaningful ways helps to engage them with your brand. The bank
also builds pride in its own employees by allowing them
to participate in a high-profile community event. A community event also helps your bank demonstrate its good
will and community spirit. It makes your bank stand apart
Wise banks see investments in innovative and exciting
events as a gift to their community. This is a gift that improves
and enhances life for all—and is also good for the bank’s
bottom line. n
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RHONDA FOXWORTH is the principal of Plaid Fox Marketing,
Ann Arbor, Mich. She is the former vice president and marketing manager at the Bank of Ann Arbor, in Michigan.
Telephone: (734) 717-5176. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Exciting community events can get your bank’s social media ctivity and engagement buzzing. Consider establishing
separate Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels for
your event. Then, be sure to share the event’s posts on your
regular bank channels for increased exposure and to help make
the connection of the event to the bank.
Twitter and Instagram are especially good for engagement
and feedback during the event as people use these channels to
share their experiences with friends in real-time. Post signage
with the event’s Twitter handle and hashtag to encourage people
to tag and tweet. Be sure to respond, mark as a “favorite” and
share the posts. Use your Facebook page to highlight favorite
photos from the event. Events create content that gets shared
by your bank’s followers.
Use Social Media to Fire Up Excitement
Creating events that are free and open to the
About Your Event
public is a must.