profile subjects and then sent each a list of questions about
their organization. The five questions:
m;Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you
m;What is your favorite “moment”? (example of how your
m;What is your biggest challenge?
m;Are there any upcoming events?
m;How can people get involved with your organization?
The answers were published verbatim. Each subject was
invited to submit one representative photograph to illustrate
the article. The original idea was to run the profile series for one
summer only. However, the bank got so much feedback in the
form of Facebook “Likes” and “Comments,” Twitter retweets
and blog visitors—plus appreciation from the nonprofit orga-
nizations themselves—that it decided to continue the profiles
indefinitely. To date, they have done about 50 profiles and have
hit all the well-known organizations. Now, they are searching
out nonprofits that have lower visibility. “There are still many
organizations out there that we look forward to learning more
about,” Hicks notes.
Today, the blog does three postings a week. Two involve financial or business advice. The third is the profile of a nonprofit.
Her advice to other banks that are thinking of developing a
blog is to draft an editorial calendar, indicating what you are going
to post every week for at least a month in advance. “It helps you
to get organized if you have everything mapped out,” she says.
Two other tips are to keep at least one blog post in reserve for
emergencies and to repurpose old blog posts wherever appropriate. “Since new content is so hard to develop, it’s important to
learn how to reuse old content,” Hicks says. “This is particularly
valuable if you have a post about an event, such as the start of the
new school year, that occurs year-after-year.” With a few simple
edits, you can update a prior post and use it again.
The blog’s approach continues to evolve. These days, the
bank is depending less on the blog as a source of social media
posts and creating more standalone social media items dealing
with timely occurrences, such as community events.
For the future, Hicks is looking at a couple of new directions.
One is to enlist in-house experts in developing material for the
financial and business posts. Another is to expand the profiles
of nonprofits to include local businesses. “We have learned that
you generate a lot of interest when you post about something
that is truly local,” she adds. n
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
WALT ALBRO is the editor of ABA Bank Marketing and
Sales magazine, Washington, D. C. Email: Walbro@aba.com.
Institution: Community Bank of the Chesapeake, Waldorf, Md.
Assets: $1 billion
Marketing Manager: Diane Hicks, CFMP, assistant vice president
Diane Hicks, CFMP
Shown are views of the Community Bank of the Chesapeake
Facebook and LinkedIn pages.