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  • Introducing the “ñ” as the social media icon that links back to Spanish websites

    Posted by on July 31, 2012

    Nowadays, the rise of social media seems unstoppable. The advantages that social media has created now extend far beyond its initial purpose of providing individuals with social networking opportunities. Companies are also finding their involvement with social media to be beneficial. A current trend in the social media world involves the inclusion of “social media icons”. These icons are small images that represent websites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and are being used to express a person’s or company’s affiliation with different social media websites.

    Recently, a new icon has been introduced to the icon family and it is used to represent a company’s link to their website in Spanish. The “ñ”, known as the enye symbol which is part of the Spanish alphabet, is now being presented as a modern replacement to the commonly used “En Español” hyperlink found in most websites.

    The innovative icon was developed by Cultural Strategies to “provide access to [their] client’s online Spanish content”. Cultural Strategies CEO Juan Torne, said that the “ñ” icon is meant to replace the “En Español” link, which can be plain and boring or the Flag of a Spanish speaking country (like Spain or Mexico) which is bound to leave out other nationalities and heritages.

    Companies can use the “ñ” icon in several different resources to transmit the idea that they have a Spanish component to their business. The social media icons can be effectively placed in an orderly fashion to provide an organized listing of links without taking too much space or providing a lengthy direct link of the website. Some places to use the social media icons, such as the “ñ” are the top of websites, business cards, in your e-mail signature and even brochures.

    To add this icon, simply hyperlink the link of your company’s Spanish website into the image icon and add it wherever you want people to access such information. The addition of the “ñ” icon can therefore become a new innovative way to transmit your efforts to connect with the Spanish speaking community.

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    5 Simple Things for This Year

    Posted by on July 24, 2012

    Financial institution leaders often view Hispanic outreach as a long-term strategy, and not one that can be taken lightly. And they would be right. Unfortunately, this understanding can lead to inaction. Facing down what appears to be an overwhelming task, they are coaxed into a failure to act at all.

    That is why I decided to put together a quick-hit list of five things (in honor of Coopera’s five-year anniversary) credit unions and community banks can do yet this year to take steps toward a full-fledged Hispanic outreach program.

    I shared the list with CU Magazine, which originally ran the article earlier this month. Here’s a brief excerpt of the article, which you can read in its entirety at CreditUnionMagazine.com.

    1. Understand America’s changing population– educating yourself and your staff is an important first step, and one that can be accomplished over the next six months.

    2. Get to know your local Hispanic community – making personal connections will go a long way toward developing an outreach strategy.

    3. Get staff involved – developing that ever-important buy-in is a key step.

    4. Offer introductory products to attract new members – the key here is to adapt to the Hispanic marketplace, not expect them to adapt to you.

    5. Develop partnerships – aside from helping your financial institution assimilate, partnerships will help you remain accountable to an important ally as you strive to become a resource for both U.S. born and immigrant Hispanics.

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    Greater Iowa Shares Story at Latino Conference

    Posted by on July 17, 2012

    Among the excellent presentations at the 7th Latino Credit Union Conference this June was a panel discussion of best practices for Hispanic outreach.

    Two of Coopera’s clients, Greater Iowa Community Credit Union and Travis Credit Union shared insight with the audience. Greater Iowa’s story, as told by Michael Adams, even made CUNA’s News Now online publication.

    Michael shared specifically how Greater Iowa expanded its footprint from a university credit union to a community-based institution that has rolled out the welcome mat for members of the local Hispanic community. Some of the tactics Michael talked about included: taking a multi-pronged approach to marketing, hiring bilingual and bicultural staff, forming an employee implementation team and offering a Spanish-language personal finance website.

    To read more about Greater Iowa’s experience, visit CUNA’s News Now.

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    Latino Conference Sheds Light on CU Opportunity

    Posted by on July 10, 2012

    Earlier this month, the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals (NLCUP) hosted the 7th Latino Credit Union Conference June 15 to 17, 2012. Coopera was honored to play a role in the conference and came home renewed in the passionate pursuit of our mission.

    Aside from an excellent historic perspective on the U.S. Hispanic community, the conference exposed attendees to an array of information, ranging from techniques for adapting services to the Hispanic community all the way to important legal and regulatory issues relevant to this marketplace.

    My personal takeaways from the conference were…

    – Our credit union industry partners are more committed than ever to provide credit unions the resources they need to serve the Hispanic community, as expressed by CUNA’s Board Chairman Mike Mercer, CUNA’s Hispanic Outreach Committee Lead Mark Condon and NLCUP’s Board Chairman Maria Martinez.

    – The statistics and demographic information are more compelling than ever and provide credit unions a strong business case for serving our largely underserved Hispanic community.

    – Credit unions seeking to enter the space of Hispanic outreach are not alone. Latino Conference attendees varied in asset sizes, geographic locations and level of Hispanic outreach programs.

    – There are many resources available for credit unions seeking to serve Hispanics from services provided by Coopera, CUNA and NLCUP.

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    Video Chat on Importance of Hispanic Outreach Assessments

    Posted by on July 3, 2012

    It was my pleasure to appear for a second time on a recent episode of CU Broadcast, this time to discuss Coopera’s Hispanic Opportunity Navigator. It’s a tool that is customized for each credit union and is designed to help credit unions at all Hispanic outreach levels – discovery, emerging and best practice. That’s why I was so excited to have the opportunity to share the benefits of this proprietary tool with CU Broadcast’s Mike Lawson.

    The interview was also my first following my appointment as CEO of Coopera, which made it all the more special. To watch the episode in its entirety, simply click Play below. You can also find it at CUBroadcast.com.

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