In the spring of 2019, two prominent BC credit unions approached our Edelman Vancouver office to help launch their second proposed merger after a previous attempt had failed. While the merger had substantial benefits for members and employees, challenges were significant. Members worried about the loss of their values within a larger organization, reduced community support, an ongoing union dispute and prominent branch closures. Both credit unions needed to engage members and employees to raise awareness of the merger, help inform and sway opinion, and obtain a large and positive vote in favour of the merger.
Edelman led the merger strategy and, in conjunction with Prospera and Westminster Savings, launched a robust integrated communications campaign to convince its members of the merger’s merits. The campaign – dubbed “Future Strong” for the long-term benefits that the proposed merger would result in – targeted the credit unions’ internal and external audiences with succinct, persuasive, and insights-driven communications designed to assuage employee and members' concerns and educate them on its potential benefits. This campaign was rolled out through multiple channels including employee ambassadors and a Future Strong microsite, email marketing, social media, in branch, earned media and paid media.
The Future Strong campaign resulted in an overwhelmingly positive vote from members of both credit unions, with almost 8,000 positive votes cast. The merged credit union is now the 6th largest in Canada, with more than $9.5 billion in assets under management.
“Blown away by both the turnout and certainly the voting results. Job well done!”
- Gavin Toy, CEO, Westminster