CARTERET, N.J.-If the recession taught one person anything, it's that there's nothing wrong with being assertive.

Sean McDonald, director of business development at Mid-State FCU here and chair of CUNA's Marketing & Business Development Council, said it's clear a big reason why CUs have seen growth in recent years is because they've kept the focus on member service.

"It's important to let your members know that you haven't given up on them," said McDonald. "You're still there, you're still strong, still willing and able to serve them when they need to be served."

When it comes to an assertive message, McDonald recommended that CUs keep it simple. He said that Mid-State's current message to members is "We have money to lend and we will lend it to you." He said the value in that kind of simplicity is a lesson many credit unions have come to learn.

"Credit unions have also gone the extra step and been more assertive in communicating their message," he said. "My hope is that just continues."

He noted that the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council is preparing some courses and white papers for membership based around the idea of simple, direct messaging.

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