INFLUENCE & MEDIA
Within months of joining Fifth Third Bank (Chicago) I was charged with creating a reputational program to help the bank increase brand awareness, increase positive reputation and unite employees and community.
This was on the heels of the country’s financial market implosion of 2008. Wall Street and Banks were blamed for the country’s financial meltdown and as a result company reputations had tanked. I spent the next eight years creating unique and noteworthy reputational promotions, events and campaigns to garner media interest and coverage and influence public sentiment of the bank.
My efforts helped markedly increase the bank’s positive reputation (from #14 in 2010 to #47 in 2017).
First up, in 2010, I founded the bank’s “Honoring Our Veterans” program whereby the bank sponsored a number of local veteran organizations, including War Dogs Making it Home, a nonprofit that rescues dogs from high kill shelters and trains them to be a certified support dog for veterans with PTSD. This campaign also included making Veterans Day, a Federal holiday, a “day on for those who serve” which included serving at local pet shelters whereby the bank underwrote the adoptions of dogs and cats to veterans.
This effort enjoyed substantial media and community attention – Chicago area media stations covered the campaign, events and efforts. Annually, this effort enjoyed over 4 million media impressions.
In 2010, the bank’s reputation was scored a 14 (by Nielsen). In 2018, the bank’s reputation scored a 47. This marked increase in positive reputation is attributed to the veterans’ effort. The campaign was so successful that it was replicated through all of the bank’s 11 regions.
Sample of veterans day/pet adoption media exposure include:
TV Coverage: https://abc7chicago.com/society/fifth-third-bank-hosting-veterans-day-of-appreciation/1591633
Print Coverage: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/valparaiso/annual-pets-for-vets-effort-planned/article_9537f877-28f5-5c96-8c88-c533b2156ea8.html
Live Radio Show: https://wgnradio.com/2016/11/11/steve-cochran-full-show-11-11-16-veterans-day-from-navy-pier/
IL Banking Association award release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fifth-third-bank-receives-community-service-award-from-illinois-bankers-association-300101029.html
Another example of a reputational campaign I led revolved around the bank’s celebration of May 3 (5/3 on the calendar) as a the bank’s namesake “birthday”
May 3 (5/3 on the calendar) is promoted as “5/3 Bank Birthday” an opportunity to promote the bank’s name, culture, people and commitment to community. In 2018, my work managing the promotion of this in the Chicago area led to 6 million (positive) media impressions:
Profile of bank president, connected to 5/3 Babies (WGN TV): https://wgntv.com/2018/05/11/banker-donates-time-and-generosity/
5/3 Babies (Daily Herald): https://www.dailyherald.com/business/20180503/fifth-third-bank-to-give-babies-born-today-1053
5/3 Babies (WGN TV): https://wgntv.com/2018/05/01/fifth-third-bank-offering-gift-cards-for-babies-born-on-may-3rd/
5/3 Babies (NBC): https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/bank-to-give-1053-to-chicago-babies-born-thursday-481413921.html
5/3 Babies (Chicago Tribune): http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-fifth-third-baby-money-0501-story.html
5/3 Babies (American Banker): https://www.americanbanker.com/news/welcome-to-the-world-baby-heres-1-000-from-the-bank
5/3 Babies (Patch.com): https://patch.com/illinois/chicago/1-053-babies-born-thursday-9-chicago-hospitals-bank-vows
Boots the Cat:
In 2012 the bank enacted a new tagline “The Curious Bank” – around this same time I learned from colleagues that the bank was entrusted with executing the estate of a recently deceased client. The estate was directed, by written Will, that the executor was to euthanize any pets surviving and the bank sought to find an alternative. With some PR planning and targeted media, I was able to connect this case to the bank’s new tagline. Examples below: