PR Tips for Community Banks

PR Tips for High-Impact Community Banking - Part II

In the first post of this series, I examined the crucial role people play in community banking, within and outside of the institutions. Today, I’m going to write a bit about community banking from a branding and reputation management perspective.

Brand reputation is built on trust

In banking, all generations have different ways of measuring great services. To a baby boomer, walking into the bank and meeting a teller may be the most valued service the bank can perform for the customer. To a millennial, a strictly online interaction could provide the most value, where he or she can research the best rates, deposit checks remotely, transfer funds between accounts and generally keep a finger on the bank’s pulse all via an iPhone. Knowing and balancing those differences can be the deciding factor when a customer is thinking about recommending you to a potential customer.

Brand awareness

Philanthropy is a core aspect of business in the 21st century. Being connected to the right set of sponsorships and giving back to your community, especially as a local bank, is a great opportunity to promote brand awareness. Research sponsorship opportunities for local community-wide events like family-friendly music festivals, bike rides or fairs, determine your goals for success (hint: emphasize quality over quantity), ensure you’re targeting the correct audiences and engage with them rather than just cutting a check.

Pat yourself on the back every once in awhile

There’s no reason why you can’t showcase your success. If you have a rockstar customer service program, let people know about it! If you have a unique and pleasant work environment, go above and beyond in philanthropic contributions to local nonprofits or have a robust volunteer program, submit a nomination to the local business journal.

Know your community influencers

In every community, there are those who possess a certain gravitas. These are the folks people go to for guidance, who are outspoken about services they like or don’t like, who the community listens to when key decisions need to be made. Integrate these people into your audience and capitalize on their influence in wise, unobtrusive ways that reach across a diverse set of audiences and impact your bottom-line and reputation. Identify those influencers on social media and in the press who create and promote content that relates to your business, monitor their content and determine if their audiences are ones you want to reach. Then engage with them on social media, inflate their egos a bit by sharing or commenting on their content and invite them to events you’re sponsoring.

Market your products as solutions to real needs

Before going to market, truly consider if your offerings reflect what your current and—just as importantly—your desired account holder wants. You can tell when a bank isn’t in touch with its customers if there’s no excitement or buzz around a new product. By truly understanding the customer’s needs and concerns, you can craft offerings that map to them in ways that competitors can’t match. Sometimes it’s not even a new product, but the augmentation of an existing service: new deals around car or college loans if the local high school has a particularly large graduating class, new account offerings set aside for health care needs or a great new small business loan package. Poll your customers; identify what their greatest needs are. Not all banks are created equal, and when clients are moving or selecting banks just on price, you’re losing that loyalty and bond.

How we do it


Launching a company or product? Get the checklist we use to ensure success.

Client Success Stories


Get an inside look at our strategic insights, receive exclusive event invitations and establish meaningful connections with other Austin influencers!

© Red Fan Communications. All Rights Reserved.

  • Office number: (512) 551-9253
  • Red line for urgent requests: (512) 217-6352