Member Benefits: How to tell your community bank’s story

Need help getting the word out about your bank? Check out ICBA’s Marketing & Communications Toolkit, and share your story during Community Banking Month—and beyond.

Community banks are bedrocks of their community. They provide key funding to support America’s small businesses, assist consumers in building financial security and help local communities thrive and prosper. With so much to rave about, Community Banking Month in April marks the perfect occasion to explain what makes community banking special.

ICBA’s Marketing & Communications “Tell Your Story” Toolkit, complete with customizable resources, can help position your bank as a responsible local business leader within the community.

Aleis Stokes, ICBA’s senior vice president of communications, says, “Community banks are ambassadors for their own story. Our goal is to empower each of our members to build on their strong reputation and strengthen their brand through storytelling that showcases their positive economic impact and contributions to their community.”

Use these hashtags on social media:


The newly updated digital communications resource was designed with ICBA members like you in mind to help your community bank leverage local media along with traditional and digital marketing channels to build brand awareness. The toolkit also contains two animated videos—available for download—that demonstrate the power of banking locally and the multiplier effect when consumers’ hard-earned deposits are reinvested back into the local economy.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned social media professional, the toolkit offers best practices and tips to help determine who to follow, what hashtags to use and when to post content for optimal social media engagement throughout the year.

ICBA has also compiled a media relations guide, to be used in tandem with the toolkit materials, to help you maximize available resources as you develop and implement your marketing and communications strategy for the year.

Nervous about being in front of a TV camera? The Tell Your Story Toolkit provides best practices for preparing for broadcast interviews, including tips on what to wear and how to articulate your key points.

“Community bankers are subject matter experts who understand their local marketplace better than anyone,” Stokes says. “Their knowledge, combined with their everyday lending activities, gives community bankers a narrative that is newsworthy, powerful and sought after.”

Free tools exclusive for members include the ICBA Social Media Monitor, which tracks who’s talking about your bank and what they’re saying, and ICBA’s Solutions Directory, which can help you find service providers that can help your bank customize its outreach.

Just like new digital marketing channels, the toolkit continues to evolve. Be sure to check back regularly for new toolkit additions throughout the year.