Deposit disputes ‘set to rise’ if agents bring inventories in-house after ban

first_imgHome » News » Deposit disputes ‘set to rise’ if agents bring inventories in-house after ban previous nextRegulation & LawDeposit disputes ‘set to rise’ if agents bring inventories in-house after banTDS, Propertymark and AIIC are all worried that inventory quality will dip as agents try to cut costs after June 1st.Nigel Lewis27th March 201901,915 Views Three leading industry bodies are so worried about a reduction in inventory report quality and potential problems over bias after the tenant fees ban that they have joined forces to issue new guidance to letting agents.The Tenancy Deposit Service (TDS), Propertymark and the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) claim that many letting agents will be forced to bring inventory services in-house rather than using external suppliers after the tenant fees ban goes live on June 1st.The ban covers fees charged for inventory services and TDS, Propertymark and the AIIC are all worried that when the ban comes into force many agents will be unaware of best practice and, by filing unclear or poor-quality reports, cause problems when deposit deductions are disputed by tenants.But the AIIC has also been quick not to give offence. Its chair Danny Zane says he realises that “many agents will show as highly professional as they will not bend from using unbiased 3rd party reporting”.The new guide is designed to support letting agents by giving them the tools to carry out a thorough inventory report, and is the first in the sector to pool knowledge from three industry-leading bodies.“TDS understands the concern of members on the issue of inventories as a result of the incoming tenant fees ban,” one of the authors of the guidance, Michael Morgan (left), says.“However, TDS takes the view that we serve the interests of all parties to a tenancy best by considering check-in and check-out reports based on their content rather than who compiled them.”Read the guidance in full. inventories AIIC propertymark TDS tenant fees ban March 27, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

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USS Missouri’s 16-inch gun finds home at Fort Miles

first_img May 23, 2016 View post tag: US Navy After wartime service in the Pacific aboard the storied “Mighty Mo” – the battleship USS Missouri – one of the ship’s nine original 16-inch guns that fired 2,700-pound shells was moved today to a permanent display within historic Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park.Of yet another historic note, the big gun was mounted on the Missouri and overlooking her veranda deck when the Japanese surrender was accepted there September 2, 1945, ending World War II.Among the largest pieces of U.S. Naval artillery ever made, the 16-inch gun was saved just days before it was to be cut up for scrap and moved by barge and rail from a naval yard in Norfolk to the park by the Fort Miles Historical Association (FMHA).The FMHA raised $113,500 in private donations and received several key grants from the G.M. Foundation, Sussex County Council and the Delaware Department of Economic Development’s Division of Tourism to transport the 116-ton, 66-foot-long gun barrel to Delaware.“The USS Missouri’s gun is an important piece of American history that will draw families and tourists to Fort Miles and the beautiful shores of Cape Henlopen State Park,” said Governor Jack Markell.“The spirit and dedication of the volunteers of the Fort Miles Historical Association is reminiscent of this country’s ‘Greatest Generation’ that built and manned Fort Miles and protected the region during World War II,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “The gun is representative of those who were stationed at Fort Miles for coastal defense. Now students, veterans, families, visitors and history buffs can relive an important part of Delaware history surrounded by the buildings and artifacts that will help make that experience come alive.” USS Missouri’s 16-inch gun finds home at Fort Miles historic site Share this article Authorities View post tag: historic View post tag: USS Missouri Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Missouri’s 16-inch gun finds home at Fort Miles historic site last_img read more

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It’s just not quite cricket

first_imgI hate it. Match-fixing, chucking, drugs bans, Zimbabwe, The Oval snafu, last year’s abysmal World Cup, and now, racism. What next? Anything, it seems, to overshadow the cricket. I’m sick of these controversies – I’ve had enough storms in my teacups, bees in my bonnet, thittlis in my turban (thittlis = butterflies in Hindi) to be sick of the bullshit that comes with the game. Cricket today, it seems, cannot seem to escape from controversy. Much of it is of the game’s own doing, and the blame must fall squarely on the shoulders of the ICC – they might need reminding the I is not meant to stand for Incompetent – for the way they have screwed over the game and all those who have a stake in it. I suppose we have to go through the monkey business that caused the hullabaloo Down Under. Andrew Symonds squares up to Harbhajan Singh and they exchange pleasantries, perhaps making plans for dinner later that day. Who knows what they were talking about? Not us, not the stump cams, not Mike Proctor. It can’t be said for sure that Harbhajan called Symonds a monkey. The BCCI, for all its money, didn’t have the tuppence worth of common sense required to send a lawyer to the hearing. Any lawyer worth his salt could have cleared Harbhajan’s name – there was not a sliver of proof available, and a man’s word is as valuable as a baboon’s bollocks in a hearing. Balance of probabilities, anyone? Reasonable doubt? These are concepts seemingly foreign to the ICC, because Harbhajan was found guilty of calling Symonds a monkey. On the word of the Australians. Ludicrous. The most plausible explanation was, of course, that Harbhajan called Symonds a ‘maa-ki’, which translates from Singh’s native Punjabi as ‘Your Mother’. It sounds similar, and is a common term of abuse. End of story, really. It is only incompetent handling by the monkeys in the ICC that made a mountain out of what was a molehill. Oh, so it was abuse then, and that’s fine? Yes. This is professional sport, not a palace garden party; they can abuse each other all they want. Sledging is part of cricket, always has been and always will be. While it is not accepted practice in say, tennis, cricketers sledge – it is part and parcel of the game. Indeed, I think it is part of cricket’s charm. ‘Bollyline’, as this affair has been branded, was very much like a Bollywood film – big on action and drama with lots of singing, dancing and shouting, but little in the way of substance. The ICC could have handled it so much better. All this while, there was an enthralling series being played out. Make no mistake about it, this was a series between the two best cricketing nations in the world. The only team to have consistently challenged Australia since the turn of the century is India, and they have done so both at home and in Australia. England got hammered in Australia, lending further weight to the school of thought that 2005 was a oneoff, just like ’81. South Africa flatter to deceive, and though Sri Lanka are ever-improving, they are over-reliant on Muralitharan and got rinsed just before India went down under. India, on the other hand, beat Australia in that series in 2001, before losing a closely fought series 2-1 in the next home series, which included a washout on the last day in Chennai with India assured of victory. In between, they did well on a tour down under, and were in fact unlucky not to win that series, emerging with a 1-1 draw. The boys in blue were confident, then, going into this tour. As expected, however, they were blown away in Melbourne – failing to reach 200 in either innings – because the batsmen had had no chance to acclimatise. The BCCI continues to ignore the weight of history and make the same mistakes. Regardless of scheduling demands, teams on tour must be given at least a couple of practice matches to attune themselves to the local pitches and conditions. It was thus no surprise that India lost in Melbourne, having shot themselves in the foot so lamentably. Sydney brought a new year, and a different story. Australia on the brink of matching the record for most consecutive wins, India determined to fight. This was a great test match – it had everything. Australia teetering at 134-6 on the first day, before, typically relentless, they amassed 463. India, in reply, surpassed that – Laxman and Tendulkar played some scintillating shots – one wristy drive through midwicket, from a ball bowled widish outside off stump, was Very Very Special indeed and will abide in the memory. In full flow, Laxman is a batsman inimitably classic, and a joy to watch. The key to competing with Australia is no secret – it is to compete for 3 sessions a day, 5 days at a time. There is no other way, because the killer instincts of the Aussies mean they trample all over opponents at first glimpse of weakness. India showed just such weakness on the last day, perhaps haunted by the ghosts of pathetic past attempts at batting out last days overseas, and it proved fatal – all out six minutes before close. The umpiring in this match was abject, and this was not an exception in a series of horrendous umpiring decisions, including probably the first case of a mistake by the television umpire. Over and above the shocking umpiring, the Indians were irked by the Australians’ breach of the ‘spirit of cricket’, captain Anil Kumble said. It is nothing new – faced with a team that is not intimidated by them and is willing to compete, the Australians are quick to go bananas and get their panties in a bunch. They can dish it out, but cannot stand the taste of their own medicine. The behaviour in this match, claiming catches, charging at umpires, was unacceptable. There is no doubt that all teams are guilty of it, but Australia preaches about it, which makes their behaviour and their hypocrisy harder to stomach than a barbie with rotten meat on. After a deserved victory at Perth, Australia’s traditional stronghold, where India’s young bowlers did well on a helpful track that gave them a chance of taking 20 wickets, the cricketing carnival came to a close in Adelaide, on a batting track made for Virender Sehwag. The daring Delhi destroyer did not disappoint, cracking an attacking 151 that was a reminder to the selectors of what they had missed – Sehwag is a class batsman, and should have played every match – he looks to have calmed down at the crease, has improved his solidity in defence, and has always had the shots to take apart any attack. India couldn’t bowl out Australia twice to win, but a draw was a credible result. Australia are the best team in the world, and have an all-conquering record at home. Once again, India stood up to them and matched them, blow for blow. It was an epic contest, a hard-fought series that was a joy to watch. Above all, this series delivered a fillip the game needed – it was a credit to Test cricket, for reasons on the field.by Ajay Ahluwalialast_img read more

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University ‘confident’ exams will be unaffected as external examiner resignations mount

first_img“We sincerely hope that the dispute will be resolved satisfactorily and in a timely fashion.”One external examiner, who recently resigned from their duties with the English Faculty, told Cherwell that external examining “is work that is not very well paid for the amount of time that it takes up. It is largely done for reasons of goodwill and collegiality – the kinds of things which Universities UK (UUK) and intransigent vice-chancellors are risking in this action.”In their resignation letter, the examiner wrote: “I have been honoured to serve in this capacity, and to see the tremendous work undertaken by Oxford undergraduates, Faculty members and teachers.“However, the currently proposed changes to the terms of our working conditions will do more damage to them than anything that I have witnessed in my twenty years working in HE,” they continued.“It is clear to me, as it is to so many in our profession, that UUK are conspicuously failing in their duty to represent the best interests of vice-chancellors, of universities, and of the people who work in them.”As is common practice, Oxford appoints examiners from other universities to their examination boards to standardise assessments across the country.Through agreeing to set questions, moderating exam results, and ensuring that assessment procedures are rigorous, Oxford’s guidance documents explain that they ensure “the soundness of the procedures used to reach final agreed marks”.UCU branch representatives are set to meet at 11am to discuss members’ feedback on the latest UUK proposal – put forward last Friday – aimed at resolving the dispute.The proposed deal includes the formation of a “Joint Expert Panel, comprised of actuarial and academic experts nominated in equal numbers from both sides,” which will seek “to agree key principles to underpin the future joint approach of UUK and UCU to the valuation of the USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) fund.”Under the proposal, the current defined benefit scheme will remain in place until at least April 2019.UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said in a letter to members: “We have worked hard to gain these concessions, but they were won on the back of the strike action that so many of you have taken.“As always it will be for members to decide whether what has been achieved is sufficient to suspend our strike action.” Oxford has said that it is confident examinations will go ahead as scheduled next term, despite the mounting resignations of almost 700 external examiners nationwide.External examiners across the country have been encouraged by the University and College Union (UCU) to resign from their posts at the 65 universities hit by strike action, including Oxford.The move is designed to cause maximum disruption to the upcoming summer examination period, which could lead to the postponement of exams and students being unable to graduate on time.The University said in a statement that it “usually makes around 600 external examination appointments each year. We have a process for the replacement of examiners who are not taking up appointments, whether through ill health or resignation.”“We are confident that all exams can go ahead as scheduled next term,” it said.The UCU has encouraged external examiners who have resigned from their post to fill in an online spreadsheet, which details their employing institution and examining role.According to the spreadsheet, 20 examiners have resigned from their duties with Oxford, with six of the 20 being linked to the Faculty of English Language and Literature.Professor Ros Ballaster, Chair of the English Faculty Board, told Cherwell: “Typically we require eight external examiners each year to complete assessment of our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English language and literature.”“Without the contribution of external examiners we cannot complete our examining process. The timetable for submission and internal assessment should be able to continue as planned.last_img read more

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News story: EU Commission and HM Treasury ask the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to convene a technical working group

first_imgThe Terms of Reference for this Group. Today (27 April 2018), the European Commission and HM Treasury have asked the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to convene a technical working group on risk management in the period around 30 March 2019 in the area of financial services. The European Commission and HM Treasury will attend as observers and other relevant authorities will be invited on an issue-specific basis.This technical work is separate from the on-going negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK and from the negotiations on the overall understanding of the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK.last_img read more

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‘Network Propaganda’ explored

first_imgConversations surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election often involve references to “fake news,” Russian interference, data breaches, and the impact of various social media platforms on the divisive outcome. A new book from researchers at the Berkman Klein Center (BKC) that has its origins in a three-year study of the media ecosystem surrounding the election disrupts this narrative.“Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics,” by Yochai Benkler, the Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and faculty co-director of BKC; Robert Faris, the research director at the center; and Hal Roberts, a fellow there, provides a comprehensive study of the media ecosystem surrounding the race.“The idea of this book was to wrestle — really starting just after the election, even though the work started far before that — with what just happened? What the heck just happened in our country, to our media system, to our democracy?” Roberts said at a book talk on Oct. 4. The talk was moderated by Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard.A major contribution of the book is what the researchers call an “asymmetric polarization” model that stems from their research on partisan media ecosystems. The model, created with data from the media sources most cited during and after the election period, shows that left-wing media outlets are more closely aligned with centrist media outlets, and right-wing media sources are much more skewed and “are operating in their own media world,” Roberts said. The researchers found that this pattern was evident during the election and was even more pronounced during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.Asymmetric polarization was consistent across different platforms; it was found in analyses based on cross-media linking and in media sharing patterns on Twitter and Facebook.,“There are clearly two sides, and those two sides are not the same. The right is more insular; it’s more extreme; it’s more partisan,” Faris said of the findings. “That’s not a subjective opinion; that’s an empirical observation. And much of what we try to do in this book is to document that and understand what it means and how it’s reflected in different behavior.”The three-year study, which ran from April 2015, the start of the election cycle, until November 2017, captured the first year of the Trump presidency. The research draws on 4 million online media articles sourced from Media Cloud, a joint project between BKC and the MIT Media Lab, but also includes data from offline media coverage, and from social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, among others. The researchers also draw on previous work on media consumption trends and trust in institutions to contextualize their findings.In addition to studying current media ecosystems, “Network Propaganda” also explores the history of political communications in the U.S. and the rise of different trends, such as radicalization, and the creation of a market for outrage.“We go through a good bit of the media history and describe how changes in technology, changes in law and regulation, and changes in political culture all worked to reinforce each other in a long-term feedback effect to change the fundamental economics of the outrage industry,” Benkler said. The trio trace that market from its genesis in the 1960s to the rise of Rush Limbaugh in the early 1990s and the creation of Fox News.“Network Propaganda” examines media coverage surrounding major events, and topics of media coverage during the election time span, including disinformation and how it was spread and consumed. The book also examines spikes in media coverage, like the one at the start of Robert Mueller’s investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 election. Case studies illustrate the researchers’ findings throughout the book, offering in-depth analysis of how trends in partisan media evolved to their present state, and how media outlets are grappling with concerns of trust.“The thing that most surprised us, and to us seems to be most contrary to the prevailing narrative of the moment, is that it’s professional mainstream media — both in its professional centrist model, and in its highly commercially successful right-wing model — [that] is the scaffolding on which everything else is built,” Benkler said.“Network Propaganda” is an open-access title and available to read for free online.This article first appeared on the Harvard Law Today website.last_img read more

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New Endowed Professor

first_imgGopinath “Gopi” Munisamy, a University of Georgia professor of agricultural and applied economics, was recently named Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Marketing in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Spanning more than 35 years in academia and government, his work includes topics in agricultural policy, markets, trade and economic development.Munisamy began his position at UGA in May 2019 after serving seven years as director of the markets and trade economics division at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service. Prior to that, he was a professor of applied economics at Oregon State University.“How can I provide information that makes people’s lives better?” It’s a driving question that Munisamy says brought him into the field and keeps him motivated. “That’s why I stuck to agricultural economics all of my life. This position (at UGA) gives me a great opportunity to be more effective at that.”One of his current research interests is using machine learning and artificial intelligence for better forecasting of market outcomes like price, production, consumption and trade. He is currently collaborating with other faculty at the university on this broad-based informatics initiative. He also has plans to study international dimensions of climate change with other faculty in the college.Octavio Ramirez, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, applauded Munisamy’s accomplishments and appointment to the professorship, which received an initial endowment contribution from the Milton M. Ratner Foundation.“His exceptional academic credentials and research skills, combined with his experiences at USDA, make him capable of rigorously analyzing the complex global food and agricultural markets, trade, and policy issues being faced by the state of Georgia and our country and translating those analyses into extremely valuable information for industry and policymakers.”The top issues currently affecting the industry are recovery from multiple natural disasters, the trade war and now the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Munisamy, who teaches international agricultural trade and policy to graduate students and agricultural policy to undergraduates. He underscores the importance of domestic and international features of agricultural markets.“Trade is a very important sector,” he says. “Georgia produces more than 60 commodities. You really have to look closely at domestic and international issues affecting markets and provide information useful to farmers, consumers and policymakers.”Munisamy says it’s vital for academia and government to work together, as both are paramount to solving industry problems.“In Washington, you’re running between meetings and reacting to issues that come up,” he said. “More often, you’re pulling together information and delivering it to policymakers. In academia, you’re leading knowledge creation. These roles complement each other, and you have to have these moving together.”To learn more about the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, visit agecon.uga.edu.last_img read more

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Renewable Energy Allies

first_imgBy Dialogo July 01, 2013 Airmen and academics from El Salvador and the United States recently completed a state-of-the-art hybrid power station at a Salvadoran Military base that could serve as a model in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The station includes solar panels, rechargeable batteries and a biomass gasifier that transforms coconut shells into synfuel to serve as a combustion fuel source for an electric generator. The system is the first of its kind to be installed at a Salvadoran Military base. The 2nd Air Brigade has other renewal energy initiatives, including $100,000 worth of lights with photovoltaic capability donated by SOUTHCOM in 2010. They help illuminate perimeter areas of the base. First of its Kind Educational Outreach The initiative was led by SOUTHCOM and executed by Florida International University, the United States Military Academy at West Point and the State University of New York at Cobleskill in conjunction with the Salvadoran 2nd Air Brigade and Don Bosco University of El Salvador. The hybrid system helps to reduce fuel consumption because it exploits the available coconut shell biomass, which if not utilized by the gasifier, returns to the environment as organic waste, Valdizón said. He added that, from the military viewpoint, the system serves as a survival contingency backup. It can also be used during emergencies, such as natural disasters or if there is a shortage of fossil fuel, such as carbon, petroleum and natural gas. Colonel Douglas Tochez, commander of the 2nd Air Brigade, said that the Salvadoran Air Force plans to use the innovative equipment to limit pollution and reap financial benefits. “This is one of the reasons the cadets are part of the team,” Oetken said. “They are very familiar with the scientific principles of how the biomass gasifier that provides synfuel for the generator works.” The experience from El Salvador will serve the cadets as a data collection point. The system produces up to 80 kilowatt-hours (kwh) of power per day under ideal conditions. When the coconut shells are burned, the biomass gasifier produces 45 kwh of power per day, and with full sun the solar panels generate another 35 kwh of power per day. That’s enough to power 36 typical homes in El Salvador, according to 2012 figures from the World Bank. The system provides power to the dining facility of the 2nd Air Brigade of the Salvadoran Air Force at Comalapa in La Paz department. In October 2012, pilots, educators, students and government officials from El Salvador and the United States visited the 2nd Air Brigade to assemble and install the unit. They also trained base personnel to use and maintain the system. center_img For Oetken, the project has surpassed its goals. “Even though I think this project was cool, I believe the best potential is the long-term relationship that we are able to establish,” he said. “The cost of basic services that we have is very high,” Col. Tochez told Diálogo. “We would like to see how we can also save on resources, especially on this matter, the economic issue, to alleviate our assigned budget.” “If the renewable energy system generates more power than the dining facility needs, the excess power can be provided to the electrical grid for general use,” Oetken told Diálogo. The project, according to Oetken, is unique because it combines renewable energy, either from the use of solar energy, batteries or the biomass gasifier. “The system can provide power to the installation as well as a rapid response to power outages to the installation’s dining facility. It also provides additional power capable of feeding the grid, if required, thus reducing the cost of energy for the base,” he said. The hybrid system installed at the 2nd Air Brigade is a duplicate of one installed at West Point that U.S. cadets and professors use for educational purposes. Professors and students from Don Bosco University initially attended as observers, but they have become more involved in the project. The vice-chancellor of Don Bosco’s Science & Technology Department, Reina de Alvarado, said in February 2013 that the academic institution is looking to support maintenance schedules, training programs, and the establishment of academic relationships with U.S. institutions. Anselmo Valdizón, engineer and director of the Energy Research Institute at Don Bosco University, agrees with Oetken. “Not only can we count on the grid, the biodiesel power plant, and the photovoltaic systems, but we also can count on the combination of all energy sources,” Valdizón said. “I believe this system is very interesting because not only is it all about technology, but three technologies converging into one system.” Mark Oetken, the Army science advisor for U.S Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), explained that the system is designed to either be incorporated into the electric grid or used as an independent mobile system. High Technology “The teamwork displayed on this project offers us the opportunity to generate broader knowledge, it gives us more opportunities for our students, and through the Energy Research Institute, not only contributes to research, but also to strengthen ourselves,” de Alvarado said. “We see the importance of developing strong alliances with U.S. universities.” last_img read more

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8 easy ways to simplify your financial life

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: AJ SmithDo you find yourself overwhelmed by your financial responsibilities? Do you sometimes ignore your accounts and budget because thinking about them adds stress or confusion? Understanding the steps for good financial decision-making and simplifying your role can help you take control of your finances. Check out the following tips to create an easier structure in your finances and watch how each small change adds up.1. Pare Down Your AccountsYou probably don’t really need more than one savings or checking account or to have accounts with many different financial institutions. One method to simplify your financial life is to consolidate your bank accounts to one checking account and one savings account to cut down on the paperwork and tracking.2. Prioritize Picture your future and choose a few financial goals to focus on at a time, like boosting your 401(k) or growing an ample emergency fund. It’s important to be specific about the goals you want to accomplish and plan the clear steps you need to take to reach them. Writing your goals down can help you stick to them. continue reading »last_img read more

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Social media specialists share strategies and principles

first_img continue reading » Social media is taking some of the sting out of social distancing. It’s also helping savvy credit union marketers double down on member service in this time of great need.Long a venue for friendly banter and upbeat marketing, those channels now are doing double duty as information lifelines for member-owned cooperatives like Wright-Patt Credit Union($5.1B, Beavercreek, OH) and Greater Texas Federal Credit Union ($688.1M, Austin, TX).“We’ve been getting requests for member service and help through the COVID-19 situation every day through Facebook,” says Adam Wik, who joined WPCU as public relations and social media specialist a little more than a year ago after working marketing at a local hospital and university. “Our members rarely post requests for service through other social platforms [LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram at WPCU], but we’re still seeing strong impressions and know members are checking all these pages often for updates.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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