Financial soundbites

My organization is often asked to serve as a resource for news media stories related to money management. Occasionally, I am asked to serve as our agency spokesperson. One of the greatest challenges I face as a spokesperson is how to effectively communicate an educational message in the very short time we are in the spotlight.

As I am sure you have noticed, television news is moving at a faster pace than it did in the past. In fact, in 1960, the average television soundbite lasted 40 seconds. Today, the average soundbite lasts less than 15 seconds. As you might imagine, 15 seconds doesn’t leave a lot of time for "ums" and "ahs"—this is particularly true if the interview is live.

In attempt to make the most of my interview time, I have collected and created a list of very short phrases that I hope are both educational and media-worthy. Here are some examples:

-The best place to vacation is somewhere near your budget.
-Far too many budgets are haunted by the ghosts of Christmases past.
-You can’t borrow your way out of debt.
-Credit is a privilege to be protected, not a right to be expected.
-Most consumers would rather have piece of mind than a piece of furniture.

Because I think it is important not to repeat myself, I would like to add to my existing list of financial education soundbites. If you have short, colorful educational messages that you are willing to share with a larger audience, I would love to hear them! Please share your “quotable quotes” through the comments section.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.