Creating transparency beyond journalism

Transparency. In the journalism world we are hearing more and more about being transparent.

A lot of the talk surrounding transparency has been how it can make journalism more credible and open. Does the reporter have a bias? Is the reporter somehow connected to the topic? What sources were used?  Can the community provide feedback? Is the reporter’s contact information available? Do we interact with our community?

But does transparency also have ramifications outside of the journalism world? I think the answer is yes.

This whole post is sparked by a mailing I received from my bank on Saturday. On the outside it says, “Your relationship with Quad City Bank & Trust just got more rewarding.” QCBT made some strong choices with this wording and it certainly got me to open the mailer. Who doesn’t want a more rewarding relationship with a bank?

What was on the inside is what really surprised me. The message from the president and CEO was your typical here is why we think we’re better than other banks and thank you for being our customer. However, the last sentence was what really caught my attention. “Please keep my phone number on file and let me know if there is ever anything Quad City Bank & Trust can do to make your banking experience more rewarding.” Underneath his signature is the telephone number for his direct line.

How often do you see any CEO hand out his direct phone line to all of his customers, yet alone the CEO of a bank? I think this level of transparency highlights a dedication to his clients. I applaud John Anderson and Quad City Bank and Trust and challenge others in the business world to ask themselves, are we accessible when our customers need help?

Note: In the interest of transparency, my only connection to Quad City Bank & Trust is the checking account I have with them. As part of the mailer, a $25 referral card was also enclosed.