Communications forum

How can you effectively communicate your co-operative difference in today’s crowded and noisy world?

The communications forum will focus on selling co-operative values to your customers, members and employees. A unique opportunity to learn best practice, discuss strategies and network with peers, the forum will bring marketing and communications professionals together from co-operatives large and small.

Facilitator: Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of the Plunkett Foundation

One of the co-operative sector's leading communicators, Peter is the Chief Executive of the Plunkett Foundation, which effectively communicates the message that communities can save their vital services, such as shops and pubs, by forming co-operatives. Prior to joiing Plunkett, he spent his career as as co-operative communicator in retail co-ops. He has written and spoken about co-operative communication around the world and consistently advocates that co-ops are at their strongest when they are communicating a genuine co-operative difference to their members.

From traditional to digital: marketing transformation at a large co-operative retailer

Matthew Kirk, Marketing director, Wine Society

Matthew Kirk joined the Wine Society, a large customer-owned retailer, in order to lead its digital marketing transformation, following a stellar career at Orange and Mars. Since joining the Wine Society in 2010 he has helped transform it from a mail-order business to a multi-channel online retailer, boosting the co-operative’s membership and helping it to win a series of prestigious industry awards in the process. In this interactive session Matthew will outline the steps he took, and the challenges he overcame, to bring about such significant changes to the business.

Trust, scandal and renewal: the co-operative reputation index 2015

Ed Mayo, Secretary general, Co-operatives UK

The reputation of the co-operative sector is bouncing back after a difficult period. Based on consistent market research over the last five years, Ed Mayo looks at public views of co-operatives, and where the opportunities and risks are in communicating about co-operatives.

The front line: embedding co-operative values with great internal communications

Laura Dunne, head of marketing and membership, Lincolnshire Co-operative

Milly Gaskin, Employee engagement lead, Leading Lives

More than anything, the employees of co-operatives are the place where customers and users learn most about the values of the business. What internal communications works for organisations which want to ensure that they live and breathe co-operative values? In this session we learn from Leading Lives, a 500 strong worker owned social care co-operative, and Lincolnshire Co-operative, a co-operative retailer with 2,800 colleagues, on their approaches to bringing co-operation to life for their staff.

Community, ownership or ethics: how do you tell the co-operatives story?

Interactive session

Most co-operatives have experience of what works and doesn’t work in communicating why being a co-operative matters. In this interactive session, co-operatives will share what they say, how they say it and what impact it has, with the session enabling participants to evaluate different approaches to telling their co-operative story.

Book your place at the Practitioners Forum