communication

Focus on Outreach During PR Crisis

Nothing stings more than public criticism, and the longer it’s sustained, the more damaging it can be to an organization’s reputation. Especially when, despite everyone’s best intentions, something goes wrong, or people are upset about something. In today’s wired world, the opportunities for people to share their impressions online have grown exponentially, sometimes amplifying negative word of mouth. It can easily become a chronic [...]

Marketing Planning that Cuts Through the Clutter

Retailers face lots of challenges, profit margins are small, inventory needs to turn, and the competition is fierce. Getting customers into the store and keeping them satisfied should be everyone’s focus to boost sales and enhance profitability. Retailers faced with flat or declining sales need to take a closer look at their marketing and customer service experience. Since food co-ops are owned by the [...]

Gain Sales and Impact from Great Storytelling

Local food is a powerful branding force in grocery retailing. The huge shift in mainstream consumer demand regarding fresh, healthful eating and a desire to know where food comes from has changed how food is marketed and merchandised. Concurrent with the rise of “local” food, online retailing has changed how people buy food. It’s not enough to say its geographic origin. It’s not enough [...]

Telling the Story of Local and Fresh

Moscow Food Co-op Moscow, Idaho Year founded: 1973 Member investment: $150 Number of members: 7,800 Number of employees: 120 Locations: retail store + coffee shop For a long time, the Moscow Food Co-op had dreamed of “telling beautiful stories” about the co-op. They made the investment in 2015 to launch a co-op magazine called Rooted. Since then, their dreams have come true, and then [...]

Introducing Your Co-op to New Communities

Business introductions are a networking staple—and they run the gamut from the ho-hum ‘We are here to sell you something’ to the dynamic, ‘We love to support communities and make a difference in people’s lives.’ As co-ops continue to seek out ways to innovate, offer more goods and services, and reach out to new communities, it is worth the investment of time and resources [...]

Using Storytelling Techniques for Owner Linkage

Flatbush Food Co-op Brooklyn, New York Year founded: 1976 Number of members: 3,500 Member investment: $200 Number of employees: 70 Retail square footage: 8,000 The Flatbush Food Co-op has been in business as a trusted institution in Brooklyn since the 1970s, yet given the increasing competition, and with expansion a possibility, the co-op’s leadership believed there was more they could do to enhance how [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly understands the other’s role or perspective, and this can lead to misunderstandings, haphazard planning [...]

Board Communication: Using the Board’s Unique Perspective to Increase Owner Engagement and Participation

There’s commonly a remarkable diversity among how the members of a co-op’s board of directors and how co-op staff see and understand the co-op. And the perception of the myriad owner members are as distinct and individual as the members themselves.  And yet each group is holding a unique piece of wisdom about the cooperative. This field guide offers boards tools and resources to [...]

Getting on the Train: Social media and co-op boards

By Holly Fearing 185 July-Aug 2016 Picture this: A person stands on the platform of a train station, and as a train passes through the station she flashes a bright message, hoping everyone on the train will see it. On a second train, as it passes to the next station there’s also a person inside each of the train cars giving the people in [...]

The Slack App: Weaver Street Market’s Internal Communication Transformation Story

The roll out right before Thanksgiving turned out better than expected. Having a single centralized spot where everyone could see what was happening in real time was an incredible improvement to the status quo experience of phone tag or tracking people down during the holiday order rush. You could simply post a message and almost instantly see somebody respond to the issue. The staff [...]