Co-op News is a news magazine and website about and for co-operatives. It is published by The Co-operative Press Ltd, which was founded nearly 150 years ago (1871) to serve the mushrooming consumer co-operative movement. The way that readers access news and information changes rapidly with new technologies – and staying on top of this is particularly important for smaller, more niche publications. In 2019 the Co-operative Press commissioned Co-operative Futures and CMS to review and refresh their strategy. After looking at other competing publications and conversations with both existing and potential readers, a range of options was presented to the board at an away day. Following this, an action plan was developed to deliver the strategy, looking at the priorities and resources needed to implement it.
“Co-op News has undergone significant changes over the last 18 months, and in the context of economic and political uncertainties, 2019 was the right time to look at our business strategy for the next 3-5 years. This strategy needed to take into account how a small, independent news outlet, predominantly funded by subscriptions and advertising, could create a sustainable model fit for a 21st century co-operative movement.
Both Co-operative Futures and CMS were highly professional and diligent in their approach and output. Their prior knowledge of the co-operative sector, willingness to address difficult questions and their fundamental expertise meant that issues could be approached deeply and swiftly. The series of options recommended to the board were backed by quantitative and qualitative knowledge and we are confident that the strategy agreed based on this work will result in a strong future for Co-op News and its members.
It was an absolute pleasure to work with Jo, Chris (Co-operatives Futures), Gareth and David (CMS) and I would not hesitate to recommend them for similar pieces of work in the future.”
Rebecca Harvey, Executive Editor, Co-op News, August 2019