The Co-operative movement has taken on a PR agency to help reverse
the perception that it is in decline.
Manchester-based agency Ethos has been taken on by the central body, the
Co-operative Union, to boost the movement's image.
There was no incumbent agency, with PR work previously co-ordinated by
the union's CEO and general-secretary Pauline Green. Ethos founder Sean
Bish heads a two-member team on the account, reporting to Green.
He said there was a misconception that the co-operative movement was in
decline, as many societies have closed.
In 1900, the number of co-operative societies stood at around 1,000: now
there are only 30 nationwide. 'The numbers have got less but those that
remain are growing,' he insisted.
The main thrust of Ethos's campaign will be to promote the co-operative
belief in corporate social responsibility.
'The whole ethos of the co-operative movement is being increasingly
taken on by other companies, to be aware of your environment, your
community and society as a whole. It is this message we want to get
out,' he said.
Ethos is also working on internal publications, producing the union's
Co-operative Director magazine.