If you’re thinking about setting up a mutual or cooperative organisation, you will need to think about your communications and marketing. You’re likely to need to attract business (either customers or contracts), plus you’ll want the local community to be aware of you are and what you do.
Here are some places you might be able to get help and advice about communications and marketing:
- Business Link, the government funded business support agency, have some comprehensive information on marketing on their website. It covers everything from writing a marketing plan, design and branding, advertising, public relations and online marketing. Some of the information is more focused on businesses but much of the information could apply equally to cooperatives and community groups.
- Social Enterprise London have produced a guide to Marketing Your Social Enterprise which has some really useful information. It’s free to download, but they ask for you to pay what you can afford and what you think the information is worth – an interesting business model itself!
- Some staff at Ogilvy, a large advertising and marketing agency, set up Idea Shop as a staff volunteering initiative that provides free ideas to businesses and charities.
- The School of Communication Arts 2.0 are based in Kennington. They receive funding and support from some of the country’s top advertising agencies. Their students have done some work for projects in the past so they may be open to similar requests in the future. Similarly the London College of Communication at Elephant and Castle might be another potential source of expertise.
Finally, a tip from someone in the know – social enterprises with a good website, logo etc. get by though finding a good tech savvy volunteer.