You can generate free publicity for your food co-op by submitting news, stories and event information to newspapers, magazines, community newsletters, or local radio.
Many local newspapers or radio stations are keen to promote “good news” about local projects involving local people.
Try to develop a friendly working relationship with someone working at your local newspaper and find a strong angle or “hook” to increase the likelihood of your story being published.
When we undertook research for this toolkit, about half of the food co-ops we spoke to in Somerset had had press coverage and got occasional new members from this method.
Opportunities used by food co-ops to generate free publicity include:
- An event, for example a food competition or cookery demonstration
- Involvement of a local school, for example with a competition to design the logo or a poster for a food co-op
- Milestones, such as the project’s launch or reaching the five-year mark
- Project changes, for example the food co-op has started to accept healthy start vouchers to help low-income families buy good food
- A dignitary’s visit, for example a visit from an MP or local councillor