A NEW ERA OF COOPERATION
By Guy Gregory,
MCDC Communications Specialist
The Montana Council of Cooperatives (MCOC) and the Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) have formally aligned their communications under one brand. The official launch of the Montana Cooperative Alliance (MCA) will allow the organizations to jointly market their complementary missions. The Alliance will utilize a variety of media platforms, including a brand new web landing page.
“The Council and MCDC have worked together for a very long time,” said MCDC President Ryan Hall. “We might as well come together under one branded campaign, so people can better understand what cooperatives are.” Hall emphasized that both organizations have a vested interest in promoting the cooperative business model. “We both are very much about advancing and maintaining cooperatives, so it makes sense to do this, to have one louder and unified voice.”
MCOC President Ben Boreson said the marketing alliance also allows both organizations to expand the reach of their messaging. “It’s a wider audience, and with the two organizations there is more of a story to tell than with just one,” explained Boreson. “I think each of them have a different story to tell, one for the newer developed co-ops and one for the existing cooperatives.”
Hall noted that although MCDC and MCOC are partnering in this new branding alliance, “they are still two distinct organizations with their own identities and their own missions.”
The new MCA landing page includes links to both organizations’ websites. It also features co-op news, articles, and videos. In the past the same news stories had to be posted on both organizations’ websites. All news is now posted on the MCA landing page which streamlines the process, said Hall. He added that the MCA landing page is “a ‘one stop-shop” and that from a public awareness standpoint, it helps clarify the relationship between MCDC and the Council.
Hall says the Alliance and its new website will inform and help existing Council members better understand MCDC’s mission in developing new cooperatives. He also explained that new co-ops can learn about the benefits of joining the Council. Boreson agreed and added, “There have been a few newer co-ops that have become members of the Council. The more established co-ops that have been around for a while can help support the newer cooperatives.”
Boreson and Hall concurred that the Montana Cooperative Alliance will help strengthen the relationship between both organizations, including work on various education outreach projects that include Montana Cooperative Impact Weeks and the Montana Co-ops 101 video documentary series. Hall said, “We don’t do this for us. Both MCDC and MCOC are making this move [as a marketing alliance] for our members, which includes getting our stories out to more people, using our dollars more efficiently, and making more people aware of both organizations.”