Archive for October, 2008

The Age of Cooperatives

A Special Note from NCBA President and CEO Paul Hazen

Right now, our country’s economic crisis leaves much to be gloomy about. The economy is suffering, and with it so are many Americans’ retirement funds and mortgages.

Yet, this crisis represents an incredible opportunity for cooperatives. Investor-owned businesses are facing serious criticism – for their excesses and abuses. Yet most co-ops haven’t born the full brunt of the volatile credit market. The media has largely overlooked this real cooperative benefit.

Last week, NCBA began sending an op-ed to major metropolitan newspapers around the country to spread our message. We encourage you to do the same, as well as write letters to the editors of your local papers.

The media constantly looks for a fresh angle to publish, which, right now, co-ops can offer. So set aside some time to get our message out. Letters to editors and op-ed articles are free publicity for your co-op, and help build public awareness of the cooperative model.

We’ve posted online a guide for writing letters to the editor, which you can download here. Also, we’ve put the op-ed we’re disseminating online, so you can get ideas for framing an article.

For op-ed articles, some editors want a 300-word pitch before they commit to publishing your actual piece. Most newspapers have op-ed and letter-to-the-editor submission guidelines on their websites or in their print editions. If you cannot figure out how to submit a letter or op-ed, call the paper and ask.

Now is the time to show cooperatives are the better business model. Let’s make sure we seize it.

In cooperation,
Paul Hazen

Picture NY, DC

Home page neglect is a sin, and I repent. But I blame the economy. And the changing seasons.

Oh, and I certainly didn’t have time last weekend, because I was indulging full heartedly in my maiden voyage to New York City – yes, my first time ever – and all of the miles of walking and sleep deprivation that that entails.