Communications & Corporate Affairs is a largely outward-facing team which engages with our stakeholders from The Co-operative Head Office – in other words, everyone with an interest in our work. That includes the public, the press, various outside groups and, not least, our own people. Our job is to communicate news and developments, and to ensure that our message is delivered to as many people as possible, as effectively as possible. To apply for one of our job vacancies, you will need good news sense, strong people skills and the ability to write compellingly.
We have a range of roles on offer, from PR officer and Public Affairs or Communication Managers through to a range of advisory or managerial roles within our Social Goals and Sustainability team, dealing with community, environment, sustainability, international development or policy issues.
There are four teams within the Corporate Affairs department:
This team makes sure that political decision makers and opinion formers fully recognise the role and contribution of The Co-operative Group, and the wider Co-operative movement, to Britain’s economy and the well-being of local communities. It is also briefed with keeping The Co-operative in touch with changing legislation and policy, helping us to plan effectively for the future. We already enjoy good relationships and a high profile, and we look for people who are committed to our cause and know how to network and lobby.
Our brief is mainly to communicate with, and encourage loyalty in, our employees. With over 85,000 people working in over 4,000 branches (not to mention ongoing brand promotion, mergers and change programmes), it is a big task, calling for a range of newsletters and mailings in print and online, as well as organising face-to-face events. While each communication needs to be tailored to the audience, they all need to inform and inspire.
Available to the world’s media 24/7, we have a key role in influencing our reputation and the way we are seen. Most of the work involves dealing with enquiries, advising management and writing stories about anything from new store openings to major projects and achievements. While many of our team have a journalistic background, we also develop our own talent straight from university.
Social Goals and Sustainability
The focus of this campaigning team is to make sure we ‘live’ and promote our commitment to our social goals. These are many and far-reaching and include investing in UK community initiatives and projects that support and inspire young people, as well as involvement in Fairtrade and helping to tackle other global issues, such as climate change and poverty. Find out more about our ethical approach and initiatives here.
We comprise three teams, each responsible for key areas of delivery within our Social Goals Strategy. This can include production of our award-winning Sustainability Report, developing ideas and policy to inform and involve our members or taking the lead on our Community Plan and the development of our customer- and member-mandated policies for Food. This calls for committed people with a real interest in driving the social agenda.