National Cooperative Business Association

Case Study:

National Cooperative Business Association

Get The Word Out Communications was retained by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) to promote the cooperative industry within the United States shortly after the economic crisis in Fall 2008.

Get The Word Out developed and implemented a comprehensive thought leadership campaign showcasing the contributions co-ops make within the American economy. The national campaign centered on traditional and online media and positioning NCBA principles through executive thought leadership.

Industry Positioning

Get The Word Out conducted initial industry research to gauge the current level of public awareness about cooperatives within the general American public. This process measured cooperative industry data and interviews with co-op industry leaders around the country.

Once data was compiled and evaluated, a multi-channel marketing strategy was designed to showcase several cooperative sectors, assembling a team of cooperative experts to serve as media spokespeople via NCBA Cooperative Speakers Bureau.

Executive Branding

A cornerstone of the program centered on promoting CEO Paul Hazen. Throughout the program, activities focused on garnering media interviews, public speaking opportunities and publishing contributed articles and op-ed columns to national media and authority websites.

Get The Word Out organized and managed a six-person NCBA speakers bureau, actively promoting cooperative industry experts around stories and themes that predominated in the news cycle. Core focus areas included financial reform, credit unions and agriculture, with individual cooperative sector experts given media coaching and promoted through traditional and online media and public speaking.

Web Presence

A core focus was boosting the web visibility of NCBA along with other cooperative industry websites. Get The Word Out consulted NCBA on developing a national educational website about cooperative credit unions entitled Credit Unions: The Better Choice and led national PR training webinars and coaching sessions for cooperatives about best practices in media relations and Internet advocacy.

Get The Word Out produced an educational video entitled Credit Unions: The Better Choice, handling all production details including scripting, video storyboarding, directing a video crew and managing the post-production process.


Over the course of one year, Get The Word Out generated exposure for NCBA and the cooperative business sector in a range of traditional and online media, including the Wall Street Journal, American Executive, Costco Connection and Construction Business Owner and dozens of consumer and business websites.

The Better Choice video was instrumental as a grassroots educational tool and was promoted online and through traditional media. The video was popular among NCBA credit union members in the United States who embedded the video on their websites in support of their own marketing efforts and promoted it in local media campaigns.

Get The Word Out led efforts to position the cooperative industry around social responsibility, ghostwriting and placing a feature article by CEO Paul Hazen in several publications, including Ethisphere (a leading corporate ethics publication), and pitching Hazen and NCBA to a nationally syndicated television show, Money Talks News, which showcased the role co-ops play in local economies. The program aired in 80 US markets.

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