Rufus Olins, a leading figure in the newspaper marketing industry, is set to join the Co-operative Group as chief of membership.
He will make the move in the autumn from Newsworks, the newspaper industry’s marketing body. As the organisation’s chief executive, he relaunched the Newspaper Marketing Agency as Newsworks in 2012. The organisation facilitates collaboration between various newspaper groups to share and enhance research and planning.
Mr Olins will join the Group’s executive in the newly created role to develop and communicate the membership offer to its eight million members. In September, the Group makes its refreshed membership scheme public, which will allow members to receive back 5% of any spend on own-brand products and give an additional 1% to community initiatives.
A spokesman for the Group said: “We are delighted that Rufus Olins will be joining our Co-op as chief membership officer. He will be at the centre of delivering the changes to our membership which we announced at our AGM earlier in the year. We are making Co-op membership more engaging and more rewarding and putting the Co-op back at the heart of communities.”
At the Group he will work closely with the member council to ensure that their role as guardians of co-operative values and principles is properly reflected in its membership activities.
Under his leadership, Newsworks established annual industry events, created a number of national advertising campaigns and introduced a programme of insight studies. Starting out in journalism, Mr Olins has also been a senior business correspondent at the Sunday Times and editor of Management Today.
Mr Olins commented: “It’s been a wonderful journey. I have huge respect and affection for my team at Newsworks and an undiminished belief in the important role played by the UK’s press. Now I have been offered an extraordinary new opportunity, which I have found impossible to resist.”
David Pattison, Newsworks chair, added: “Rufus has done a brilliant job in the last few years and has transformed Newsworks. He has led structural projects which have shown how collaborative the industry can be. Rufus goes with our thanks and our best wishes.”