Combining London ambition with Cornish creativity

When Fiona Campbell-Howes left her position as head of copywriting at a London tech PR agency to start a new life in Cornwall, she had planned to take a step back from the rat race and enjoy the time in the region working as a freelance writer. Fast forward ten years and she is running one of the UK’s leading B2B copywriting agencies, employing a team of 14 full time employees, and producing work for brands such as Amazon, Dell and Xerox.

Based just outside of Falmouth, Radix Communications combines London ambition with the best of Cornish creativity, producing content for B2B technology companies around the world. “We’re writing copy for a niche audience on topics that are often fairly obscure which is a challenge but hugely rewarding. Our team includes incredibly talented writers who are able to translate highly technical subject matter into creative, engaging content, and highly organised account managers who make sure we deliver it on time, every time.” Radix has been honing these skills for over a decade. Unlike the majority of London marketing agencies who have an average churn rate of 30 percent a year, Fiona has only had to write one employee leaving card since starting the agency.  “For a creative business like ours to be successful, employee wellbeing needs to be a priority. Our clients expect us to deliver well crafted, engaging content, to deadline, time after time, but that won’t come from a team that are overworked and unmotivated. Our ethos reflects that, from the bricks and mortar through to our salaries.”

With river side offices in the Jubilee Warehouse, the team need only glance out of the window for some inspiration. Radix shares the space with some of Cornwall’s best and brightest creative businesses including Eleanor Bell Lighting Design and Mauurraum Architecture and Design. The opportunity to step out of the office and into nature simply cannot be replicated by the businesses located in the urban sprawls of London or Manchester. The UK’s long hour culture has led to the average worker clocking up 43.6 hours per week, compared with a European average 40.3 according to a report by TUC, meaning that making the most of leisure time has never been so important. Cornwall attracts thousands of visitors every year, eager to experience the beauty of its rugged coastline or paddle their feet on one of its stunning beaches. The people who live and work in the region are able to experience this every day, giving them the opportunity to unwind and recharge once work is done, and businesses here are making the most of the benefits that a well-rested and motivated work force can bring. Fiona takes the wellbeing of her team as seriously as any other aspect of her business, offering a paid three-month sabbatical to employees that have been with Radix for five years. “I love that my team is made up of creative, sparky people and I don’t want to dampen that. The sabbatical scheme is a way of saying thank you for their hard work over five years. It gives them the opportunity to completely switch off from the work they do here and immerse themselves in whatever it is that they are passionate about, safe in the knowledge that not only are they still receiving an income, but that their job is still waiting for them. For me it’s a win-win, they get a paid break and we keep our fantastic team.”

Fiona’s pragmatic approach to staff retention has enabled her to develop a highly skilled, creative team, recruiting mainly from Cornwall’s rich talent pool. “There’s a ton of talent in Cornwall, especially on the creative side of things, the graduates coming out of university are creating a pool of talent that is truly world class.” Last year Falmouth University produced over 1200 undergraduates and postgraduates, with many choosing to remain in Cornwall for its fantastic quality of life and thriving creative community, and this number is set to increase as the university continues to grow in popularity and prestige. It’s not just talent that Cornwall has in abundance. From a business development perspective, the region has a wealth of support available to new arrivals and those that have been operating in Cornwall for decades. “When I first started Radix I had no confidence with the actual day-to-day running of the business; a business coach from Oxford Innovation helped me to implement a structured plan, and we’ve been working together since. Without that support we wouldn’t be here.” Fiona’s story is not unique; Oxford Innovation has assisted over 2000 businesses in Cornwall, creating thousands of new jobs and raising millions of pounds for the region.  

Despite happening almost by accident, Radix is one of Cornwall’s great success stories. Fiona took her wealth of experience and applied it to all that Cornwall has to offer small entrepreneurial businesses resulting in a £625,000 turnover agency that continues to grow year on year.

If you’re a business owner looking to take their first steps towards a business in Cornwall, get in touch today on 01872 326727.

For more information on Radix Communications’ work visit www.radix-communications.com

 

Fiona Campbell-Howes Managing Director
6 out of 10 employees
are more likely to stay with an employer who shows an interest in their health and wellbeing (according to 2017 Ibec study)
£625,000
annual turnover
43.6 hours
average working week in the UK

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