'Key factor in relocating', KEO Digital
KEO digital is the multi award-winning team behind River Cottage, Fish Fight, Chicken Out!, Landshare, energyshare, and crowdfunder.co.uk. KEO digital often works with its sister company KEO films to create multi-platform productions that affect and reach large audiences and change the way people think.
Across the KEO family, they have over 2 million registered users. Over 50 million people watched a KEO films programme last year. Most recently, Fruitshare, their initiative to get more fruit into schools, in partnership with River Cottage and Crowdfunder. co.uk, motivated over 600 schools to sign up to get fruit trees in schools.
In November 2012 KEO digital moved the digital production arm of its business from London and Bridport to Newquay to create a new innovation hub.
Since the move, the company has ramped up its digital activities and has also launched a new agency, called Seachange. The new digital marketing and communications agency is to offer the digital and marketing skills it developed for projects like Fish Fight and River Cottage, to clients who also want to create a change within their business or consumer base.
From their ocean facing offices KEO digital now employs 24 people to work on their energy marketing platform, energyshare and crowdfunding business, crowdfunder.co.uk.
Superfast broadband - key factor in relocation
Superfast broadband was one of the factors that facilitated the move to Cornwall. Communications Manager Jess Ratty says: "As a digital business, superfast connectivity is vital to us. The fact that superfast broadband was in Newquay was an important factor in the decision to relocate to Cornwall. We simply could not run our digital business effectively without superfast connectivity. Because superfast broadband is available to us in Cornwall, we can now run a world class digital business here and all enjoy the benefits of living and working in such a beautiful and inspirational county."
Jess continued: "We are a fast growing business and superfast has enabled us to invest in cutting edge technology and high calibre people. Our digital projects have a massive reach from Newquay, across the UK – and the world. We need to be constantly connected to the fast moving social world, as it’s online change that translates to real-world impacts."
Superfast helps Jess, as a communications manager, to be more productive. "As a digital business, we need to be able to send and receive large files, branding documents and film edits and this simply would not be possible without a superfast broadband connection. Tasks that would otherwise take hours can now be completed in minutes."
Jess says: "We often work with partners elsewhere in the UK, such as our sister company KEO films in London. Superfast allows us to work with colleagues in London and nationally Through using online collaboration tools and cloud computing, we can work together seamlessly, despite being hundreds of miles apart. This gives us additional capacity and means we can deliver larger projects."
Superfast broadband also helps KEO digital with their social media engagement. Jess says: "Social media is a large part of our ongoing and pro-active engagement and requires instant access to large audiences. For example, energyshare has 60,000 people using our social networks. With superfast, it’s easy for us to keep these networks up to date and for us to make full use of online video opportunities."
Video streaming is also a crucial part of their media mix, requiring excellent connectivity. "Crowdfunder has launched thousands of projects across the UK and use of online video has been a large part of its success," says Jess. "We encourage projects to share videos on our platform in order to connect with their own communities and audiences. Again, this would not be possible if we did not have superfast broadband."
Superfast has also changed the way the teams work and reduced travel costs. Jess says: "Now we have superfast broadband, we regularly use Skype for video conferencing with colleagues and clients rather than travel to meetings."
Improved working methods
Jess adds: "Superfast broadband is now at the heart of the way we work. For example, as well as using Skype, we use ‘Gecko Boards’ - online noticeboards to keep all the project team up to speed with the latest developments – driving targets and KPIs."
‘Because of superfast broadband, we have been able to relocate to Cornwall, creating new jobs in the county. We opened with 20 staff in November 2012 and now we have 24 staff. We look forward to continuing to grow our business here."