Our Cornish Growth Story: Radix Communications

11th January, 2019

Penryn-based Radix Communications is one of Cornwall’s great recent success stories. Established in 2007 by Managing Director Fiona Campbell-Howes, the company has grown from being a single writer working from home in Penryn, to being one of the world’s largest teams of dedicated B2B copywriters. You can learn more about the company and what they do here.

When Radix Communications was first established in 2007, nobody really imagined it becoming the internationally-recognised copywriting agency it is today – least of all MD Fiona Campbell-Howes.

Started as a one-person operation, Fiona quickly found that demand for the service she was providing was far greater than she could cover on her own. Fiona took on a second writer to assist, and the snowball started rolling from there.

In its 11-year history the company has gone from strength to strength. A lot has changed in that time, but as the company has grown one thing has remained consistent: the value and advantages of being based in Cornwall.

“I originally established Radix in Cornwall because I knew that there had to be a better way of doing what I did in the city. Long hours in stressful surroundings made the job tough. I wanted to give people the opportunity to be creative and craft great copy in a place where they had the space and freedom to do their best work every day.” Fiona Campbell-Howes, Managing Director

Growing our business with great local talent

Radix has grown very steadily over its 10-year history, meaning we’ve been fortunate enough to consistently create new jobs and offer opportunities to local talent. And luckily, there’s no shortage of talent where we’re based.

Having Falmouth University and the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus right on our doorstep has been immensely valuable. In Radix’s early years, almost every single person we recruited was a graduate of the Falmouth University MA Professional Writing program.

Having a reliable source of skilled creative talent is rare, but having a highly-subscribed masters level course creating exactly the skills we need locally is something we’ve always felt very lucky to have access to.

As our company grew, the range of skills we needed got a lot broader. That’s where Unlocking Potential became a really valuable resource. They worked closely with us to help us understand our needs, access a diverse pool of graduate talent in Cornwall, and help develop the right people once we found them.

As a result, we’ve always been able to find people that are a great fit for our company – both in terms of their skills, and culturally. That’s one of the big reasons why Radix has been able to achieve such a high level of talent retention, only seeing two members of staff leave in the entire history of the company.

“Before I started working here I had no idea how well my skills suited this kind of work. If it wasn’t for Unlocking Potential, I never would have found Radix – and Radix never would have found me.”Steve George, Senior Copywriter

Great surroundings support great work

The local landscape and surroundings are a major pull factor for lots of companies and individuals looking to do business in Cornwall. For some it’s just so they have somewhere nice to be once the working day ends, but for us its really enabled us to do our best work every day.

The work we do at Radix can be very creatively taxing. Being based in a quiet riverside location has been really beneficial for reducing the external factors that contribute to stress, and let us give our team the chance to work flexibly in surroundings that support their creativity.

Whether it’s physically working outside when the weather’s nice, or just getting out of the office to breathe and collect your thoughts, being where we are plays a big role in ensuring the work we do is sustainable.

Beyond that, being close to Falmouth’s growing creative community has been really fulfilling for a lot of our team. Local events and groups keep creative energy high, and ensure that our team can apply their talents in more ways than just creating great B2B copy.

 “It’s amazing to have the opportunity to work for a company like Radix in the place I love. Lots of my friends have had to leave Falmouth to pursue similar careers in the city. I feel very fortunate to get to do what I love, right here, where I want to be.” Radix’s most recent hire, Falmouth graduate Ben Clarke

Achieving international success in Cornwall

Right from the moment Radix was established, the vast majority of our clients have been based outside of Cornwall. The quality of what we can deliver hinges on how well we can communicate with them and understand their needs, so connectivity underpins everything we do.

Cornwall’s superfast broadband connectivity has been extremely important to us, enabling the company to communicate, collaborate and deliver work to a growing number of international clients. It’s the foundation of what we do, and it’s one of the big reasons why we’ve been able to grow an internationally successful business in Cornwall.

Frequent travel links to London have also been extremely important for helping us meet clients face-to-face when necessary – which as we’ve increased the amount of consultancy work we do, has become very regular.

“Lots of people I know in the Cornish business community really value the early morning flight from Newquay to Gatwick as a great way to get to the city. But for us, we tend to prefer the train as it gives us a great opportunity to get productive work done while we’re on the move.”David McGuire, Creative Director

Where we’re going next

Nobody can say for sure what their business is going to look like in the future. But after talking to our team and building our strategy for the coming years, one thing is clear – we all want to keep doing what we’re doing here in Cornwall.

This year 18% of our clients were overseas, and as we prepare for the uncertainty of Brexit, we’re looking to increase that figure to 25%. We’re also planning to expand what we offer to our clients, creating new consultancy services, and expanding the range of industries we can write for.

Both goals will mean significant changes at Radix, and the support and infrastructure available in Cornwall will be as essential to our success tomorrow as they have been in getting us to where we are today.

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