Tag: Creative Scotland

The Wee Agency hopes collaboration will bring big results

Eilidh Marshall headshotLast year, for a second consecutive year, CDS ran the Collaboration Prize – an opportunity for three businesses from across Scotland to each win £10,000 worth of cash and support to get their consortium business idea off the ground.

Working with Creative Scotland, CDS crowned Highland-based The Wee Agency with the creative sector prize. Eilidh Marshall from Muckle Media talks through the benefits of being part of a Scottish consortium.

It’s an exciting time to be part of The Wee Agency. Having just launched, we are delighted to have won the Co-operative Development Scotland Collaboration Prize.

According to Co-operative Development Scotland, there are 578 registered co-operative businesses in Scotland, and no doubt many more businesses collaborating behind the scenes. These businesses play a major role in driving economic growth with a combined turnover of £4bn and providing employment to 28,600 people.

Collaboration can have significant benefits – increased productivity, creativity and greater influence are just some. Working with different people outside your own agency can spark new ideas and give insight into the other specialities. All the while, individual businesses can retain their own brands; collaboration simply allows them to be part of something with greater impact.

Collaborating and combining skills makes things a lot simpler for clients too. There’s no need to brief different agencies or companies, no more juggling projects, reading through multiple proposals or duplication of tasks or costs. Clients are reassured that everything is taken care of by one company.

Compare it to say, building a house. Imagine one project manager presenting you with the options on how to achieve your ideal home – you don’t need to find an architect, builder, decorator, bathroom fitter, electrician or spend your time coordinating how they work together. You choose the end result you want and the team does the rest. 

And that’s how we work.

In an increasingly digital world, it’s important that companies have accessible and interesting websites that are marketed effectively – therefore increasing their chances of being seen by consumers. At The Wee Agency, we bring this together with 2bcreative providing the design, Alchemy+  bringing the IT and Muckle Media providing PR and marketing.

David Massey, managing director of Alchemy+, Nathalie Agnew MCIPR, director of Muckle Media and John Young, director of 2bcreative, represent the three firms that have formed The Wee Agency.

David Massey, managing director of Alchemy+, Nathalie Agnew MCIPR, director of Muckle Media and John Young, director of 2bcreative, represent the three firms that have formed The Wee Agency.

So how do projects with The Wee Agency work? 

  • After being briefed by the client on their needs and wants, we brainstorm to find the best creative idea that will sit at the centre of the campaign
  • We plan the project utilising the best channels to reach the audience
  • The design team then produce the creative material
  • Once approved, the web developers and IT team build the website
  • During this process, the PR and marketing team plan for the launch
  • The PR and marketing team reach out to media and run social media to drive people to engage

When working in the creative industries it’s important to be able to bounce ideas off each other which can then spark bigger and better solutions. The consortium approach enables us to do this efficiently.

Our multi-channel team condenses the workload for our clients and working together allows us to provide big results. Without the need to liaise between different agencies, our clients are able to concentrate on other aspects of their business. So whether it’s a start-up or an established organisation we’re working with, we can help make it a success.

Find out more about The Wee Agency at www.theweeagency.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to keep posted on the latest trends and news in the digital world @theweeagency

Come together to make this a summer of success for your business

Gillian Kirton 02What do three farmers from Dumfriesshire, 51 musicians from Scottish Opera and 12 Scottish Screen facilities companies have in common? Answer they all won funds through last year’s launch of the Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) new Collaboration Prize.  Now the search is well underway to find 2013’s winning ideas. With less than one month to go until the competition closes, CDS Collaboration Prize project manager Gillian Kirton gives us the latest update. 

What do three Dumfriesshire farmers, 51 musicians from Scottish Opera and 12 Scottish screen facilities companies have in common? Answer: A desire to grow their business through collaboration.

As CDS Collaboration Prize project manager, it’s an exciting time for me.  With less than one month to application deadline, I’m waiting with baited breath to see the exciting and innovative ideas to come in this year.

Last year our competition was such a success that more than a dozen new business collaborations were established, often with different aims and objectives.  So here’s a wee taster of the sort of consortium co-operative that our prize has created:

  1. Scottish Woodlot Association was set up to enable individual foresters to rent small forest lots for timber production while helping landowners maximise their forestry potential.  It also gave them a way to share often expensive specialist equipment.
  2. iMAPcc offers dedicated team of drug discovery scientists, consultants and associates with complementary backgrounds and experience in small molecule and biopharmaceutical drug discovery.
  3. Burns Country Larder sees six Ayrshire producers of fine foods including haggis, cheesecakes, beers, deserts, chocolates and ice-creams collaborate to access events and shows all around the country.

But what about the farmers, musicians and screen facilities…our three worthy winners from 2012?

With the help of colleagues in Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with these three groups over the last year or so, joining them on their exciting journey as they form themselves as a consortium co-operative and reap the benefits of their £10k prize.  Do view the short videos of our winners – it’s great to hear it from the horse’s mouth as they say. Hopefully it will give you the incentive to consider how collaboration can help your business.

Screen Facilities Scotland brings together the best that Scotland has to offer in screen facilities.  Over 12 companies, with more to come on board, are now collaborating to secure contracts that may otherwise have been awarded to those south of the border or further afield.  I just love that one of the members created the Fatboy Slim Octopus of the London 2012 Olympics, and another filmed the James Bond and the Queen footage!

Screen Facilities Scotland video

Three farmers from the south west of Scotland (Castle Loch Foods Ltd) have come together to produce a range of luxury charcuterie products, using their individual high quality meats. This will see them access new markets, and hopefully export overseas in due course.

DG Farmers Cooperative video

Music Co-operative Scotland now gives us all an easy way to hire professional musicians for any occasion, offering any style of music you desire. All made possible through the formation of a consortium co-operative.

Musicians Cooperative Scotland video

This year we have increased our prize fund to £40,000 – up to four winners will each receive £5,000 consultancy support, and £5,000 cash to help implement their idea.  Even those that don’t win a prize can still access a comprehensive package of free support.

We are delighted to be working with our partners from Creative Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink and Scottish Tourism Alliance, and aim to attract really good entries from creative, food & drink and tourism businesses. In other words sectors that really lend themselves to collaboration.

However – our competition is of course open to all Scottish based companies regardless of sector.

So what are you waiting for?  The deadline for applications is 3rd August.  I personally can’t wait to see what comes our way this year…

Good luck.

Gillian

One prize – One giant boost for collaboration

 Screen Facilities Scotland 08

After the success of the inaugural awards in 2012, Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has today launched this year’s Collaboration Prize.

Screen Facilities Scotland was one of the three winners from last summer and Joanna Dewar Gibb, business manager at ARTEM LTD explains how the initiative has had an amazing effect on the consortium’s activities.

 

In the first instance, quite simply, being one of the winners gave us a boost of confidence to the Screen Facilities Scotland (SFS) working group that professional peers also deemed what we were doing as worthy of support.  The double layers of the CDS Collaboration Prize – the practical professional support and the hard cash – gave the working group a solid underpinning for the next steps in the evolution of SFS. 

SFS is now a fully established representative trade body with members and is, in itself, a full member of UK Screen Association.  This forged link between the two entities is a valuable membership benefit of SFS and our thanks go to Creative Scotland for their support with this.

As a recognisable and formal entity, SFS has been able to work effectively with Creative Scotland in a number of other areas as well.  Working as partners, SFS and Creative Scotland set up an eye-catching “Film in Scotland” space at the London Trade Show, BVE 2013. The stand was staffed by Creative Scotland and different SFS members and affiliates.  Each of us on the stand had different knowledge and expertise to share with visitors and the result was a collaborative Scottish presence at this media expo. 

Mini FilmBang directory

Mini FilmBang directory

Alongside this, each of the SFS members, Creative Scotland and other stakeholders took the opportunity to organise a networking event in Central London whilst we were all there.  With combined guest lists and again, many of us on hand to mingle with our guests, this was a valuable opportunity to connect with key clients in London, the media production hub of the UK. 

Copies of a revised Mini FilmBang directory were handed out at BVE 2013 and subsequently at the Cannes Film Festival.  This reference book lists the facilities companies in Scotland all in one place in a handy format. 

Circulating information and contact details of all the facilities and service companies in Scotland is a key focus of SFS as part of our combined collaborative marketing efforts. 

We have produced our logo (that graces the front of Mini FilmBang) and the development of both our website and Members’ Agreement are on-going, thanks again to combined efforts both of SFS members and the business consultancy element of CDS’s Collaboration Prize. 

Across our membership, we have companies that are direct competitors but even so, we find we are able to put those aspects aside to work together in areas of mutual support and benefit to everyone’s advantage. SFS members have been sharing even administrative tasks, like chasing potential member to make sure anyone who wants to be part of SFS is a part of it.

The publicity from winning the Collaboration Prize gave SFS a further boost with articles on SFS appearing in Screen International and Broadcast magazine, two key trade journals in our business.  The £10,000 prize win was the “hook” for the bigger story of the aims of SFS. 

The £5,000 cash prize is being allocated in part to our launch networking event that will include members, clients and key industry figures.  Alongside this, SFS is also planning to have a presence at this year’s Edinburgh Festival and Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. 

Business consultancy from Co-operative Development Scotland worth £5,000 was also given as part of the prize and has been incredibly worthwhile.  The different experts made available to SFS have each helped focus the working group to achieve key milestones in establishing SFS in a more straight-forward and professional streamlined way. 

SFS photo

On a strategic level, there is an industry-wide period of examination and evolution going on in our core business of film and television production. SFS is now established as a point of reference for those consultants and others charged with reviewing the health of the production sector in Scotland, including the current considerations about building a Scottish Studio facility. 

This is exactly where we wanted to get to. 

It means hard-pressed business managers/owners do not have to be approached separately on every matter but rather, with one point of contact under the banner of SFS, views of busy people can be amalgamated and submitted collaboratively.

In due course SFS plans to have a part-time administrator to manage its business. In the meantime, what is clear on a daily basis is that within SFS there really is strength in numbers and tasks – when tackled co-operatively – become so much more efficient and effective as a result. 

Being one of the CDS Collaboration Prize-winners gave SFS a most incredible boost at the outset of its evolution and we moved forward so much more quickly and efficiently than would have been possible without it. 

This article also appears in the latest edition of 3RDi magazine. Click here to view.

You can follow Screen Facilities Scotland on Twitter @ScotFacilities

Co-operative Development Scotland is a Scottish Enterprise subsidiary, established to help companies grow by setting up consortium, employee-owned and community businesses. It works in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.