KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership)

What is a KTP?

KTP stands for Knowledge Transfer Partnership. They are a part government-funded programme to encourage collaboration between businesses and universities in the United Kingdom.

Structure
Each KTP involves three partners:

  • A company (in this case Mortons Media Group Ltd),
  • A knowledge base (The University of Lincoln), and
  • An associate (a recently qualified graduate – in this case, me).

The KTP programme was previously managed by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), now Innovate UK. Due to the nature and potential impact of this project, the partnership was privileged enough to be funded by both the TSB, the Economic & Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Brief:

Implement multimedia digital publishing technologies and methodology to transform a traditional print publisher, of specialist subscriptions, into an e-publisher, linking a community of users.

KTPs tend to have a core project that kickstarts the innovation of the overall brief. As the project was to measure the potential success and future of digital publishing, we decided to create a digital online magazine with copy taken from its sister newspaper Motor Cycle Monthly (so as to not damage the value of our paid-for titles, we chose a newspaper which is distributed for free at motorcycle dealerships throughout the UK). This was to be called MoreBikes.co.uk, and the aim was to create a central online hub for motorcycle news, where we could experiment with creating a variety of digital content – from audio, video, social and more.

When we started this project, Mortons Media Group Ltd had a very small online presence, and almost none of their titles were available digitally, lacking even a digital department. Within six months we formed a digital department, and within two years had multimedia news site reaching millions of people worldwide. Within three years we hired four new employees specifically to work on digital content, bringing the team to seven members of staff. Similarly, we went from having zero titles owned by the company available online, to all of our titles having their own responsive website and digital content.

Challenges:

  • Attitudes to digital content from senior readers with limited digital education.
  • Attitudes to digital publishing from employees within the company.
  • Giving away free content could potentially damage magazine value.
  • Understanding of social content.
  • New content distribution methods.
  • Disintegration of traditional web advertising.
  • Reaching a global audience.
  • Find new platforms for content.
  • Challenging the infrastructure of traditional publishers.
  • Utilising multimedia platforms.
  • Evolution of online advertising.

Solutions

  • Created MoreBikes.co.uk – fully responsive mobile-friendly news site.
  • Introduced MoreBikes Weekly podcast with celebrity guest interviews.
  • Full online and social presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Seminars and workshops given to all employees on the best use of social media (both personally and as professionals).
  • Introduce low-cost methods of quickly and easily creating multimedia digital content in-house.
  • Assisted in building new partnership with Lincoln County Council Technology Hub.
  • Maintained mutually beneficial ongoing partnership with the University of Lincoln which continues to this day.
  • Worked closely with the university to set student briefs commercial work that would significantly benefit student portfolios.

Achievements:

KTP poster

Academic poster presented at KTP National Conference 2015. Runner up for the award of ‘Best Poster’.

  • Shortlisted ‘Best Use of Mobile Technology’ Award at Lincoln Digital Awards 2015.
  • Earning 4p per unique visitor (4x the average).
  • Going from 0 to 100% of titles available online.
  • 100% 5 star reviews of MoreBikes app.
  • 98% saved in online web production costs.
  • Highest earning digital brand in Mortons’ portfolio.
  • Achieved Certificate in Management from Ashorne Hill Management College.
  • Achieved Certificate in Digital Marketing from Google Squared Online.
  • Runner Up for ‘Best Poster’ at KTP National Conference 2015.

As part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, and as the associate of the project, I was offered an opportunity to present an academic poster at the National KTP Conference in 2015 to put forward the economic benefits of the project to the national modern publishing industry.

Responsibilities in this role:
– Implement multimedia digital publishing technologies and methodology to transform a traditional print publisher, of specialist subscriptions, into an e-publisher, linking a community of users.
– Develop a publishing model and system of work which can be transferred to any publication or application. Introducing new income streams through additional advertising.
– Aquire commercial income streams beyond previous capability through commercialisation of appropriate online and digital platforms.
– Introduce cultural change throughout the business developing a new business model moving away from traditional publishing models, offering full training wherever necessary.
– Full understanding and development of stronger relationship with our current audience to maximise brand exposure, reach and retention.
– Publish into new markets reaching a worldwide audience rather than distribute through our declining domestic news trade system. Increase readership by 50%.
– Work across two different organisational cultures and find ways to bring about change through collaboration.
– Research design and manage new ways of engaging with readers/audience.
– Create platforms offering potential for commercial growth.
– Awareness of commercial contexts to developments.