My first three months at Fortitude Communications

Having joined as an Account Executive in April, William Smith reflects on his journey at Fortitude so far.

There is no doubt that I joined Fortitude at an exciting time. From winning the Marketing Excellence category at the Oxfordshire Business Awards 2023 to a raft of recent business wins, this is a period of success, growth and optimism for the company. But how did I get here? A keen personal interest in news and current affairs combined with previous experience in client relations and social media management led me to consider PR & Communications as a possible career path; my decision to join Fortitude has been an invaluable first step in achieving this.

Why Fortitude?

During my search for local opportunities, Fortitude was set apart. What attracted me to the company was the clear, concise and informative way in which Fortitude presents itself: I saw a company that displays confidence in the story it tells about itself, its expertise in the industry and its working culture. To my mind, this lays a clear foundation for delivering bottom line business value for clients by enhancing their communications strategies. The effective use of video, blogs and staff profiles on the company’s online presence helped personalise the company and I could envisage being part of the team. 

The interview and selection process that followed was efficient and demonstrated a progressive, forward-thinking company that prioritises candidates with the right attitude, personality and willingness to learn above a narrow focus on direct experience alone. Our initial meeting was very much a two-way conversation where Greig outlined his vision for Fortitude, its identity and what he was looking for in the next hire, and I expressed what I could bring to the company and what I wanted from the role. 

A subsequent meeting with my future colleagues gave me an insight into the day-to-day responsibilities associated with the role, the accounts they were working on and their backgrounds and journeys into PR. What struck me most was that they seemed genuinely fulfilled in their work and optimistic about their career ambitions. 

Unlocking potential

Once I was lucky enough to be selected for the role, it was important for me to integrate quickly into a small, close-knit team to start delivering for clients. This was achieved by a warm welcome from colleagues and a hands-on, highly practical approach to onboarding. I have been empowered to build experience across a broad range of our services, including media relations, social media management, copywriting and crisis communications.

Recent new business wins have given me the opportunity to consolidate these skills and take joint ownership of new accounts from the outset. This has allowed me to build strong working relationships with clients as well as developing a network of contacts in local, business and trade press tiles as well as the broadcast media. Highlights so far have included a press release on a major strategic cross-border’ bus partnership for Thames Travel, interviewing Fortitude clients for testimonial videos and being part of winning the JACKfm Marketing Excellence Award at the Oxfordshire Business Awards 2023

Environment for thriving

Collaboration is placed at the heart of how we work together at Fortitude — fostering an environment where everyone’s suggestions, input and previous experiences are valued. This is demonstrated by a genuine effort to understand each individual’s strengths and interests, resulting in the thoughtful alignment of client allocation and responsibilities to each member of the team. 

The workplace culture is one of openness and respect, where we are guided, not instructed, and given the autonomy to thrive and develop in the role. Hybrid working options, frequently attending local sporting events (for work and team nights outs) as well as career progression and networking opportunities make Fortitude a fantastic place to work. 

Looking forward

A promise of opportunities for professional development and a varied job description were the two main considerations that drove me to apply for the role, and this has certainly been borne out in my short time at the company so far. The overall result has been a strong start and acquiring a solid working knowledge of our main accounts and services. My understanding of PR and communications, and print, digital and broadcast media is incomparable with where I was just three months ago. 

I feel confident in my decision to join Fortitude at this early stage in my career and look forward to seeing what the future holds as we expand the team and deliver transformative results for an increasing number of clients. 

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