Shaun Reynolds: a year with Fortitude Communications

A year working with team Fortitude Communications — what a rollercoaster, for all of us.

Moving my career from journalism into PR had been on my radar for a few months and the opportunity Greig offered me in February of last year was an exciting one. 

I left journalism feeling like I had fulfilled what I wanted to achieve, and the prospect of a new challenge in a different industry really excited me. 

We are fortunate to work with a fantastic range of clients across multiple sectors at Fortitude. Weeks one and two were about meeting the people behind the businesses we serve and understanding their core values, what their key messages are and how they want to communicate. By week three, I was getting stuck into storytelling and complimenting that with photography – another transferable skill from my former profession. 

All change

Monday, March 23, the day that changed every person’s way of life. Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives. 

Since that day, Greig and I have met in person twice. Yet here I am writing about my first year with Fortitude Communication where 90 per cent of my work has been delivered remotely. At the time of lockdown, most of our clients were in the events, transport and sport sectors – all of which have of course been impacted hugely by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Furlough was part of our initial solution. Unfortunately, I did not qualify. Fast forward a couple of weeks and a review into the Government’s scheme meant I was eligible. Greig steered the Fortitude ship through the summer months until August where the addition of new clients, including Velocity Football, combined with exciting developments at TicketCo meant I was back. Let’s start again, shall we? 

Communications results

The idea of working from home was not new to me, in previous roles most of my work was delivered remotely. Routine is the golden rule in my opinion – establish set times you dedicate to work to avoid the potential distractions of working in your home environment. A big part of the ethos at Fortitude is client service and delivering consistent results that help improve reputation, awareness and engagement. One thing we always do is celebrate delivering big wins for our clients and we all thrive from it. 

Velocity Football is a fantastic account to work on. The team has really bought into the idea of communications and PR and how it can impact business positively via strong storytelling online and through social media plus building awareness and audiences via the local and trade presses. Consequently, last month the football education provider’s Twitter account attracted almost 100,000 impressions under our management. I am pleased our brief has been expanded this year to include growing the reputation of its sister companies Ignite Sport UK and Oxford City Football Club’s Academy.

TicketCo Media Services is another account that has been a fantastic experience to work on, as they adapted during the pandemic from a digital ticketing business to additionally provide live streaming and digital ticketing solutions for the events industry. It has been a great PR journey revamping the company’s positioning publicly, quickly and effectively. 

Continued development

Personal development is supported at Fortitude and looking ahead, 2021 is a year I plan to enhance my video skills to complement the photography I do in and outside of work for business and enjoyment. The power of video is extraordinary. And it is an area we are continually developing at Fortitude after my colleague Thom was recently awarded a drone operator’s license from the Civil Aviation Authority. 

In the meantime, I would love readers to support two charity events I am completing this year. 

At the end of this month, I will be joining my Fortitude colleagues in completing the OX5 from home to raise money for the Oxford Children’s Hospital. Please visit our Just Giving page here if you would like to support our efforts. 

Two months later, I’ll be completing an Ultra Marathon in support of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund – a charity with close ties to my home village, Lambourn. Full details of this event can be viewed here.

Wishing everyone a good health for the remainder of the year. 

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