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Q&A with Bellmont Partners’ new Director, Account Strategy, Katie Fitzpatrick

We are thrilled to wel­come our newest team mem­ber, Katie Fitz­patrick, as Direc­tor, Account Strat­e­gy! Katie brings more than 20 years of agency expe­ri­ence in strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions and account man­age­ment to the team, and she’s already putting her knowl­edge to work for clients with­in our Pro­fes­sion­al Ser­vices & Pub­lic Affairs and Tech­nol­o­gy & Man­u­fac­tur­ing prac­tice groups.

Recent­ly we sat down with Katie to hear more about her expe­ri­ence, why she loves agency life, how she likes to spend her time out­side of work and more.

You’ve spent most of your career at agen­cies of dif­fer­ent sizes and types. What is it about agency life (or the way agen­cies approach com­mu­ni­ca­tions) that res­onates with you?

Agency life has been my jam for the last two decades. I’ve worked at both small and large agen­cies, and the com­mon threads are the peo­ple, pur­pose and vari­ety of work.

I’ve been for­tu­nate to work with and learn from many great lead­ers and col­leagues over the years. There’s nev­er a dull moment in this pro­fes­sion. I like that every day brings new oppor­tu­ni­ties and challenges.

What drew you to Bell­mont Partners? 

Bell­mont Part­ners has a strong rep­u­ta­tion in the local PR com­mu­ni­ty, and I’ve been watch­ing the agency grow and thrive over the years. I kept my eye on notable announce­ments, achieve­ments and client engage­ments, such as the agency’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions work to increase tourism to Duluth.

Addi­tion­al­ly, I’d met Jen, Bri­an and oth­er col­leagues at indus­try events and gath­er­ings at the Bell­mont Part­ners’ office and was always impressed by their pro­fes­sion­al­ism and kind­ness. I worked with VP Bre­an­na Welke sev­er­al years ago, and I’m excit­ed to col­lab­o­rate with her again at this point in our careers.

What are your ini­tial impres­sions now that you’re dig­ging in? Any surprises?

The BP team is incred­i­bly orga­nized, smart and wel­com­ing to new col­leagues. The proac­tive and col­lab­o­ra­tive nature of the dif­fer­ent prac­tice groups and account teams is remark­able. I’m already learn­ing so much from my new col­leagues and their respec­tive areas of expertise.

One wel­comed sur­prise is see­ing how the struc­ture and flex­i­bil­i­ty of BP’s cul­ture tru­ly works in con­cert. Estab­lished plat­forms, user-friend­ly process­es and a high lev­el of trust in the staff equates to not only con­sis­tent, great work for clients, but also flex­i­ble time for employ­ees to vol­un­teer in the com­mu­ni­ty, get in a med­ical appoint­ment or do a work­out with­out feel­ing guilty. I’ve nev­er real­ly had this type of “work free­dom” before.

You have a lot of expe­ri­ence across a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ca­tions dis­ci­plines. Which areas are you most excit­ed about?

Over time, I’ve devel­oped a strong base of tra­di­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion and PR skills that I’ve put to use across mul­ti­ple sec­tors, includ­ing indus­tri­al B2B, finan­cial ser­vices, agri­cul­ture and healthcare/insurance.

The types of work I enjoy most are brand cam­paigns and thought lead­er­ship pro­grams that help ele­vate lead­ers and sub­ject mat­ter experts through writ­ten con­tent and strate­gic media relations.

A reward­ing cam­paign I proud­ly worked on was the TIAA (Teach­ers Insur­ance and Annu­ity Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­ca) Dif­fer­ence Mak­er 100. For its cen­ten­ni­al cel­e­bra­tion, the finan­cial ser­vices com­pa­ny hon­ored 100 indi­vid­u­als who were mak­ing a notable dif­fer­ence at their non­prof­it or aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tion. It felt good in every way, includ­ing the stel­lar PR results and com­mu­ni­ty good­will that was built.

What can clients and col­leagues expect when they work with you?

Once I’m immersed in an account and inte­grat­ed into a new team, my goal is to bring new ideas and add val­ue to the busi­ness. I’m not afraid to ask ques­tions to bet­ter under­stand the pri­ma­ry goals or intend­ed out­comes of a pro­gram. I’m results-ori­ent­ed and work hard to help move the needle.

I will speak up, but I’m nev­er the loud­est in the room. I’m a good lis­ten­er, col­lab­o­ra­tor, team play­er and like when peo­ple are com­fort­able enough to laugh dur­ing busi­ness meet­ings. Laugh­ter can make hard work and long hours a lot eas­i­er and more enjoyable.

How do you spend your time out­side of work?

Out­side of work, I chase my three kids around, attend their activ­i­ties and keep every­thing going on the home front with my hus­band. I love to be out­side, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the sum­mer. My out­let is exer­cise. I like to run, bike and play any sport. Most recent­ly, I’ve enjoyed coach­ing my kids’ soc­cer and bas­ket­ball teams – a new out­let for my ath­let­ic side. Final­ly, we like to trav­el, and were for­tu­nate to vis­it Utah, New York, Ari­zona and Texas over the past year.

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