My Work

MARKETING DIRECTOR, FORTRESS REAL DEVELOPMENTS

At Fortress I created an in-house “agency-style” marketing department to serve the needs of the company and executive team, providing full-service digital and print design as well as video production and event management. I led the marketing team and managed two Designers, a Project Manager, Events Coordinator, Jr. Researcher and Social Media Specialist as well as our agency relationships.

Here is my team and I taking a quick break for a photo at our black and white themed awards gala where we hosted about 400 guests for dinner, awards show and dancing.

Launching Projects

When launching a new real estate development, our goal was to provide information about the project to interested parties in a variety of formats. To do this my team and I worked with the the real estate development team and research department to take the technical information and plans for the development and create friendly communications that can be understood by a broader audience. For each project we would create:

  • Brochure
  • Slide Presentation
  • Market Report
  • Webpage
  • Site tour (Physical or video)

Pictured above is a slide presentation created for a proposed project in Bowmanville, Ontario. You can also check out the project webpage and supporting blog post.

Thought Leadership

Working closely with real estate industry expert Ben Myers we conceived, planned and developed one of the most robust real estate reports covering major markets across Canada. The Market Manuscript was a widely read and respected report that helped position both Fortress and Ben as a leading expert in real estate.

A total of 8 reports were issued over 4 years. Collectively they were downloaded more than 25,000 times and over 15,000 print copies were distributed. The report received widespread media coverage including the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Calgary Herald, and Winnipeg Free Press. Ben appeared on numerous television and radio shows to discuss the report including BNN, Global TV and 680 News. Ben was even asked to meet with the CMHC to provide his insight on the Canadian housing market. You can learn more about the market manuscript and download copies here.

Educational & Promotional Videos

I worked with my creative agency as well as my in house team on a number of video initiatives. Videos were created for educational purposes, program and project launches, thought leadership and webinars.

This video is part of a series of seven videos we called the “Did you know” series which were created to educate our audience on the real estate development process and market.

Over 150,000 plays

FROM OUR YOUTUBE & VIMEO CHANNELS

You can see the entire Did You Know series and some other videos my team put together to celebrate the completion of buildings on the company YouTube channel.

Events

Events were a big deal at Fortress. My team organized over 20 events a year from a simple site tour with 50+ people to a professional development day with 500+ attendees to a full out awards gala with 400 guests.

  • Event creative including theme development, venue takeover using signage, banners, decals etc and presentation design.
  • Stage Design: Setup, lighting, décor 
  • Audio Visual management and run of show
  • Catering 
  • Guest services including – invitation, registration, event day check-in, security and post event survey.

Events included:

  • Professional development days
  • Town Halls
  • Site tours
  • Ground breaking
  • Training
  • Awards gala
  • Softball tournaments

Awards Gala

Refresh and rollout of new Fortress brand guidelines

When I started at Fortress, the brand had a royal vibe with hints towards medieval times, embodying the times when “fortresses” were key to a regimes survival. The marketing collateral had a regal look to it, with a colour palette dominated by browns and beige’s. I was tasked to modernize and refresh the look. We kept brown as a brand colour but used it more sparingly with a preference for a clean modern design with a fresh vibe.

The biggest outcome of the brand refresh was the completely new website which I worked on with my favourite agency OneMethod.

Website Redesign

  • Complete redesign of website – fortressrealdevelopments.com.
  • Visual design refresh
  • New organization scheme
  • New functionality
  • Mobile first and responsive
  • Easier to edit and update
This is me previewing the new website at an event at Roy Thompson Hall

The feature that most people were excited about was the page where we curated all of the social updates on development and construction progress.

Progress Updates Page
This page allowed us to bring together the social conversation about our real estate projects. We built a tool that allowed us to curate any post on Twitter or Instagram and bring it into our site. By default it showed the newest posts, but the user has the option to sort by project.
Example anatomy of a project web page
Project updates were a key reason why visitors came to the website so we added a project timeline to the page template to allow visitors to see how the project unfolded over time. Previously visitors would have to sift through various blog posts to find updates there were relevant to the specific project they were looking for. This became increasing difficult as the project portfolio grew rapidly. The timeline was a nice solution to this problem.

New & Improved Newsletter

In addition to the new website, I also spearheaded the new design and content strategy for the companies project update newsletter which was issued quarterly. The refresh introduced a magazine style cover, a note from the editor, an educational article, and advertisements for Fortress projects. The biggest improvement in my opinion was the featured projects section, which allowed us to better utilize the great project photography we were taking. Lastly we added an index so readers can easily see all projects with key stats all in one place. The same organization scheme from the website was carried through to the newsletter so readers could easily identify if a project is in development, under construction or completed. Each newsletter had a circulation of about 5,000 copies, 50% digital, 50% print. Download full copies here (select one of the blog posts, then click the download button in the post – its big and green, you can’t miss it).

See more photos from our annual award gala on Facebook.

This is just a small sampling of the work I did during my six years with the company. I have plenty more to show both physical and digital samples and I’m happy to provide more details to anyone interested in hiring me for a project, contract or full-time employment.