Meet the team: Jo-ann Fortune

Sophie Wilkinson

Senior Content Manager

Whether it’s finding a fresh angle for a feature or snooping around her favourite second-hand shops, Jo-ann Fortune – our head of content – has always been driven by the story. Here she shares a little about her own…

Tell us about your career journey…

I’ve always loved writing. At University I became features editor of my student broadsheet, wrote a column for the local daily and spent holidays working at my home-town paper. With that experience, I moved to Brighton to do a post-grad in Magazine Journalism, where I picked up freelance work for local publications before taking a full-time job writing across titles about overseas property and emigration.

At that point everything was shifting so quickly in publishing and when a journalist & copywriter role came up at iCrossing I was excited to see where my career could progress in digital. As I took on more managerial responsibilities, I kept my hand in writing for magazines and digital publications in my spare time to broaden my experience and keep close to my first love.

Ten years later, I’m head of content.

What does being head of content involve?

I work with a talented group of writers, editors and content strategists, splitting my time between product and team development, client projects and our own content marketing programme. The role is a great mix of strategy, planning and editorial – basically my dream.

How has your journalism background come into play here at iCrossing? 

As a journalist, you have a very clear purpose; to inform, inspire or entertain your reader. And that focus on understanding and writing for your audience is at the heart of successful content strategy. When you’re selling nothing but a story, you develop a good nose for sniffing one out, and learn how to tell any tale – be it through a feature, case study or press release – in the most compelling way.

What are you looking forward to bringing to iCrossing over the next year?

I’m on a bit of a zero-waste drive at the moment and am really excited about saving clients’ money by showing them what’s worth doing and what isn’t. We know people, we know platforms – but perhaps what people don’t know about us is that we’re experts in positioning; finding competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded content landscape.

I’m also looking forward to introducing our clients to what our partnership with Hearst has to offer; be it mining unique audience insights to inspire creative or matchmaking brands with award-winning subject experts. 

What do you love about iCrossing?

At the heart of the agency’s success is trust, autonomy and hunger for better – and I can get on board with all of that. The flexible hours policy has also allowed me to grow a family alongside a career and a team.

Tell us a little about your hobbies outside work

I have a serious second-hand shopping habit, and as well as buying for myself and kitting out my house and kids, I do a bit of buy and sell. I also ran an editorial vintage lifestyle site for years, so before mum-life took over, I spent my weekends writing about vintage fashion and mid-century design for magazines. I love finding stories and value in things that other people might overlook.

What’s your top tip for great content marketing?

Obsess over your audience. Work out what you can offer that’s different, better and more valuable to them than everything else they’re finding online. If you can’t, don’t do it.

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