John Richardson: Digital is his Forte

John Richardson of Forte Marketing Group, a “boutique” agency in Birmingham, spoke to our “Principles of Public Relations” class at Samford University last week.  A Samford grad with a business degree, he currently deals with “all things digital”.

Though Forte is a small agency of five, do not underestimate their success.  In fact, the agency is the recipient of the 2011 Gold Addy Award.

Richardson explained that their goal as an advertising agency is to increase the volume of their clients, whether that be a product, a message or service.  This entails doing whatever it takes to make what they are advertising interesting.  Says Richardson, “If it doesn’t hit home with someone, it doesn’t matter.”

He also gave helpful hints to us as students about how to successfully get started in the advertising world post graduation.

Get Ahead Now.

-Richardson gave an example of a man who used a google search to self promote and ask for a job.  He now works for a top company in New York.


-“The more people you know, the more likely you will know the right person.”

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone.

-He explained the importance of putting yourself out there and being proactive in making yourself known and available.

The 3 B’s.

-Be Human.

-Be Humane.

-Be Honest.

Richardson also stressed that we need to  find the best environment in which to  work.  Find a place that works well with  you.

For him, it was creativity.  A former drummer for a band, he knew he had to work at a place that would allow him to be creative.



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