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We The People | Tom Killeen

Happy Friday, y'all. With Christmas just around the corner, I hope you're enjoying your advent calendars as much as I do. I'm on my fourth.... calendar.

If this is not the kind of motivation you're looking for this Friday, you can always check out what Beatriz had to say about innovation and the culture of refreshment we use here to drive it!

Amid this innovative and chocolate-fueled week, I've sat down with Tom Killeen, my partner in crime here on the Fidel blog, and we talked a bit about himself. And his pizza obsession. If you're hungry, you might want to skip his Instagram account. It's a trap.

A: Tell me a bit about yourself.

Hey, I’m Tom and I’m a Copywriter at Fidel. For those of you who do know me, you can skip this bit.

For those who don’t - I produce the content we use to help push Fidel’s brand, culture, and services to our audience. That can mean producing all sorts of content from scratch, copy-editing existing work and managing content promotion on social channels. By night, I can be found in pubs, five-a-side football pitches and pizza restaurants around London. Probably a good time to drop a subtle plug of my Pizza Instagram account Jesus_h._Crust. Give it a follow, you know you want to.

A: Why did you join Fidel?

Tom: Being given the freedom to create the sort of content you’d want to read (and that can get a laugh every now and then) was something I was looking for. After reading through Fidel’s existing content, I liked their approach to being a human-first brand, driven by the people who worked here, as well as a tech company. There’s personality to every piece of content. The direction of Fidel as a company also interested me. We’re definitely going places! Getting to help tell that evolving story day-in, day-out has been a great experience.

A: How does a typical day look like for you?

Tom: One of my housemates actually drinks black coffee at breakfast, unironically. Not me, I’m not an unhinged psychopath. I reckon by the third cup, I’ll cut myself off before things get out of hand. Then, typically, we might have four or five content projects on the go at any one time so I’ll break the day down into working on them. In-between that, I’ll be source-gathering, whether that’s my own research or meeting with someone internally.

Outside of my own projects, I’m there to support anyone who needs a hand with ad-hoc, specific content needs, like web copy, social posts, questions on Tone Of Voice/messaging and proof-reading. The way we approach content at Fidel ensures that the expertise and technical detail are provided by people who know the technology first-hand, so nothing is produced in isolation. That process of producing new content is managed through a simple, internal request system. This helps me to keep publications highly focused and accurate, directly fulfilling the content needs of other teams, while maintaining Fidel’s tone, style and over-arching messaging.

A: What is your favourite thing about working at Fidel?

Tom: I think the opportunities to learn and grow individually have been great. Every meeting, I feel like I’ve learnt something insightful from someone, and then you’ve also got platforms like udemy and Audible available, too. Obviously, the team is brilliant - I joined during the first lockdown in March, so I haven’t actually met anyone in person yet, but the Zoom calls wouldn’t be the same without them. Probably a lot quieter. And I'd definitely still forget to unmute myself.

A: What are some of the most interesting challenges you’re solving?

Tom: We’ve been refining our core messaging recently. Defining these sorts of things is a really enjoyable project for a copywriter, but you’ve also got a lot of stakeholders who need to buy into the new phrasing, so it’s about listening a lot and tweaking language. There’s also just a lot of Fidel news happening at the moment. Building out a PR and content prioritisation framework was useful in helping filter all the story requests coming in, with a clear strategy in mind.

A: How do you keep up with current trends and advances in the industry?

Tom: I use Google Alerts, although I currently have it set to update me once a day which is a bit outrageous. You have to sift through a lot of non-stories - turns out Google is a pretty big source of information, who knew? Other than that I usually can rely on a few, trusted fintech news sites. Who are they? Trade secret, sorry mate.

A: Any tips for people that want to join you at Fidel?

Tom: This one is probably more for the people who haven’t come from a payments background, but familiarising yourself with the terminology, details and background of the ecosystem is really useful. It’s a pretty complex thing. For those who are newly-joined, you’ve got to then learn how we approach talking about that ecosystem and its components in a ‘Fidel’ context. Luckily, we’ve produced loads of guidance material to help people assimilate. All for the low, low price of £149.99. But, simply put, staying on top of how the industry works, how it’s changing and where Fidel slots into that - you can never know too much about any of it.