Whilst the majority of people look forward to leisurely retirement, counting down the years until its arrival, Fifth Ring’s very own Bill Diack, at almost 90 years of age is one of a unique breed who just can’t stomach the thought. With 22 years of service at the company, he was one of the first members of staff when the firm was established in 1991.
He joined the company on its first day, having previously retired from working life (not through choice of course).
Since joining the company on its inception, he has seen it evolve from a local agency to become a global leader in energy B2B communications. He is undoubtedly the ideal person to talk about how that transformation has impacted those at the heart of the firm’s success – the staff.
What led you to join the Fifth Ring team?
I had been due to retire from Aberdeen Journals towards the end of the 1980s. My 'first' career if you like had been as a manager at the paper mills in Aberdeen, and once that job came to an end I joined the Journals helping out its advertising team. Of course, I didn’t want to retire; however the Journals had a compulsory retirement age of 65 back then, so the managing director of the Journals at the time put me in touch with Clif Collier for an interview about some potential part-time work. I still remember the interview with Clif’s wife Pat to this day and I started on the first Monday we opened. When I got the job obviously there wasn’t a Fifth Ring, so to speak, but I knew I would enjoy the work and could see and had no doubts, even back then, that it would turn out to be the success it is.
How has the company changed in that time?
How long have you got? It has changed beyond almost all recognition. Of course we still offer a lot of the same services as we did back then such as advertising and PR, and I do much the same job of monitoring our advertising cuttings, but as a company it has grown into something that has far exceeded my expectations. From being an office of five people on that first day and having a client list of mainly local companies, to an organisation of almost 100 in many locations dealing with a variety of oil and gas companies there really is no comparison to when we started. The technological change has been huge with computers, email and mobiles, when I started I remember some of the PR team having to fax out press releases. This process hasn’t happened by accident of course and the hard work of the team, particularly Clif and Ian Ord, means it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to see the company for what it is today.
What has kept you at Fifth Ring?
I enjoy the work, but the biggest reason has been the people who have worked here over the years. There is a great spirit within the company and the office is full of camaraderie. Getting to know everyone has been an absolute pleasure, especially some of my long-serving colleagues like Jim Davidson who have made my time with Fifth Ring, in what I guess is my 'second' career, as important and fulfilling as my first. It has been an exciting 22 years and I’m positive it will continue for everyone involved with Fifth Ring.