by Gloria Welton
Julie Jones says when she was hired three years ago by Insight Studio, a PEI creative marketing and advertising company, she knew she had reached her sweet spot of being in a career that was completely suited to her.
While making career decisions earlier in her life on PEI, she was told that a career that brought out her creative side was not available on PEI and to pick a career path that was more attainable.
“I wanted something more engaging and creative to fit my preferences and interests. I wanted to write, meet many people, and bring ideas to life through creating stories.”
She grew up wanting a creative career, perhaps doing something related to film making. “However, right after high school I settled into a government job, and I was told that is the best one can do for work on PEI. It was a good job financially and there were opportunities to move into other departments, but it just wasn’t for me.
“I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was literally talking with everyone I knew and struggling with what I could do with my skills and my creative energy.
“I finally talked with an older gentleman who suggested I study public relations. At first, I didn’t know what that was. I did my research and discovered that employers considered it a sought-after skillset. It is a combination of communications disciplines in areas such as advertising, marketing, graphic design, and journalism.”
After doing her research, she enrolled in the Public Relations program at Humber College in Toronto and lived there for a few years. She also took an internship at the Toronto International Film Festival. “That was such an accomplishment. I thought, yes, I can do this and there are jobs out there that suit who I am.”
Then Julie decided to move back home to PEI. “I went back with a whole new perspective, but I knew it was going to take time to land a creative career of my choice on PEI.”
In between jobs with the government, restaurants, and hotels, she was determined to find something on PEI that was a better match. “I came to realize there are a lot of creative arts opportunities on PEI. You just have to keep searching and digging and talking with people.
“Then it happened. I found out about this job opportunity with Insight Studio. I thought immediately it was perfect for me. I love the people around me and I know this is the place I need to be.”
The 15-year-old company is owned by Presidents and Founders Dawn Binns and Kerry Anne MacDougall.
The office overlooking Kent Street in Charlottetown has 15 staff members. They do a lot of work on PEI and also have off-Island clients, with an aim to expand to the Atlantic provinces. As stated on their website, this creative agency is all about helping clients connect with people. They do this through building engaging brands, producing strong content, and launching effective marketing campaigns.
“Clients come to us for help to tell their story, connect with their audience, and communicate that to the public. We do full marketing campaigns, video and graphic design and copy writing, content marketing, and social media – every aspect you can think of to help people get connected.
“We get to be creative, aiming to make the lives of business owners and their staff easier by making their dreams come together. It is the best job! We work from home if we need to but mostly staff like to be in the office to brainstorm together and feed ideas off each other.”
“I have seen the company grow and evolve. Two years ago, we had a CEO come on board who has 20 years’ experience in marketing, so that is an incredible add-on.
“When I started, I was originally hired as a Social Media Specialist. About six months later, I moved into a Social Media Manager position. About a year after that, I became a Copy Writer and Brand Manager.
“We have since hired two others for social media. Our roles are always changing and that reflects on our staffing needs throughout the year. Hiring is ongoing.”
Julie says the company loves to see students come in on placements to explore the industry and occupational choices.
“In my role, I am the words person. That works so well with the areas of our business such as graphic design, marketing, web development, art direction, video production, and the accounting and management teams.”