Marketing & Creative Jobs in Canada Blog

Creative Cultures: Striving for a Bigger Vision at Clearly

In our Creative Cultures series, correspondent Crystal Henrickson spends a day inside companies to learn how hiring, onboarding, and company culture play a role in employee engagement. From startups to design firms and all in-between, we’re pulling back the curtain on what it’s like to work in inventive and productive environments. Today she’s with the loving folks at Clearly.

As a lifelong wearer of prescription glasses (and huge fan of vision) I was beyond excited to meet the team behind the innovative online eyewear store, Clearly. With their launch in 2000, the company stepped onto the scene as one of the first online retailers to offer direct-to-consumer prescription contact lenses. Since then, the company has successfully expanded its product line to include a wide selection of designer glasses and sunglasses.

I spent the afternoon at their head office in Vancouver to get a behind-the-scenes look at their creative space and ambitious team culture.

Continue reading

5 Lessons from a FinTech Start-up with RentMoola’s Philipp Postrehovsky


Ever wonder why in 2017, you are still paying your rent with a cheque? Last year in the United States alone, tenants paid $600 billion in rent, $300 billion by check. RentMoola is a company that’s looking to change that through an online global payment network that allows users to pay rent simply — and get rewards that include travel, lifestyle, and home services. Emma Bullen spoke to RentMoola’s Philipp Postrehovsky about his lessons as Co-founder and COO of a fin-tech Start-up.

RentMoola launched in April 2013 out of a real need. Philipp Postrehovsky’s brother and RentMoola co-founder was living as an expat in Shanghai. Daily ATM limits meant Patrick had to withdraw cash for four consecutive days at the end of each month to amass the funds to pay his rent.

Patrick realized he could purchase local currency at Vancouver International Airport’s foreign exchange office for a small service fee using his rewards credit card. He quickly turned his rent payment into numerous free flights, and the idea of PAYING RENT IS REWARDING™ was born.

Fast forward five years and RentMoola are a growing team, mostly based in Vancouver, with Philipp’s brother Patrick now based in San Francisco. RentMoola have come a long way from their early days. Working in the growing fintech industry, the lessons Philipp has learned are universal.

Continue reading

Carving Out a Career In Storytelling with Matthew Luhn

Matthew Luhn is a writer, story and branding consultant, creative writing instructor and keynote speaker with over 25 years of experience creating stories and characters at Pixar Animation Studios, The Simpsons, and beyond. Alongside his work at Pixar, Matthew also trains CEOs, marketing teams, directors and other professionals how to craft and tell stories for Fortune 500 companies, Academy Award winning movies and corporate brands. Emma Bullen spoke to him at CIMC2017 in Squamish.

How have you carved out a career as a storyteller?

I come from a family that is all about toys; they own toy stores. But my dad wanted to be an animator. He didn’t get to do that, so he put his love of animation on me. By the time I graduated high school, I was dedicated to go and be an animator—and specifically for the Walt Disney Company.

I went to Cal Arts, and everyone who had a love for animation wanted to get into this school. The Pixar culture comes from Cal Arts and the animation department A113. While I was going to Cal Arts, I made a student film, and a small animation company called the Simpsons saw it. They offered me a job on the third season of the Simpsons. I did what was totally logical, I quit school.

At this point, I’d reached my dad’s goal; I was an animator. Then I stumbled into the story room. As a team, they were writing a different episode every week. I fell in love with this. It was the story that really interested me. I thought there was no way they’d let me in, so I kept animating.

Continue reading

What To Do When You Realize Your Product-Market Fit Is Wrong

Image of a group concepting from Shutterstock

By Michael Serbinis, Founder of League and former CEO of Kobo
Keynote Speaker at the 2017 Globe and Mail Small Business Summit
May 9, 2017, Delta Toronto Hotel
For tickets visit: Globesummits.ca
Boost your business with actionable insights from Canada’s top entrepreneurs.

Join us for a day of insightful sessions, proven business growth strategies, and innovative ideas from the country’s brightest business leaders. The day features two streams of content, as well as a cocktail mixer, where you will have the opportunity to network with top entrepreneurs, Globe and Mail journalists and business peers. Attendees will walk away with the resources, education, and relationships you need to take your business to the next level.


The scariest point for any company is when they realize their product isn’t working for the market. The next scariest thing is fixing it.

Getting product-market fit right is critical to the success of any small business. As business owners, we know this. That’s why it’s especially terrifying when you realize you’ve got it wrong.

So what is product-market fit exactly? It’s the intersection where the products or services that a company offers meet the needs of consumers by either solving a problem or adding value to their lives. And they are willing to pay for it. And their lives would be worse if they couldn’t have your product. There are all kinds of measures, but when you have it, you know it. All of a sudden the gears of your business are no longer grinding; they are flying.

Continue reading

Creative Cultures: A Culture of Learning at Thinkific

Creative Cultures - ThinkificIn our Creative Cultures series, correspondent Crystal Henrickson spends a day inside companies to learn how hiring, onboarding, and company culture play a role in employee happiness. From startups to design firms and all in-between, we’re pulling back the curtain on what it’s like to work in inventive and productive environments. Today she’s with the lovely folks at Thinkific.

Affectionately nicknamed “the Bunker”, Thinkific’s office stands in stark contrast from other bright and glossy corporate offices in town. Located in a shared warehouse in Vancouver’s industrial Railtown, the online education platform has been quietly expanding their company since 2012.

The space—which they split with a few local companies like Thuggies and Bash and Fete—feels creative, energetic and fun, with eclectic features like a shipping container boardroom, a small podcast recording studio, and wood pallet walls that divide an otherwise open space. The openness of the office seems to complement the team well, as colleagues consult and collaborate with one another frequently.

Continue reading

Change in the Making: CIMC2017 Conference In Review

CIMC, Change in the Making Conference is Western Canada’s biggest marketing and PR conference. Arriving in the world’s biggest stock photo hub, Squamish, BC, it’s clear what draws the big names to attend the conference. No, it’s not just the stunning, picturesque scenery. It’s for learning about the latest trends and meeting like-minded disrupters and influencers in the industry.

At this year’s CIMC, innovative leaders shared their stories with an audience of PR and marketing professionals. Here are the highlights:

Drive Your Career

General Motors is a company that understands the need to be a disruptor in their space. “It helped to go bankrupt,” says GM’s Ted Graham. “Companies like Airbnb and Uber started during the recession. But they didn’t go away when the recession ended. People started really connecting with them and they became part of their experiences.”

Continue reading

So, You Want To Be A Writer?

Arguably, Charles Bukowski was not the nicest human being. He was a smoker, prolific drinker, and a womanizer. He worked in a series of blue-collar jobs, notably at the post office, on the rail yard, and at various shops and stores before making enough money as a writer to quit. When he took up writing full time, he was 49-years-old.

Good news. You are not Charles Bukowski. And as an on-staff writer, it is possible for you to make more money writing in a month than Bukowski made from his writing in a year, which to be fair was about 50 bucks. (If you don’t believe me, pick up a copy of Charles Bukowski on Writing, it’s there in all its gory detail). So what took Bukowski so long to make some cold hard cash? Isn’t writing easy?

Continue reading

Why Every Organization Needs Storytellers [Interview with Ron Tite]

Branding and creativity expert, Ron Tite was named one of the Top 10 Creative Canadians by Marketing Magazine. An award-winning advertising Writer and Creative Director, Ron has worked for some of the world’s most respective brands including Evian, Hershey, Johnson and Johnson, Kraft, Microsoft, and Volvo to name just a few. He is founder and CEO of the Tite Group, Executive Producer and Host of the Canadian Comedy Award-winning show Monkey Toast, and the author of Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be). Emma Bullen picked his brains on why every organization needs storytellers and how brands can tell great stories.

Storytelling is a fundamental part of business. Research tells us that stories help us pay attention, teach us to be more empathetic, and allow us to remember concepts years after we’ve heard them. Within the workplace, narratives can help us make sense of an organization, and are an impactful way to communicate values. More than that, storytelling can turn something ordinary into something interesting.

As a brand storyteller and comedian, Ron Tite uses storytelling every day. He’s helped notable brands tell their story. He tells stories on blogs and podcasts and on stage at stand up gigs and at conferences. And he’s changed his personal narrative, the story of what he does, multiple times. In fact, storytelling is so much of a habit that he answers every interview question he’s asked with a narrative. 

Continue reading

How to Create Big, Bold, Brave Content [Interview with Ann Handley]

Ann Handley was recognized by Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and listed by ForbesWomen as one of the top 20 women bloggers. The world’s first Chief Content Officer, Ann is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide for Creating Ridiculously Good Content and co-author of the best-selling book, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Currently, Ann is CCO at MarketingProfs, a website dedicated to making you a better marketer. Emma Bullen picked her brains on content marketing, writing routines, and social media.

Emma Bullen: What does a typical day look like for you?

Ann Handley: I am gently awakened in the morning by the sweet calls of the downy-throated songbirds, welcoming me into a new day. I arise and dine on a firm scramble of eggs laid at dawn by my cluck of heirloom chickens while sipping coffee from the rarest Kopi Luwak bean, harvested deep in the Sumatran jungle. By monkeys.

So after that… you can imagine that I flit to my desk, dip the nib of my fountain pen in its corner inkwell, and the marketing insights spill out of me onto the page with the same intensity as the yolks of those heirloom eggs spread onto my breakfast plate.

Or: I wake up, sit down at my computer, and force myself awake by scrolling through Twitter.

At some point during the morning, I wander to my backyard Tiny House. It’s really a tiny office. But it’s a dedicated space that helps me focus and do the work I need to get done.

I actually have zero chickens and no songbirds. In case anyone is wondering.

EB: Tell me the story of how you became the world’s first Chief Content Officer

AH: Scene: The offices of ClickZ, my first company, circa 1997. The Internet was brand-new and fresh-faced. There were maybe 13 or 14 websites including ClickZ, which was one of the first sources of information for digital marketing and advertising. Everyone got only four emails a day. There was no social media, no email marketing. No chatbots or Snapchat or Fitbits. Life was simpler. And quieter.

Continue reading