The Story of Joy

Exactly three weeks ago, I was sitting at my computer (where I am right now), working to bide my time until I could watch SNL at 12:30. I remembered a vivid dream I had the night before. I was on a beach in New Zealand with my sister. She was running ahead of me with her dog, Summit, a beautiful American Staffordshire Terrier and Labrador mix. I looked down to my right to see my dog running, too. But it wasn’t Apollo. It was a grey and white version of Summit. I felt such joy in that moment, being with my sister who lives so far away, with our dogs who we love.

Thinking about that dream, I looked up Fly With Me Animal Rescue’s Instagram. I knew I wanted a sister for Apollo; he has a playful spirit and I want to give him that bond of loving another dog. When my Google page refreshed, low and behold, there staring back at me was Joy. She was the dog in my dream. A grey and white pit mix. It was meant to be.

I went to the Fly With Me website and submitted both a foster and an adoption application for Joy. On Tuesday, I followed up, and the next day I had an interview and virtual house tour with Jen, an amazing volunteer. All went well and I was eagerly anticipating we’d be welcoming home our new foster on the weekend.

Early Thursday morning, Jen sent me a message. “I have news that is going to disappoint you: Joy is not available.”

What? How could this be? She was perfect; literally the dog of my dreams. I couldn’t understand why everything would align in this way, to bring me Joy, only for my dream to be crushed.

Later that afternoon, Jen emailed me back to say they had another foster, Selena, who they’d hoped I’d be interested in. My heart was set on one dog, but I’d also really fallen in love with the idea of fostering so I agreed to look at her photo. The first thing I saw was her big smile; Selena was not polished like Joy, but, of all the dogs in the world, she was another grey and white pit mix.

There was just one thing: she didn’t look like a Selena to me. “I’ll name her Stella,” I thought, which means “star”. Apollo in Greek mythology is the god of music, poetry, and light.

I agreed to take Selena as my foster and she was added to the truck the next morning, headed for Halifax, on her freedom journey.

I’m a content creator so I started to document our experiences together from the time that we met because I thought it would be fun for my family and friends (and to promote fostering! ). We’ve received so much support that I’m going to keep making and sharing our videos on Instagram @kristakeough as we’re learning new things. And I hope you all follow along.

I wanted to share this story because I know many people who are, or want to, foster and adopt. There are so many emotions, so many ups and downs. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I can wholeheartedly say now, exactly three weeks later, I truly feel I have brought Joy to our home. And her name is Stella.

TikTok you don’t stop

Over the break I produced and launched a TikTok campaign for Atlantic Association of CBDCs with Sociable Media and it has been an absolute blast. This weekend, one of our TikToks started trending and has accumulated over 20,000 views!

This is my first TikTok campaign for a client and I want to do many more. I’m especially proud because I created the strategy, storyboards, and sketches; I chose the audio; wrote the scripts, supers, captions, and hashtags; I recorded all the video in my condo, blocked shots, lighting; did makeup, wardrobe; did all the editing – oh, and did I mention, I’m pretending to act IN the TikToks!! And it’s a bilingual campaign!

It truly has been so much fun and I’m ready for the next one.

What’s your story?

When I started Krista Keough Creative Communications in 2007, I didn’t have any sort of plan. I was confident in my abilities and my resourcefulness; I had ideas about what I wanted to do and a passion for storytelling. For a marketing and communications professional, you might not see telling stories as an important part of business, but it is for me.

Throughout my career, I have been drawn to entrepreneurs with a story, songwriters who sing stories, and creators who have a story to tell. It’s the thread that ties together my experience in advertising, film, TV, publicity, grant writing, artist management, teaching, marketing, and communications together. I love sharing a good story and helping others share theirs.

Although I didn’t have a plan, I learned a lot from one of my first gigs as the director’s assistant for a big-budget film. Immediately after I arrived home from my last day on set, I wrote this piece for myself to reflect on my time in my role. Little did I know where my journey would take me, or that these lessons learned would be just as relevant to my business today as they were then.

As we’re looking ahead to a new year, I’m looking forward with eager anticipation, ready for the next chapter in my story.

On a mission

As an entrepreneur, Jenine Panagiotakos is leading the charge toward building coworking communities in Atlantic Canada. Her business, Many Hats Workspace, is located on the 3rd floor of the Bedford Basin Farmers Market and has attracted resident and co-working members who provide a range of professional services, health and wellness practices, and creative offerings.

Jenine is expanding Many Hats Inc. to offer consulting services for builders and commercial property owners to develop, curate, and manage shared workplaces. She is forming new partnerships with industry groups and clients in her target market to create more coworking spaces in Halifax through new construction, retrofitted buildings, and repurposed commercial space. These projects will come to light in 2021 and will make a big impact on the city’s landscape.

I was thrilled to work with Jenine to write a new vision statement for Many Hats Inc.:
See your future in coworking.

And a mission statement:
To foster the growth and development of coworking communities.

With a clear vision and mission, Many Hats Inc. is well on its way to achieving its goal: for people to imagine themselves in a coworking space and feel inspired to be part of the shared workplace movement.

#peoplefirst

As my work continues with Sociable Media, I’m taking on new projects and flexing my copywriting and social media skills. I was recently introduced to the team at the National Advertising Benevolent Society (nabs), a charitable organization that supports the health and well-being of media, marketing, and communications professionals in Canada. nabs offers resources for mental wellness through their partnership with LifeSpeak, live career strategy sessions with a certified coach, nabsconnect online for job seekers and employers, and a 24/7 support line – just to name a few.

Our mission each month is to promote nabs’ resources and encourage their audience to participate in their various programs. I’ve created an editorial calendar to schedule dates and draft copy for the social media posts; Ladan Nur is the creative services coordinator and she designs each of the graphics; and I use AgoraPulse to schedule the copy and graphics for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

It’s been inspiring and exciting to see a community service organization in action and get to know the passionate, dedicated team who make it all happen behind the scenes. Thank you, nabs, for all that you do to support those in need.

Personality that pops

Nicole Gallant is a sales and marketing guru with a firecracker personality. Her enthusiasm for networking is infectious and her approach to selling is refreshingly genuine. As a leader in the Halifax business community, Nicole shares her knowledge on her website and in her blog, where she’s amassed 20 amusing and informative essays about her experiences in the field.

SmartCat Marketing is Nicole’s business and its brand reflects many of her unique qualities. When we met over Zoom to discuss her website, we decided to do an overall proofreading and editing of the current copy, including the 20 blog entries, in order to communicate her conversational tone while keeping grammar and consistency at the forefront of her writing. One of my favourite things to do is bring my client’s personality to life in the words that they write, and I’m grateful I was able to do that for Nicole and SmartCat Marketing.

Fresh energy

Roswall Development Inc. is a Halifax-based renewable energy company that’s up-and-coming on the international scene. In December, I had the pleasure to virtually meet Roswall’s managing director, Dan Roscoe, and our work together has been a highlight for me this year.

What began with a funding application grew to website development and graphic design, creating proposal decks, and RFP and tender assembly projects. My interest in renewable energy is energized (ha!) and as I continue to manage marketing and communications for Roswall, I’m looking forward to pushing the company’s brand forward with each new initiative.

Renewable energy is a thriving sector and I’m grateful to be part of Roswall’s team in making a difference toward our collective pursuit for climate change.

Leaders of the pack

Saint Mary’s University is a leading educational institution that attracts students from across Canada and around the world to our city. Any resident will tell you that student life enriches our communities and their presence brings a tangible vibrance to our public spaces.

In February, I was offered the unique opportunity to interview five soon-to-be graduates for the Spring 2020 issue of SMU’s Maroon & White alumni magazine. My conversation with each student left me feeling abuzz, their stories and experiences are inspiring, and I couldn’t wait to share them.

Fast forward to July and the magazine is published! It’s exciting to see it come together and I’m happy for Maddison, Sophie, Mohammad, Maggie, and Mary – and the entire graduating class of 2020 – for their accomplishments and achievements.

Sociable!

Sociable Media is a marketing company specializing in digital strategy, social media management, website development, and online advertising. President Maria McGowan and her team provide strategic oversight for their clients while continuously creating new and exciting ideas to take their online presence to the next level.

In my initial talks with Maria, we discovered a lot of similarities and complimentary skills between us. She shared with me her idea for Digital Portfolio: a new HR tech concierge service to help professionals build a personalized website that communicates their skills, education, and experience in an interactive way.

We quickly put together a project plan that includes market research and analysis of the target markets; setting goals for the brand strategy; and a discovery session to create the brand identity, brand message, and positioning.

Working with Maria and her team adds a ton of excitement to my day and challenges my skills in different ways. New ideas have a way of motivating you to explore your entrepreneurial spirit and try new things. I’ll cheers to that!

It’s great to be nominated

This week the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) announced the nominees for their Music & Industry Awards, and my business, Krista Keough Creative Communications, is nominated for Company of the Year!

Thank you to the ECMA staff and members who selected me, I am truly honoured. The awards are being handed out at ECMA Festival & Conference in Newfoundland and I honestly could not be more proud to be going home to see my name up on the big screen.

Congratulations to all the award nominees, we’re coming for you St. John’s!!