Meet Ayokay’s Marketing Director, Crystal Paschal! Crystal has been working at Ayokay since March of 2019 and has overseen all marketing projects ever since. Check out our conversation with her to learn about what brought her to the company and how her background in volunteering and community organizing makes her an expert in developing a brand’s voice.
Q&A with Crystal
Q: What drew you to working at Ayokay?
A: I come from a background in freelancing where I worked with a lot of different clients on their marketing and SEO needs. One of the reasons I was drawn to Ayokay was because I still got to work with lots of different clients on lots of different projects. I’m always doing something new and exciting, and I get to learn about so many different things than I would normally. It’s never boring.
Q: What’s one thing that you wish people knew about your job?
A: I don’t think people realize how much thought goes into literally every piece of marketing that you see in the world. Whether it’s a commercial, a social post, a tweet from a brand, an ad, or a blog post, there are so many people who have been involved and so much thought that has gone into that piece of marketing. And most people see it for just a second and it doesn’t even register. But there are so many people working behind the scenes and so much thought and consideration about what goes into marketing materials.
Q: How has working at Ayokay expanded your professional skills?
A: It has really challenged me in a good way. When I don’t know something, I am really empowered to look for the answer. A lot of times I have to think on the fly. And if we have a client in a new industry or field, suddenly I’m plunged into a new world of vernacular and messaging – which I really love. I love learning about new clients, their audience, and what makes their audience tick. It’s definitely helped me to think quickly on my feet and helped me to gain the confidence in finding solutions along with improving my ability to be proactive.
Q: You are very committed to volunteering and community organizing work. What ways do you think that work influences your work as marketing director?
A: I think that because we work with a lot of nonprofits and public health organizations, it gives me an advantage because I’m familiar with the challenges that those organizations face. I know how hard it can be to build trust with an audience and really connect with them in a digital space. I think it’s also helped me see the value of authenticity. When you’re talking to a specific group of people, it’s important that your messaging resonates with them. That’s why the choices that you make as a marketer are so important: the words that you use and the imagery you use, even what channel your message is delivered on. Working with the organizations that I do, and working with specific marginalized groups of people, helps me think about the best way to get a message to the right audience.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I love to read. I have always been a reader, and I take weekly trips to the library with my kids. I generally set a goal to read 100 books a year. I don’t usually hit it, but the joy is in trying. I’m not too concerned with hitting the goal, I just want to make reading a priority. There was a big stretch of time when I didn’t really read for fun because I was “too busy.” So setting a reading goal helps me prioritize it. Even if I don’t hit it, I’ve read more than I would have if I didn’t set the goal. I also like to crochet, go running, and hang out with my kids.