Marilyn Jones is a corporate and social media strategist who specializes in training not-for-profit organizations, individuals, and entrepreneurs to use traditional and social media for promotion, communication, and collaboration. She teaches others how to effectively utilize the ever-increasing array of powerful online tools while drawing on the tried and true principles of effective marketing and communications.
Marilyn has been involved in — and has often been right at the forefront of — marketing, publishing, and media relations projects that have shaped the culture of Edmonton. For five years she published and produced the program guide for the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, and for three years led the festival’s corporate sponsorship program. She spearheaded the city’s first capital funding project for the construction of the Edmonton Space Sciences Centre, now the Telus World of Science, for which she personally raised more than $1.2 million. As the marketing and communications manager at the Citadel Theatre, she achieved an unprecedented and since unsurpassed number of subscribers.
Marilyn named the 124th Street Gallery Walk district of the city while working for Interface Magazine, Edmonton's first arts and entertainment magazine (then edited by Alan Kellogg long time former columnist for the Edmonton Journal). She worked in the marketing department for the Edmonton Sun (alongside Graham Hicks a long time columnist), and founded and produced Edmonton’s First Night Festival. After graduating with a BA in Honors English from the University of Alberta and a MA in Publishing from Simon Fraser University, she created Alberta’s first book loyalty program for Audreys Books, and consulted on numerous magazines including AlbertaViews, Law Now and Legacy Magazine.
In 2002, she published Media Magazine, which she soon converted into the first online magazine in Alberta. In 2003, she created mediamag ezine -- a monthly newsletter that has grown over the last nine years to include 4,800 subscribers in Alberta -- and in 2010, mediamag blog. In 2012, Marilyn designed and developed the mediatraininginalberta.ca website. In 2013, she designed and developed nonprofitnewsalberta.ca, so nonprofit organizations in Alberta could post their media releases online. Most recently, she completely redesigned mediainalberta.ca, a directory of media in Alberta service designed especially for nonprofit organizations.
A self-taught web designer and social media strategist, Marilyn built and now maintains four websites and a blog that fuel her business, RiverCity Productions. She currently focuses her entrepreneurial energies on media, electronic publishing, communications training and consulting, and has delivered workshops to more than 500 not-for-profit organizations in Alberta.
In May 2012, Marilyn was a finalist in the category of Business/Entrepreneurship for a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for her work in this area.
A true maverick, with over 30 years of experience working with non-profit organizations in Alberta, Marilyn recognizes the power of the web and social media to raise funds, affect change and inspire action. Her passion is empowering mission-driven organizations and individuals to give their stories a voice through proactive media relations and the proficient use of open source content management systems such as Joomla and WordPress, email newsletter providers such as Constant Contact and Mail Chimp, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and others yet to come.