ABOUT SHANTU ELLIS
What I believe
I believe in quality content. I believe that clear and concise communication is immeasurably valuable.
I believe in the phrase “content is king.” Content—in all of its forms—is your complete story, delivered in strategic and digestible bites.
I believe that your audience is telling you what they want, all the time. And whether it’s through analytics tracking, UX testing, email engagement, or old-school surveys, our main job is to be responsive and ever-evolving when strategizing content and communications.
Who I am
I’m a private contractor who provides content strategy and consulting services for small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and creative professionals. I pride myself on delivering a well-rounded and inclusive approach to content management. I follow plain language best practices and I believe that clarity and transparency are vital to effective communication.
What I'm doing
With my current clients, I am a consultant and strategist working within existing marketing, communications, and project teams. I connect content and communications practices with organizational goals.
I volunteer with ADVANCE Music Canada, a registered nonprofit that supports, mentors, and guides Black professionals in the Canadian music industry. I co-facilitate support group meetings for Adoptees Connect YEG, a registered nonprofit that provides resources and community for Adoptees. I also co-host If Hooks Could Kill, a long-running radio show on CJSR fm 88.5 which features influential hip-hop, soul, jazz, and adjacent music from all eras.
My business is Black/biracial-owned and operated, and I support the continuing civil rights movement, social equality, and Adoptee rights to information and autonomy.
I consistently write; I constantly create; I learn everywhere I go, and I'm eager to share my experience with you.
Key career points
Select career & contract roles
In a nutshell ...
In 1992, I volunteered as a co-host and DJ on a Saturday night radio show on CJSR FM 88.5 in Edmonton. This experience led to opportunities to work in nightclubs, recording studios, and on tours with creative professionals of all kinds. Obviously I met some very expressive people and through my interactions with them, I discovered the value of written word—songs, poems, and stories.
I combined my life-long love of music with my newfound passion for writing. I began contributing to a number of local publications and eventually authored an ongoing column in Vue Weekly which often spotlighted local musicians and issues relevant to local music, arts, and culture.
I graduated from the Journalism & Mass Communications program at MacEwan in 2003, where I was also the managing editor of the campus newspaper’s entertainment section.
My writing and journalism work led to marketing and promotions roles with Virgin EMI and Universal Music Canada. Creatively, I designed transit and retail signage, newspaper advertisements, and marketing copy. I also established and maintained relationships with venue owners and promoters, and planned and hosted events in support of music releases, movie premiers, and tours.
In 2006, I studied nonprofit business management at Mount Royal College in Calgary and entered the nonprofit sector shortly after. I began taking private courses in web content, independent publishing, and creative writing, and transferred my passion for writing to internal and external communications roles.
From 2009-2011, I was a Managing Editor at Investopedia ULC, where I managed a roster of 50 international writers, contributed to story idea generation meetings, and managed the website’s online dictionary of financial terms. I also wrote and edited financial education articles that were published on Forbes.com, MSN Money, and YAHOO! Finance.
From 2011-2016, I worked in marketing and communications with the Alberta Motor Association, a subdivision of CAA/AAA. There, I managed the digital content team, wrote content to acquire and retain members, and facilitated content priorities during organizational restructuring and website redesign.
Between 2019 and 2020, I worked in the marketing department at Sequiter Inc, a software-as-a-service company that manages legal support service websites. There, I transitioned from a marketing coordinator to a managing editor, collaborated with existing writers, and hired and trained additional writers to meet the organization's growing need for quality content.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, my services became remote only, in order to focus on my two daughters’ education and my family's well-being.
Today, I regularly collaborate with professional graphic designers, videographers, musicians, producers, animators, UX experts, back- and front-end developers, and writers. Much of my experience is backed by years of valuable teamwork and collaboration.