Meet the people behind the festivals – Julia Heys
An integral part of Aberdeen Festivals’ work is to strengthen the cultural sector in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. This is mainly achieved through our key resource, our people. This month we talk to Julia Heys about her ongoing work with Aberdeen Festivals and how her work is directly contributing to raising the profile of our cultural product.
Tell us a bit about your job:
I graduated three years ago with a degree in Management with Marketing from the Robert Gordon University. On graduating I came back to the then, VisitAberdeen – I worked with the destination marketing organisation during my 4th year of University!
I am Marketing Executive for VisitAberdeenshire covering all elements of traditional marketing from global print marketing campaigns to PR and stakeholder communications. As part of my exciting role I also support Aberdeen Festivals with all things digital marketing. This means I manage our brand new website, issue our newsletter communications as well as coordinate our busy (and growing) social media channels – yes it is me you’re chatting to!
What do you think makes our region’s cultural offering stand out?
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are well known for their unique culture and traditional celebrations. Having visited many places in the world, I have noticed that our culture is very deeply rooted and this shows through our long festival tradition not to mention our Highland Games! There’s a really strong feeling of authenticity and community. It’s great to see so many people getting on board locally with our cultural offering too; there were over 63,000 visits to SPECTRA in February this year and there has been a huge shift on social media with support for our festivals. Our people and our deeply rooted culture make us stand out.
How has working as part of Aberdeen Festivals developed the festival you represent and your career:
By working as a collective, the 10 festivals have clearly developed the sector as well as the profile of all festivals. As a staff member of VisitAberdeenshire, the work of Aberdeen Festivals has given us a tangible product to market to our tourists both nationally and internationally – one which has been very well received.
Since working so closely with Aberdeen Festivals I have not only advanced my understanding of our buoyant cultural sector but my role also allows me to communicate this fantastic offering directly with our various target audiences too! Whether this be through audiences already aware of our 10 festivals or new ones that I reach through social media advertising, there is definitely a lot of interest in what Aberdeen has to offer. It’s very satisfying to see the results of my work.
How do you spend your weekends:
In Aberdeen I love visiting the historic areas – Old Aberdeen and Fittie are definitely up there with my favourite places in the world. At the weekends (as long as the weather permits) you will find me on one of Aberdeenshire’s beaches – Cruden Bay is amazing but you can’t beat the views of Aberdeen from Balmedie Beach either. There’s always so much on in the evenings so I am always checking the VisitAberdeenshire what’s on calendar to plan my weekends!