Marketing pro Paula Reile on having it all

Breaking through the clutter of our visually dominated world to win brand loyalty takes true creative innovation. So when clever ad campaigns succeed in touching their audience, their emotionally-charged message is held in high regard by marketing professional Paula Reile.

Such connection represents the power of inspired storytelling, says the Research Lead for the Business & Commercialization Solutions team. And it’s a topic she takes great joy in exploring with the students she mentors at the Research & Innovation division.

“I love brands… and I’m known around here for always talking about the Honey Nut Cheerios’ “Bring Back The Bees” commercial – a perfectly executed campaign,” she says. “I compare almost everything to the emotion that evoked.”

The TV and internet campaign that used meaningful visuals and heartwarming music saw more than 100 million wildflower seeds planted, all to help a dying breed of bees. It also served to instill brand love for the iconic cereal brand.

“I am very passionate about the businesses we work with and their success is what’s important to me”

While she appreciates the mastery of these influential campaigns, her reality is working with much smaller, local businesses through the applied research projects at Niagara College. They, too, drive her dedication to delivering thought-provoking marketing strategies to help them grow in today’s market.

“I am very passionate about the businesses we work with and their success is what’s important to me,” she says, adding her empathetic nature fuels her instinct to become invested in every business she helps.

“I want myself and my team to have the same passion for these people that they are putting into their business.”

At any given time, Paula and her team of students (from the Business – Sales and Marketing and Bachelor of Business Administration – International Commerce and Global Development programs) can be found working on an average of three to seven research projects for industry partners, assisting in business and market research, operations, and sales and marketing goals.

Last summer, the group expanded their repertoire by taking on social media projects for 10 businesses at once. Besides auditing their accounts, Paula’s team demonstrated to the business owners, who were not very comfortable with social media, that through personalized strategies they could learn to like the platform. As an example of her caring nature, she still answers questions from businesses who continue to reach out to her many months later.


While brand marketing is one of her favourite things, she hasn’t always been the storyteller she is today. In fact, such creativity was not something she thought she even possessed in the early part of her career in the insurance field.

Something changed for her when her company brought in a marketing professor for a day-long professional development workshop.

“He was so dynamic. I hung on his every word for eight hours and it really ignited something in me,” says Paula, who afterward started spearheading various marketing promotions for her company’s branch. They were successful – and she was hooked.

She utilized a maternity leave for reflection, became a yoga teacher and ultimately left the insurance world. Following her passion, she enrolled in Niagara College’s Sales & Marketing program (graduating in 2016) and then Advanced Marketing Administration (2017).

“Through that, I found that creative bone in myself,” she says. “I joined the marketing competition team at Niagara College, so I owe a lot to the College for bringing that out in me.”

“I’m very lucky to be in a position to pick my life to some degree and I’ve been able to do everything I’m passionate about.”

Besides the public sector, this marketing consultant also has her hand in both the non-profit and private domains. She heads the school breakfast, snack, and nutrition program for Welland schools through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. And she runs The Reile Marketing Company, where she likes to keep only a few clients at a time so she can provide more personalized service.

Yet, to her friends and colleagues, Paula is known for her relentlessly busy schedule. Aside from her three jobs, she’s on the go with her three children, all in competitive sports (a son in travelling hockey, and two daughters in gymnastics).

Yes people think my husband and I are crazy, but I love everything I do, so nothing is a chore and I don’t feel overwhelmed.” She simply channels her inner yoga teacher and dismisses the adage that you can’t have it all.  She also utilizes every moment of her day – gratefully.

“I’m very lucky to be in a position to pick my life to some degree and I’ve been able to do everything I’m passionate about.”

Part of her positive perspective today comes from an innate optimism, but more profoundly, the experience two and a half years ago of losing her 18-yr-old brother in a plane crash that shook her to the core. 

“It definitely contributed to my outlook on life today,” she explains. “So you try to take that and pull positive pieces from it.”

This includes a renewed perspective on prioritizing what is truly important and what can wait. “At the end of the day, if I missed a social media post for a business, the world is not going to collapse. I remember I get tomorrow and I know it’s going to be okay.”

You also won’t hear her complain about her hectic lifestyle. “My husband and I recognize we only have a number of years with our kids,” she says. “We enjoy watching them pursue their own passions.”

It also helps that her family makes time for fun. A self-confessed “Disney nut,” Paula has taken her kids to the theme park five times and she has gone eight times on her own.

As for a possible tagline to brand her own life, she offers one possible suggestion: “Yes, I can have it all!”

To learn more about the work of the Business & Commercialization Solutions division, visit the web page.