Cari Kirby

Head of Marketing

Tell us about your career journey so far… 

Well, it’s a bit of a varied past to be honest! Having completed a degree in Media and Politics I was none the wiser about what I wanted to be when I grew up. After a few random temp jobs, I ended up in Sheffield working as an Account Exec at a screen printer. Armed with the knowledge that I enjoyed working with clients and with a keen interest in the creative industries, I then started working at a small creative agency, where I stayed for the next, nearly 10 years.

Following a bit of a career break to look after some tiny humans, I applied for a part-time, flexible marketing role with a games company who were looking to grow their audience and their product offering. Having never worked in the games industry before but excited by the challenge I applied. The rest, as they say, is history.

What do you do at Peek & Poke and what does your average day look like?

Oh gosh, I’m not sure I have an average day. We’re a small team so my role is incredibly varied.  The last few months have been consumed by re-branding – a process, however long and challenging, I’ve really enjoyed. In particular, I’ve had fun getting to the heart of what we do, what we’re about and how to communicate that to our audiences.

We’ve also just launched a new service called Piknik which aims to be an off the shelf branded games platform, so I’ve been pulling all the messaging, copy and content together for that. Piknik and Peek & Poke have certainly kept me really busy!

Alongside the strategy, new product development, advertising, press releases, day-to-day marketing content and social media, I also like to get involved in operations too, helping shape new engines and supporting the rest of the team with their challenges.

I’m clearly a bit nosy and like to know what’s going on!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy how varied it is and that it’s something that has grown organically. Since implementing our event and exhibition strategy, I’ve had the opportunity to do more public speaking which I am really passionate about. Having been selected for a public speaking and media training course called Northern Voices a few months after I joined, I really wanted to push myself and get more exposure for the company. Being able to sit on a panel or present a talk or seminar is now one of my favourite parts of the job.

That, and the team – they’re ace, if a little competitive! We often go to the Treehouse Board Game Café and we recently did a team escape room at Crack the Code in Sheffield – we escaped, you’ll be pleased to know!

Tell us about you. What do you get up to when you’re not marketing?

Well, most of my time is spent with the family – one husband, two boys and a kitten keep me rather busy. The boys are 7 and 5 now and quite honestly have a better social life than I do!

Recently though, I’ve taken up guitar lessons. Learning a new instrument is notoriously hard but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m so glad I did – it’s had such a positive influence on my life.

What’s your favourite game?

I was always a Nintendo girl. When I was growing up my original Game Boy was never far from my side, with the Adventures of Super Mario Land, Paperboy and Tetris cartridges on permanent rotation.

The GameCube featured heavily in my student days as I played infinite games of Rainbow Road on Mario Kart, and this affinity to Nintendo hasn’t waned over the years. As I’ve become a parent, the Switch is the only console in our house. I just love the kid-friendly, accessible games the whole family can play. That said,  I don’t really get a look in these days! Even if I do it’s to help defeat an end-level boss in Mario Odyssey or to bear witness to an “EPIC” battle in Splatoon!

I’m pretty certain a Labo will be making an appearance in our house before the end of the year too –  fingers crossed for Santa!

Last but not least, what’s your zombie apocalypse plan?

Erm, well I’ve often thought about what I’d do if faced with a Walking Dead situation. While I’m generally peeking/screaming at the TV from behind a pillow, in between all the expletives, my general advice to a desperate character on screen is to:

  1. Cover themselves in blood and guts from dead bodies
  2. Play dead while the mob passes by in favour of a more alive-looking person that’s running away!

So I guess I’d have to heed my own advice. Nice.

Obviously, I’ll also try to find a nice group of people, who aren’t going to screw me over, to try and rebuild some sort of normal civilisation in a walled community or something. Maybe.

It’ll be fine. I’m sure.

And there you have it, our Head of Marketing, who’s ready and waiting to have a chat about all things Peek & Poke or your zombie apocalypse plans – you decide.

Meet more of the team