Category Archives: Diana Degan & Associates

30 years of business and still loving it…and learning

I was watching The Today Show with Stephen Cobert one night and Matthew Broderick was his guest. He was talking about the 30th Anniversary of that movie classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The two were reminiscing about all the well-known scenes and I was laughing out loud along with them. “Bueller…Bueller…” and then they mentioned that it came out in 1986 and then moved on to discussing 1987.

1987???? Wait a second…that’s the year I graduated from university and started working.


I wasn’t laughing anymore.

Time flies when you’re having fun. Okay, it wasn’t all exactly fun, but it was interesting. And challenging. And I’ve learned a lot.

Oh the things I’ve learned to do for clients! I’ve learned to drive a race car…I’ve learned to make pickles…and filmed how pasta is made….

And the things I’ve done….I’ve danced with Olympic mascots and Mickey Mouse and thrown a party for Barbie at Casa Loma; I’ve launched Excel gum using one of the very first guerilla experiential programs in Canada; and texting in Canada….I launched cell phone texting in Canada – nobody thought that was going to catch on! I still remember trying to explain that to media.

I’ve written crisis plans that you hoped would never be needed, and developed product recalls plans on the fly as they were happening because plans were never written. I’ve dealt with bomb threats, fire hazards, company safety needs and personal death threats.

I’ve thrown parties for P. Diddy and Beyoncé to launch their fashion lines in Canada.

And I know the Caramilk secret….

I recently just finished a six month, full-time contract, going back to my roots and doing agricultural marketing communications.  I immersed myself in farming, seeds, corn, weeds and so much more, gaining insight about innovative new advances. It was wonderful. While I was still at Ryerson taking Journalism, I wrote agricultural stories for The Guelph Mercury and had a summer job with the Ontario Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Rural Affairs. It’s interesting how you can come find yourself coming full circle.

It’s been an exciting 30 years. I still love what I do. And I’m still learning. Every day.

Spreading a little JOY

I think I’ve finally recovered from being a Host on the sold-out 2016 Christmas JOY Home Tour in support of Guelph’s Hope House.

I say recovered because I was standing, welcoming, talking for four and a half hours on the Friday night and seven hours on the Saturday. Almost 1,300 people came through the absolutely stunning home I was hosting on the tour, which ran November 18 and 19, with an Exclusive Pre-Tour Champagne Reception “sneak preview” night on November 17.

I think my voice is back. It got a little creaky there at the end. Or husky. Or sexy. Depends on who you ask!

I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of the Planning Committee for the tour back in May this year, the first time for me. I’ve been attending this tour ever since it started, 12 years ago. It has been a part of my Christmas tradition, part of my let’s-get-in-the-spirit-of-the-season. So, to get to be a part of the behind of the scenes….I loved it!

Now, I was helping to raise funds for Hope House through the Christmas JOY Home Tour. And anybody who knows me, knows that I AM the Christmas Queen. Fifty bins of Christmas decorations earlier this week and my house is now decorated…and that’s just the inside. I’m not counting the ones for outside!

So, to get to be involved in this project was truly a gift.

I was involved from the start in viewing all the homes being considered for the tour this year. And then I interviewed every homeowner and found the unique tidbits to craft the home stories for the tour booklet that is the ticket for the tour each year. I wrote the copy for the booklet and worked with Kimberley and Pauline the designer to ensure the booklet came together and showcased all the decorators, florists and businesses that support the tour and make it happen. Proofreading, proofreading, proofreading….It was truly a labour of love.

I got to work with an amazing group of 14 women that made this tour sing…and raised $83,000 for Hope House’s programs. The Christmas hampers, the school backpacks, the Food Market, the Edu-Kitchen, the Harvest of Hope, the Hope Stylin’ clothing and hair programs, the Café, Circles and Cadence High School Program will benefit from the generosity of the homeowners, the Guelph and area community and tour goers who came from as far away as Oshawa, Mississauga and London.

Thank you. For the opportunity. For the generosity. For the joy.


Celebrating 15 Years!!

Whoo Hoo! Happy Birthday to me! 15 years.
I’ve been running my own company, working with clients, helping them achieve their business goals with marketing communications tools for 15 years now.

I’ve always considered this time of the year the true “start” of my company…it’s when my company really got going. I know my LinkedIn profile says August because that’s when I was laid off from my last corporate position as VP of an agency that then folded within a year. But it was this time of year that I really made the decision — yes, I was going to do it, go out on my own, say no to the job offers I was getting and become an “Independent,” a small business person. And landed my first clients. It was freaking scary then. It still is.

I know the challenges of being a sole proprietor, of working long hours, trusting the partners you’re working with to come through so you can deliver on your promises and achieve your clients’ expectations. And I also know the frustration of clients that don’t keep to their agreements, especially financial ones.

It has been a challenge, these past 15 years. But it has also been a joy. I truly love what I do. Creating, strategizing, researching, discussing, developing, executing, delivering…finding the right marketing communications solution for each client’s business need.

From media training P. Diddy, answering his questions about the Canadian media and creating a rock star party to welcoming Beyoncé and her family to Toronto and launching her fashion line Deréon to the media and trade in just three and a half weeks…to creating programs that educated Canadians about playing safe, fair, clean hockey at the recreational level and the importance of keeping our precious water resources clean…to launching new products, dealing with personal death threats, creating detailed security plans, national product recalls and plant closures….it’s certainly never been dull.

To everyone who has shared in the journey with me, to all the clients, all the associates, all the friends and family, for the faith, trust, confidence, partnership, opportunities, support, friendship and referrals…thank you. It has been an honour. It has been a thrill. It has been a source of great pride and much learning. Cheers to all of it and all of you.

Happy Birthday Diana Degan & Associates!