Category Archives: PR

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.

WAIT A MINUTE….!!!! 30 YEARS?! NO! HOW CAN THAT BE??!!

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.

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!

celebrating-logo-3

Dancing with Butterflies

I spent a recent rainy dreary foggy morning at the Cambridge Butterfly conservatory. It was in preparation for an event that will be held there in a couple of weeks that I will be overseeing for a client.

It was a wonderful way to spend this dreadful day. We opened the waterfall room door and were immediately greeted by warmth, a lush greenery and butterflies of every colour floating by. It was enchanting and it was magical.

I found myself spinning to catch sight of butterflies ducking in and out of the vegetation and up and around the waterfall.  And giggling. Honest to goodness giggling as I stuck my hand out to try and touch one as it floated by. Art on wings.

Butterflies kind of became my thing when I went through my divorce seven years ago. I came across the saying: Just when the caterpillar though the world was ending, he became a butterfly. And it spoke to me as I had returned to my maiden name and as a result, had to change my business name. Rebirth.

That’s usually what we’re dealing with as we move through the seasons, going from winter into spring into summer. Watching as the trees and gardens all bloom and unfold before our very eyes. Even our long-lost neighbours emerge from hibernation and start hanging around the sidewalks and porches to talk and share a beverage and maybe even bbqs.

Re-emergence and reinvention…they are good for the soul. And good for business too. I’m taking the time today to re-evaluate and reinvent. To return to what I love doing – and that includes dancing with butterflies.

 

Butterfly

Another year draws to a close…

Where has this year gone?!!  It’s December already.
I can’t believe it.

Time: never enough when you need it, but, oh
too much of it when you’re waiting for something!

At this time of year, I believe in stopping, reviewing and
being thankful for the achievements of the current year
and taking a moment to consider the goals for the next.

My first year as Diana Degan & Associates is almost done.
I launched my new blog, DDA, on my revamped web site.
I was fortunate to win another IABC international Gold Quill
Award. I was honoured to be recognized by Cambridge
Who’s Who as their Professional of the Year for Public
Relations & Marketing and featured in their magazine.

I started working with several new clients including the
Responsible Gambling Council. And I have been selected
as a speaker at the IABC World Conference to be held in
Chicago, IL next June.

The next year looks brighter than ever. A new project with
Storck for their Werther’s candy promises to be especially
sweet. I’ve just been asked back to Loyalist College to
speak to their Post-Grad PR program — my 6th year!
And I have a trip to Chicago to look forward to.

I wish you all the happiest of holidays and a very successful
2012. I thank you all for your support, your advice and
your friendship and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Ideas pop up all over the place…

 

I love it when you read about a marketing idea
that makes you smile. I just had to write about this
in my blog and post it immediately because that’s
what having a blog is all about right?

Every day I get two Marketing Magazine email
news brief updates. And in this morning’s was a
story about how everyone is getting in on the
upcoming Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Last week, the airport welcomed TIFF in their own way.

On an average busy day at the airport, the luggage carousel
light and buzzer sounded and then all of a sudden
1,000 boxes of popcorn poured onto the carousel.
The look on the people’s faces is priceless.
The smiles, the chuckles, the snapping of photos,
the munching of popcorn … you can see it all.
And it makes me smile. You have to go check it out for yourself.
http://www.marketingmag.ca/uncategorized/watch-this-pearson-pops-surprise-for-tiff-promotion-35313?p=35313?utm_source=EmailMarketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=marketing_daily_AM

You know as a marketer that the impact was great that day,
immediately touching those in the area, and there were people
on hand to pass out the boxes to travellers to extend it a bit further.
But the reach goes WAYYY beyond that…. the PR component kicked
in today as I read the story, viewed the video they obviously shot that
day and smiled.
And blogged about it. Nice job guys.