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Ten Ways You Know You're Working with an Ottawa Marketing Agency

By Danny Starr on Nov 1, 2016 3:56:42 PM

In the style of David Letterman, Cyan has come up with their own Top 10 list. In this case, it's the Top 10 Reasons you know you are working with an Ottawa marketing agency.

Ottawa is an interesting and unique place to be a marketer and/or a communicator.  We have lots of government agencies and we're home to many non-profits and associations. 

Doesn't matter if you're client-side or agency-side, we think you'll get a kick out of these:


10. The agency is located in one of three places.

Ottawa isn't a very large city and it's likely that your agency is located in the Byward Market, Chinatown or Wellington West.   Of course, every Ottawa agency thinks their neighbourhood is the best...


9. When they hear of “JT”, they don’t think of Justin Timberlake

It's not uncommon to see our Prime Minister around town but he's also all over Ottawa media as we're a very political town - if you hadn't noticed. 


8. They can map someone’s position in the bureaucratic hierarchy in flowchart form

Close to 40% of the public service is located in Ottawa-Gatineau and the federal government accounts for almost 40% of Ottawa's GDP.  As a result, many of us either work or know somebody who works in the federal government.  We're familiar with acronyms such as PSAC, ADM, CUPE, EX1  and BILAT.


7. They can make non-profits, associations and NGO’s look cool.

We are also home to many non-profits, associations and NGO's who locate here so they can be close to the federal government.  If you're an Ottawa marketing agency, you work with these types of clients and you love making them look good! 


6. They understand that “Ottawa” doesn't always mean downtown. 

In 2001, Ottawa amalgamated many of the neighbouring cities of Orleans, Gloucester, Kanata, Nepean,  etc to form what is known as Ottawa today.  We might not be as large as metropolitan Toronto but each of these different areas are unique. It's likely that of the people you work with, most of them commute each day.   At Cyan, we have staff that commutes into the office from Kanata, Orleans and Barrhaven. 


5. You don't need to guess their area code

Yes, we're getting a new area code but we really just have to worry about the 613 in Ottawa. 


4. You could leave your office 15 minutes before an off-site meeting and still make it on time

One of the best things about Ottawa is that, unless it's rush hour, you can get almost anywhere in 15 minutes. 


3. You don’t need to take out a second mortgage to afford parking

Cities like New York and Toronto have astronomical parking rates where renting or buying space is almost as expensive as buying a condo.  Ottawa is much more affordable.  Downtown, parking can be about $13 a day but over in Chinatown, where we're located, you can park for $5 to $7 a day. 


2. There is a zero percent chance of someone calling after 5pm

For better or worse, Ottawa is very much a 9 to 5 town.  Having worked in Toronto, where office hours are longer (sometimes needlessly long) it's refreshing that Ottawa works until 5pm at the latest.  Many public servants work 8 to 4 and some even 7 to 3.


1. You had to be bilingual to get your job - but the agency just uses translators

I've worked in both Toronto and Vancouver, and I was never asked about being bilingual.  In Ottawa, it's tough to get hired unless you have at least a basic understanding of French.   If you work at an association or non-profit, then chances are that you had to be bilingual to get your job.  At Cyan, we have french speaking employees but still have to use translators because of the specific expertise they provide when translating marketing and/or communications copy. 

Thanks for reading this post.  Ottawa's a great place to live and work and we hope you got a kick out of reading the top 10 ways to know you're working with an Ottawa marketing agency.  


If you think we missed anything, let us know.

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Topics: Marketing Agencies

Danny Starr

Danny Starr

Danny Starr the Director of Marketing Strategy at Cyan. He has been working in marketing since 2001. He spends his free time with his wife Kirsten, their two sons, and their dog Murray.