Meet Andrea Danelak

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Andrea Danelak is the kind of person you notice when you walk into a room. You can easily spot her bright (and ever-changing) hair colour, big smile, and always a cute fit — which is exactly like her writing: it’s confident and stands out. 

When you work with Starling Social, we get to know all the small details of your brand so we can seamlessly integrate as part of your communications team. When we work so closely together, we get to know each other pretty well. If you get the pleasure of working with Andrea, this blog will jump-start your relationship—and if you’re just here to get to know our team, welcome! 

Work Life 

Andrea has her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Journalism Diploma from Red River College. She’s worked in various communications, marketing and publishing roles for almost 20 years. 

“I quit the corporate world two years ago and I haven’t looked back. I’m happy to freelance and be a part of teams like Alyson’s where I can still have that team environment, but also a lot of independence in my work.” 

Having someone on the Starling team who can easily crack an introvert open is a serious asset.  Her charismatic nature draws people in, and her communications background cuts through the small talk and gets people excited to talk about their passions.

Her favourite projects are anything that involves writing. Particularly if it’s a subject she’s unfamiliar with.  

“I love diving into a niche or an industry and then challenging myself to learn the lingo so that I can write about it in a way that seems credible — like I’m an authority on the topic.”

Andrea’s passion for writing glaringly shines through in her work — and it’s not just us that thinks so! 

One of Andrea’s favourite projects with Starling was working with a local book publisher on their social media. As a voracious reader, she had a lot of fun interacting with fellow book nerds and writing book puns in the copy. Plus, she felt proud promoting of Canadian authors. 

In terms of Canadian authors, she likes Waubgeshig Rice, Alicia Elliott and Craig Davidson (pen name: Nick Cutter). She liked reading Amy Leblanc's Homebodies and is excited to see what she writes next.

Personal Life

When Andrea’s not writing, she runs a softball team or leads a book club. They just finished The Sundown Hotel and are diving into Lessons in Chemistry. She also dabbles in creative writing.

Andrea has three cats who are always by her side when she’s working. They are her little office mates: Engelbert Humperdinck, Merlin and Harvey Danger.  Her husband adopted Harvey Danger from the Humane Society, so they didn’t feel like they could change his name — not that they should want to! 

A lot of the Starling team, including Andrea, share two interests that have nothing in common: gardening and attending local wrestling matches. 

Between your latest garden yield, TKOs, furry friends, and living in Winnipeg, it’s pretty hard not to find something to talk to Andrea about, which is one of many reasons why we love having her on our team.

Word Nerd 

Andrea loves grammar, so much so, that her Instagram handle is @WordNerd_Wpg. Naturally, we had to do a grammar Q&A. 

Why is good grammar important for brands to consider? 

One of the top reasons is clarity in your messaging. Good grammar improves the accessibility of your messaging. The biggest point is that good grammar should be part of how you present yourself to the world. 

If you can’t tackle the basics like writing with good grammar, how are audiences supposed to trust you as an authority on a topic?

Does that mean it needs to be perfect? Absolutely not. I make mistakes, everybody does, but tools like spellcheck exist for a reason, so use them.

If you could banish one grammar mistake from the English language forever, what would it be and why?

I had to think long and hard about this, because there are a lot of things that I would ban. I’m going to go with errant apostrophes, because they are often misused. When that happens, the meaning of the sentence has likely changed too. I’ve seen some really brutal examples over the years, like articles, business signs and even Christmas cards. 

What grammar rule do you break in your own writing?

Most people recommend not overdoing it with em dashes, but I can’t help myself, and I use them pretty freely. 

I love a good em dash! Can’t stop, won’t stop.

Why do you hate the Oxford comma? 

This is going to cause a lot of debate because it always does with other grammar nerds. I don’t feel like it is a particularly useful form of punctuation 99% of the time. There are certain instances where it does add clarity, and I will give it that, but for the most part I feel like it’s just not necessary, and I am happy to debate that until the cows come home. 

Thoughts on exclamation points

One of my old bosses said, “You get 5 exclamation points in your lifetime to use in your business writing,” so I always think back to her when I write something for business. I still overuse them, especially in emails. Sometimes, you have to buffer those harsh statements with a nice, friendly exclamation point. 

If you want to debate the Oxford comma, talk local wrestling or talk about working together on your next digital marketing project, you can reach Andrea here