Jobs at DOC: Daniel Deans, Brand and Campaign Advisor

Department of Conservation —  13/02/2015

Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Daniel Deans, Brand and Campaign Advisor.

Daniel with a kākā on his backpack on Kapiti Island.

Meeting a kākā on Kapiti Island

At work…

Some things I do in my job include:

I work as part of the DOC marketing team, advising on all things brand and helping to coordinate national marketing campaigns – such as the Coastal Gems and Great Walks campaigns. I’m also heavily involved in some of our national publications – such as the Conservation Campsite Brochure and Great Walks Brochures.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Promoting ways that make it easy for New Zealanders to engage in recreation and conservation. Encouraging them to ‘get hooked’ on the outdoors and see the value in our work.

The best bit about my job is:

Working in ‘marketing’ while getting to promote something that I genuinely believe in, and has a positive outcome. I can’t think of many other marketing jobs where I’d get to promote the kind of stuff I’d be doing on my weekends anyway.

Daniel exploring the limestone karsts of Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Exploring the limestone karsts of Ninh Binh, Vietnam

The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is:

Two days volunteering on Kapiti Island with the 2013 interns. This involved a solid day of clearing muddy drains in the pouring rain using only our boot heels and hands. Topped off with a mad swim in the ocean in a howling southerly – because we’d all misplaced our sanity somewhere up the track.

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is:

It would have to be the trio of Robyn Cormack/Julie Ellis/Mel Borich – three of our marketing stalwarts who’ve left in the last few months. Between them they did a huge amount of work over the last few years getting some massive projects underway and ticking along. They’ve left some pretty massive shoes to fill!

Daniel and friends jumping off a wharf into the sea.

In my happy place!

On a personal note…

The song that always cheers me up is:

Secret Meeting – The National. The lyrics of the song are actually kind of depressing, but the line ‘I had a secret meeting in the basement of my brain’ always amuses me.

My happy place is:

Classic NZ summer days – swimming at the river, jumping off the wharf, or lying on the beach and watching the sunset with a cool beer in hand (cue Corona advertisement).

My best ever holiday was:

One month travelling solo around Vietnam in July last year. Had an incredible time immersed in a totally different culture, riding around on motorbikes, trekking around hill tribes, eating a LOT of pho and experiencing the joys of overnight buses.

Daniel and friends atop the High-Van pass in Vietnam.

Atop the High-Van pass in Vietnam – a one day motorbike journey through the mountains

If I could be any New Zealand native species I’d be:

A Haast eagle. I’d love to swoop over the majestic peaks and through wooded valleys of New Zealand – discovering all sorts of hidden places that no-one knows about. And they were pretty badass animals.

If I wasn’t working at DOC:

I would be a photojournalist for National Geographic (my life ambition at age 16).

Daniel looking across mountains in the South Island.

Pretending I’m a Haast Eagle

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before” Dalai Lama – 18 Rules for Living.  I try to make it much more than once a year.

In work and life I am motivated by:

Learning and new experiences. I love expanding my world with new ideas, different perspectives, new scenery and interesting people. Nothing I enjoy more than a decent book or interesting lecture or exploring a new place.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Get out there and experience it! The best way to get New Zealanders excited about the work we do is to get them out the door in the first place, and get them hooked on the outdoors.