The Canela team is a powerful mix of digital natives, ex-journalists, aspiring social media gurus and wise, old communications consultants united by their enthusiasm to deliver quality communication campaigns, made to measure, for each individual client.
Director & founder
Deborah Gray is the Founder and Director of Canela PR. She is a British ex pat who has been living in Spain since 2001. In the UK she worked for Hill and Knowlton and BT. She founded Canela in Barcelona in 2006 with the vision of providing an independent, quality alternative to the International PR agencies in Spain. In defiance of the global recession she expanded Canela’s operations to Madrid in 2008 and to Lisbon in 2010. Deborah currently leads a team over 20 communication consultants who manage public relations campaigns for world leading brands such as Western Digital, HTC, Lenovo, Getty Images and Rakuten. She lives in the countryside near Barcelona with her partner and their Anglo-Franco-Catalan children, when not working she enjoys fine dining and fine wines.
Esther has over sixteen years experience in the information technology sector as a journalist and public relations consultant. She began her career working as a geek journalist for IDG Group and VNU writing in magazines like Network World, PC World, Redes & Telecom and Computer Idea magazines and the launch of vnu.es website. After leaving journalism, Esther went over to the dark side to work for PR agencies Funcorp Consulting and Fleishmand Hillard for different sectors companies. Esther joined Canela in 2008 to open the Madrid office and lead the PR campaigns of clients such as Lenovo, Hitachi Data Systems, Boston Medical Group and Western Digital. When not making headlines for Canela clients, she escapes to her beloved Ponferrada, where she harvests the grapes for the Bierzo wines.
Alba entered the world of communications ten years ago through an internship and today she is the Director of the Canela office in Barcelona. Alba has worked for many international brands worldwide, the technology and internet sectors while based in Barcelona. She also spent some time working from London at Nelson Bostock Communications in a PR agency exchange programme. At Canela, Alba helps her customers to implement communication strategies to achieve greater recognition in the Spanish market, either through press office activities, social media or events. She has coordinated corporate events for Hitachi Data Systems, managed Nissan’s Winter Sports press office programme and led Rakuten PR launch in the Spanish market, among many other campaigns. On a personal level, Alba loves travelling worldwide, going to her village to have some fresh air and she is the official DJ at Canela, in spite of her peers’ complaints.
Catarina Oliveira Sanjuan began her career as junior account executive at YoungNetwork PR agency in 2006 where she worked on several IT B2B accounts such as Meta4, Cisco, Data Recover Center and Cezanne HR. After that, she spent four years in Communication and Marketing Departments in the Health & Wellness industry. As a freelancer consultant she continued to work this field as well as Training and Psychology leading press office activities, marketing and digital strategies. Since the beginning of 2015 she joined Canela to lead the accounts in Lisbon in different sectors such as IT/consumer with Lenovo and BISSELL, Literature with Marcador publisher, startup ecosystem with Pipedrive, Lifestyle with The Pitch Market and Zawadi Studio, Culture with Royal Academy of Dance or even Mobility with eCooltra Scootersharing.
She´s a proud mother of a baby girl half Portuguese half Colombian and is always enthusiastic to talk about conscience parenting and NLP as tools to grow personally and professionally.