What is your role at Hattaway?
As a senior associate on the Strategy team at Hattaway, I help organizations refine their communications goals and chart a path for reaching them. This includes working with my colleagues on Hattaway’s Strategy and Storytelling teams to better understand what motivates each organization’s target audience and how to reach them in order to achieve our greatest potential impact.
Prior to Hattaway, I worked in strategic communications in the think tank world, helping translate research for broad audiences and introduce new, creative communications tactics. I’m comfortable going into the details on a complicated issue and while maintaining that effective communications will ultimately require simple messages and a smart plan for sharing them.
What are you currently working on that you are really passionate about, and why?
Thanks to the recently-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS and Science Act, the federal government is prepared to make historic investments in clean energy, infrastructure, and job creation that could transform communities across the United States. I am excited to be working with organizations that are focused on sharing how these investments are showing up in American communities, with an emphasis on advancing equity and overcoming advancing equity and addressing systemic discrimination.
The impact of major public policies like these investments can be difficult to understand because implementation is often slow, the dollar amounts alone are not descriptive, and tying a project back to a single law can be difficult. That’s why we focus on translating policy jargon to everyday language and putting people in the picture.
At the end of the day, each of these programs are designed to deliver for people, and sharing stories about what that looks like for different people in different types of communities will be important. Pairing clear messages with those relatable stories is how we create memorable moments and leave an impression.
What is currently igniting your imagination?
“Welcome to Wrexham,” the TV show that follows Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney as they buy and help rebuild a Welsh soccer team with a rich history (and recent financial trouble), has really stuck with me. You might realize based on my answer above that I love stories about community. Listening to the people of Wrexham describe the town they love, the club they love, and how they came together to support the club in its lean years resonated with me. It’s a good story about local identity and resilience, and now it has me regularly checking the standings of the Welsh National League.
What originally got you interested in communications?
I became interested in communications when I recognized the level of misinformation around the Affordable Care Act and how the narratives I heard differed from the reality of many people benefiting from the legislation—including many people in my own life. This interest has only deepened as misinformation and disinformation continue to affect public discourse and pose a greater threat to democracy.
I know smart public policy can make a positive difference in people’s lives. That’s why I believe it’s important to showcase how in ways that are clear, memorable, and that help to restore trust in the capabilities of our public institutions.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
My favorite type of day off features live music and a lot of time outside. Luckily, D.C. has plenty of opportunities for both!