What is your role at Hattaway?
I’m a Managing Director on the Strategy team, working at the intersection of narrative change, coalition building, and innovative communications strategies. I work to power partnerships that enable stakeholders to work together to achieve a common goal—all while maximizing their unique assets and reducing competition or duplicative work.
I also use this approach internally with our teams. How can we leverage our team members’ unique strengths to let them really shine and/or grow throughout our projects. This helps all of us take ownership of some aspect of a project and also own the overall project’s success. And reducing redundancies and duplicative work helps streamline our processes and lets us deliver more cost-effective strategies for our clients.
I work alongside our Science and Storytelling teams to turn insights about our clients’ audiences into creative, actionable campaigns that change hearts and minds, finding opportunities to leverage strategic communications to make a difference—whether that’s with consumers, policymakers, voters, and more.
What are you currently working on that you are really passionate about, and why?
One of my favorite recent projects has been working with UnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—on a pilot narrative change campaign to open people’s eyes to the Latino community’s contributions, called Count On Us.
Our national research found that numerous Americans, from many different backgrounds, held warm feelings toward the Latino community. But most were unaware of Latinos’ many contributions to our economy, culture, and communities. And they didn’t understand that Latinos face barriers that, when overcome, help them to contribute even more.
We found that opening people’s eyes to the realities of Latinos’ lives can encourage more U.S. residents and leaders to support expanded access to equal opportunity for Latinos and others.
And the campaign achieved an amazing breakthrough! Despite a very crowded, noisy environment (hello, competitive swing state in a midterm election year!), we achieved three times the recall of a typical integrated marketing campaign. Beyond that, we achieved a 15% shift in attitudes—those who saw the Count On Us campaign were up to 15% more likely to strongly agree with the campaign messages. And people who had seen the campaign said that they were more likely to take all kinds of actions, including sharing stories of successful Latino business owners and their impact on communities, advocating for policy change, and donating to organizations that work to meet Latinos’ needs.
It’s great to see when narrative change can lead to behavior change, helping to improve outcomes for Latinos’ lives.
Now, we’re looking to see where else to take the campaign this year. Stay tuned for updates!
What is currently igniting your imagination?
I love learning from communications and marketing professionals outside the organizations I work with on a day-to-day basis, gleaning strategies and insights that I can apply to my work and the clients we support.
For instance, I was recently listening to the Goal Digger podcast (one of my favorites, outside of the Hattaway podcast, Achieve Great Things, of course), and heard an episode all about how the host had used a series of automated Instagram direct messages to convert her Instagram followers to her email list. Super nerdy, yes, but also so powerful. By getting her followers onto her email list, she can stay in regular contact with them, whenever she chooses, no matter how an algorithm changes and can affect her engagement (or even how many of her followers even see her content). This automated system had an 85% conversion rate—making it much easier for her to serve her audience the content they were most interested in, and to generate more revenue for the resources she already developed. And, this all happened behind the scenes, so she could keep her focus on developing new resources, all while serving her audience at the very moment they’re interested in learning more, capitalizing on their initiative and motivation.
Want to know how that can work with your organization? Let’s talk!
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
I love to be outside and moving. Sometimes this means out on a hike, taking in a new view. Other times, it’s out exploring a new neighborhood, poking around in shops or trying a new restaurant. Sometimes it means having my kids in tow; other times… let’s just say that I enjoy being able to hear my own thoughts sometimes too. :)
What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?
In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, I worked with a coalition of organizations in the Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities to push back against the onslaught of anti-Muslim rhetoric being spewed. In one social media campaign after another, we framed the negative narratives coming out of the campaign cycle as being fringe and extreme, while shifting the narrative to focus more on the agency, power, and contributions of the AMEMSA communities. For example, after then-candidate Donald Trump insinuated that Gold Star mother Ghazala Khan did not speak from the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention because her religion might not allow her to, I worked with the coalition to turn that news cycle on its head. Knowing that our message research indicated that even our presumed base harbored concerns about misogyny in Islam, we knew we had to act quickly before another news cycle centered these false views. With the hashtag #CanYouHearUsNow, Muslim women—from attorneys to professors, PTA members to policy experts—shared how they contribute to their communities and shape society ... and maybe the Republican nominee just needed to listen. Not only did that conversation trend nationally on Twitter and garner more than 60,000 tweets, it also earned headlines in outlets like The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, and People Magazine. But beyond those metrics, we also heard from people who had come across our campaign that it taught them something they didn’t know about the AMEMSA community, helping to build the base of supporters who helped push back against policies like Trump’s Muslim Ban when it was enacted."