By Melinda Price, Member of WWPR and WWPR’s Marketing Communications Committee
WWPR’s August Member Spotlight features Anna Stallmann, director of communications at Nahigian Strategies and active member of the Woman of the Year (WOY) Committee.
Stallmann shared her journey as a communications professional and her role as a committee member with WWPR.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in communications?
I have always been an inquisitive person and have enjoyed opportunities to learn as much as possible about the situations around me. I’ve always been intrigued by the various manners audiences absorb and process information and how some messages are “stickier” and more memorable than others. Communications at its core is about collecting information, then sharing a story in a strategic manner to solve a problem, drive a perception or influence an outcome.
My career in communications allows me to learn something new each day – and then spread that information through a variety of manners, with written, vocal and even visual cues. I believe the tactics and techniques to communicate messages will constantly be changing as we continue to embrace new digital and social media platforms – and this aspect excites me. I love being able to constantly learn in my career and tell stories in a manner that is memorable and translatable to diverse audiences regardless of the communication medium (print, television, social media, blogs, etc).
What do you feel is your biggest professional accomplishment?
That’s a tough one! I think my answer has to include something that could also be viewed as a personal accomplishment. While working full-time at Atlantic Media, I was simultaneously pursuing a Masters degree in political communication at American University full time. This meant I would leave work at 6:00 PM and head up Massachusetts Avenue three to four times a week for classes often lasting past 10:30 PM. I did this for two years, with a plethora of support from family and friends along the way. Juggling both was certainly an accomplishment and taught me the importance of prioritization and balance.
Why did you choose to be a part of the WOY Committee and why do you think WOY is so important to WWPR’s mission?
The WOY Committee has an incredibly important task of planning for one of our biggest tentpole events of the year. The WOY luncheon is a great community-building event where our members and guests across diverse fields in public relations come together to celebrate our peers and colleagues’ accomplishments. Moreover, it is a great reminder for us to all take a pause in our busy days to remember the importance of this community and how we can all help each other, both professionally and personally. I’ve had experience planning a variety of events in my career – and jumped at the chance to join the WOY Committee.
What advice do you have for members wanting to get more involved in the organization or WOY specifically?
Your involvement can come through a variety of manners. Most of the women in WWPR have incredibly busy days and we all know public relations is not always a 9-5 job. If you feel you can only dedicate a few hours each month – those few hours collectively make a big impact and can be made to fit within your own schedule. Additionally, instead of only getting involved with areas of WWPR that best fit your current skill set, I’d encourage members to use WWPR as an opportunity to learn about other skills and areas of PR that they would not naturally be able to do in their job.
For WOY, the easiest way to get involved is by doing what we all do best – spreading the word! Invite your colleagues, share the invitation on social media and drive awareness of the event.
What is your favorite way to unwind?
A few years ago I became hooked on heated yoga sculpt classes. It’s a great workout, brings instant endorphins, warms me up in the colder winter months and forces 60 minutes of time away from my phone and laptop, to just work hard for me. Also, a glass of pinot noir is a favorite, too!