GDC Welcomes Ana-Maria Phillips

What do you consider to be the most important part of your role as Chief Strategy Officer?

As marketers, success or failure depends on our ability to target our messaging in a way that appeals to the end consumer. Understanding the mindset of that consumer helps us craft the message so it hits home. Before our talented copywriters and designers can begin their work, we define our audience. We understand it demographically and psychographically. We do deep dives to understand what’s going on in their world and the challenges they’re facing so messaging strikes a chord on an emotional level. Ultimately, our goal is to create affinity for our client brands and build communities of brand ambassadors.


How has your degree and experience in communications prepared you for this role?

I’m a big believer that God uses our cumulative experiences to shape who we are and what we’re able to contribute in life. Nothing is wasted. My degree in radio, TV and film and minor in journalism led me to a job in television news right out of school. It was all about taking complex matters, boiling them down to the bare essentials, and communicating them out in simple and clear ways. It’s a skill I carried forward when I transitioned from television news to the advertising industry. Every day, we all have information we want to communicate out. Along the way, we’re hopefully mastering the art!


How will your experience in public relations benefit GDC and our clients?

My background in broadcasting and journalism helps me understand the angles that appeal to reporters and producers. I enjoy customizing information and pitching ideas to the media that are intriguing and relevant to their specific audiences. I’ve conducted national media tours for corporate executives, provided media training for brand ambassadors, helped plan significant events at a statewide level with dignitaries, developed strategic public relations communications plans, and helped clients address crisis situations through thoughtful and honest crisis communications that help audiences understand and empathize with all sides of an issue.


What are you most proud of accomplishing in your career?

One of my most meaningful professional experiences was being part of a team that identified high-potential craft employees and empowered them with skills to improve their lot in life. We conducted assessments to understand training gaps. In some cases, these employees needed to know how to better manage their personal finances. In other cases, what was lacking was English-language training to be able to advance in their careers. I found the work to be gratifying and meaningful. I developed friendships that I have to this day.


What is one thing about you that is not listed on your resume?

A few Christmases ago, my sister gave me an Instant Pot. During the onset of the pandemic, I was home with my daughter for four months and mastered many recipes using the Instant Pot. I can make everything from yogurt to baked goods in it, and soups to “boiled” eggs. Honestly, Instant Pot should be paying me endorsement fees!