Stacie Manger, the Ice Dogs communications director, was recently featured in PIN Points, a trade journal for the Public Affairs Council. Stacie gave a shout out to the Washington Ice Dogs. We are grateful that Stacie shares her time and talent with us and are proud to have an emerging leader on the Ice Dogs' bench. Read her interview below.
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Stacie Manger
- Tell us a little about how you got to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and how you got involved in working with digital communications.
I moved to the American Forest & Paper Association in April of this year to focus solely on digital communications and to help grow this organization’s presence. I graduated college at the height of the economic downturn, and it took me a while to find a full-time communications job. I spent a little over a year at a start-up non-profit where I got my first taste of digital, then I went to a small law firm and eventually landed at the Aluminum Association,. I sunk my teeth into digital communications there and learned how powerful social media tools are for things like grassroots advocacy to changing perceptions. At Aluminum, I also got to try my hand at event planning, membership, media relations and other general communications work, but found my niche with digital advocacy. I grew the digital presence for the Association and the industry inside-the-beltway.
- What would you say your biggest challenge is as an emerging leader in the profession?
The challenge I face is educating others that digital is more than just sending out some tweets, and I think this perception is starting to change overall. I view what I do as a key part of AF&PA’s overall strategic plan and a powerful platform to advance our goals. This includes tweeting and posting on Facebook, as well as diving deep into analytics and benchmarking against metrics, developing creative [content] – such as infographics, banners, video and more – that fits our brand and tone. Another challenge is with creative and pushing the boundaries a bit. I’m someone who heavily focuses on what my audience is supposed to gain from the message, and creating a message that will not only reach them but impact them, which sometimes means going outside the comfort zone.
- What do you think your greatest success has been to date?
I think professionally my greatest success was the development of Alloys 101 content at the Aluminum Association. We looked at key terms users were searching to end up on our site and “aluminum alloys” was one of them, but we were lacking the content. I sat with our standards department, read excerpts from metallurgy books, our standards material and other information to compose an Alloys 101 web page that provided tangible examples to the everyday user. From there, I developed an infographic, snackables, a newsletter write-up and social posts to promote the content. Aluminum Alloys 101 is now one of the Aluminum Association’s top 10 trafficked pages and saw a more than a 500% year-over-year increase in traffic. But I think the thing I’m most proud of is using my communications background to help a special needs ice hockey team, the Washington Ice Dogs. Helping increase awareness that hockey is for everyone, showing how our players have extraordinary capabilities, and becoming part of the team’s hockey family while doing it is probably the pride and joy of my life. Aside from being an aunt, of course.
- What advice do you have for newcomers to the public affairs field?
It’s the same advice that someone told me because it’s been invaluable: not only learn, but truly understand digital analytics and best practice metrics. Tools, platforms, the policies we advocate for, the hashtags, the jargon – it’s all going to change. My position didn’t exist 10 years ago, so the one thing we can rely on is that change is the only constant. But if you understand analytics and metrics, you will better position yourself in the communications field.
The second thing is that your own personal social media platforms and posts are reflections of yourself. Pay attention to what you post, what you say and what you do. It does matter; your posts are your personal brand.
- Do you have a favorite podcast you’re listening to?
I honestly don’t regularly listen to podcasts, but I do read Scientific American as often as possible. I’m a bit of a science geek and I’m constantly fascinated by advancements in medicine, space exploration, sustainability achievements, how the mind works, new technology and pretty much anything Scientific American publishes. They recently used Einstein’s theory of relativity to weigh a star for the first time – fascinating.