Emalie Wichmann, associate creative director, Haberman

Emalie Wichmann is using her experience in public relations and advertising at Haberman, the Minneapolis ad agency she recently joined as an associate creative director.

Wichmann began her career in public relations before transitioning to the creative side, a combination that she said helps shape stories that resonate with the audiences that clients are seeking to reach.

"What's cool is having the opportunity to work with public relations here and also with the creative team to think about what's the most imaginative, inspiring, compelling way that we can convey the story that our client has to tell," Wichmann said. "People relate to stories and when you can create an emotional connection with your audience, then you have something more powerful."

Wichmann most recently was at UnitedHealthcare and also has worked at Minneapolis ad agency Olson on brands including Target, Country Inn and Suites and the Minnesota State Lottery. She has a bachelor's degree in individualized studies (titled, "Public discourse: creative writing, mass media and pop culture, and public relations") from the University of Minnesota. Her experience in planning events and promotions for Radio K, the U's student-run radio station, fueled her initial interest in public relations.

Q: What appealed to you about this opportunity at Haberman?

A: What drew me to Haberman is their commitment to telling the stories of pioneers who are really making a difference in the world. With the clients that we attract and have the opportunity to work with, the question is what story we tell first. There are so many good ones to tell that it is just an incredible opportunity for a creative.

Q: What led to your transition from public relations to advertising creative?

A: I've always been enamored with storytelling and creative writing; it's certainly a part of a more traditional PR role. What I really gravitated toward was that creative writing aspect (of creative work), that pure concepting of what it could be. Given the opportunity to focus strictly on that and, in some way, be compensated for imagining is a pretty cool job.

Q: Why should a company bring its business to Haberman?

A: Because their mission is more than words. It's something they actually live by. A perfect example of that is Urban Organics (aquaponic plant and fish farm in St. Paul that agency CEO Fred Haberman co-founded). It's this notion that we're not only going to shape that story but we're going to shape the larger narrative around a pretty important issue. That's living up to your mission on an amplified scale that I haven't seen before.

Todd Nelson