— Head of Brand Communications at Slack
Topic: Creating brand personalities and voices that stand out and scale.
“How do you create something authentic and unique - that engages on a human and emotional level - without allowing character to overwhelm content?”
Anna Pickard makes up voices for a living, then teaches other people how to use them. As the first copywriter at Slack and holder of the voice and tone, she's been in editorial, marketing, product, design, customer experience, brand and communications.
She now works across them all as Head of Brand Communications at Slack, working out how to create a community of practice across a distributed cross-functional writing team, in an industry and a time when people expect brands to deliver a consistent quality and voice… and to sound authentically human while doing it.
Before Slack, Anna worked in education and in games, writing dialog for pigs, trees, and evil prime numbers. Before that, she worked in advertising, where she gave voice to polydactyl cats and "the concept of butter" on social media; in journalism, where she liveblogged for the Guardian newspaper.
And before THAT, she trained as an actress (in Manchester, no less) and holds an MPhil in Dramaturgy, which everyone said could never turn into a successful career in the theatre. Turns out they were only partially correct.