Hi Community! 🤗
We’re very happy to feature Anna Wallace, our amazing Black Belt, in our Member Spotlight today 🥳
Anna has been a member for several years now, and her contributions here are invaluable. This year, she was granted our Black Belt Community badge, congrats Anna!
Make sure to say hi to Anna in the comments below 👋 Also, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions for her.
1. Tell us a little about your role and industry.
I am the Marketing Team Lead at Pelican State Credit Union, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Louisiana consistently ranks last in the country for financial literacy. We focus heavily on community outreach and education, grassroots events, and content marketing. We’re not just focused on selling products and services; we truly care about the well-being of our members and everything we do is with them in mind. My favorite thing about Pelican is that we offer free credit counseling to all members. You can check out our website for more info on this.
My position and department is extremely fast-paced and ever-changing. I manage special projects for our department but am also involved in lots of larger inter-department projects focused on process improvement and digital transformation. I manage our relationship with our third-party marketing automation vendor, which serves as an extension of our department in many ways. In my day-to-day, I jump constantly between special projects, meetings, and coaching/assisting team members any way I can.
2. Why do you/your team use Wrike?
I started using Wrike at my first job out of college and fell in love with it. When I moved to a non-profit in 2016, I expressed the need for a project management tool like Wrike but was met with some resistance and asked to find a free option. In my research, I quickly learned that no other tools compared to Wrike’s robust list of features, ongoing development, and community engagement.
When I joined the Pelican Marketing team in 2017, I proposed Wrike again and we adopted the tool 2 short months later. Everyone has their personal favorite feature! We all love dashboards for the most part, but some users work with reports a bit more. I am obsessed with the Gantt view and dependencies, but several members of the team really love the board view. Calendars have been a complete game changer as a creative team managing lots of social and content channels.
3. What were you doing before Wrike?
Wrike was there for me as soon as I entered the workforce, but when I joined Pelican, the marketing team used a spreadsheet to manage all their projects. It was… unruly, to say the least.
4. What is the top thing that makes you productive?
I’ve found that time blocking and music are super important for my productivity. I have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and part of managing my focus is understanding my triggers and weaknesses. I am super sensitive to sound so blocking everything out with music is key. If I need to write copy or strategy, I usually put on soundtracks from The Sims franchise because there are no lyrics. Studies have shown that this type of music can help with focus. (Now I understand why I sometimes get lost in The Sims for 12 hours at a time!)
Time blocking also sets me up mentally to avoid distractions on my desktop. If a team member needs me to review something urgently, they can send me an instant message and I will pause. Other than that, I’m looking at the task at hand—not Wrike or email.
5. What process/setup that you do in Wrike are you most proud of?
There are a few that I’m really proud of. We were having trouble with managing member emails, so we implemented a few tools to streamline the process.
First, we set up a blueprint that includes all the tasks we need to create and send an email. Dependencies are set so that when the blueprint is used, all the dates realign automatically. The parent task is a milestone and the title is the name of the email.
The second piece is an internal request form. This not only duplicates the blueprint for us, but it also ensures we are entering all the information we need to get the work done. Fields include Target Send Date, Email Type (Deposit Promo, Loan Promo, Transactional, Branch Update, etc.), Folder on Shared Drive, and Exclusions/Filters for Targeting.
Once created, the task is automatically added to the “Emails” folder in Wrike, which is connected to a smart calendar. The calendar is set up to only show milestones (in this case, just the name of the email), giving us a high-level overview of all the emails we’re sending in a month. This helps us to avoid message overload for our members.
We’ve created similar processes in our workspace and have just started using automation, which I’m really excited about!
6. If someone was thinking about using Wrike what would you say?
I know this is supposed to be a hypothetical question, but it has happened to me more times than I can count. I encourage anyone and everyone to book a meeting with me so I can show them how we’re using Wrike. Seeing is believing and people are always so impressed with our workspace. This isn’t just something I do for other departments at Pelican; I’ve given demos to other credit unions as well. One of the credit union principles is “Cooperative Spirit,” meaning we help other credit unions however we can!
7. What value do you get out of the Community?
The biggest value is discussing use cases with other Wrike users. Wrike is extremely flexible—there are 50 ways to accomplish the same goal. But sometimes that can be a challenge when you’re trying to find the best way to do something. I also love being able to see requested features and getting updates on their statuses.
8. Fun question: If you had to be a Wrike feature which would you be and why? (Ex. @mentions, Gantt Chart, search, etc).
I would be the Gantt chart, for sure. I’m a visual learner and can sometimes struggle with prioritizing, so seeing each task duration and dependency laid out in order helps me to stay on track and make sure we’re getting in all the tasks we need. I also love that the Gantt chart includes a table to the left with customizable columns. It makes managing tasks in this view that much easier.
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