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  • Amanda Russo

My path to Pragmatic

As a child of the digital age, I’ve never known a world without constant consumption of media and content. From the start, my perception has been influenced by advertising in a profound way – and I’m okay with that. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a technology-obsessed household with an electrical engineer for a father and a mother who programmed computers for a Fortune 500 company. Screens were always on and information was continually sought.

It was this focus on innovation and passion for knowledge at an early age that gave me an appreciation for the cognitive connections we create with products and brands on a minute-by-minute basis – in our mailboxes, on our laptops, and in our social feeds. After all, it’s through these connections that we discover ways to simplify and enrich our daily lives.

As direct marketers, it’s our job to help users realize how our clients’ products and services can change their lives for the better – and drive them to take action. It’s a task that requires both creativity and rigor, skills that I’ve honed throughout my adult life.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in English and Rhetoric from the University of Illinois, I spent over a decade gathering insights and experience at a wealth of different agencies, each making me a stronger marketer and a better creative leader.

I discovered the fundamentals of direct response at New Control, where best practices quickly became my expertise across a number of financial services clients. My first few years were entrenched in the world of direct mail and print techniques, but as the industry grew increasingly omni-channel, so did my clients and my experience.

From New Control I moved to Wire Stone where I explored the world of brand in a way I hadn’t previously, crafting visual and verbal identities that spanned the customer lifecycle. Technology and biotech clients gave me deep familiarity with the creative challenge of turning a complex product into a consumer-friendly solution.

Most recently at Merkle, I worked with financial and wireless clients to master the art of developing data-driven creative using real information about real people to understand how insights lead to action.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the Pragmatic team, where creative is rooted in expert strategy and flawless execution. When I first learned about their mantra of finding “the shortest path from problem to solution,” something immediately resonated with me. While this phrase was coined to demonstrate their strategic approach, it speaks volumes about the purpose of direct response creative: to connect users with the products, services, and brands that help enrich their daily lives and to strengthen those relationships through consistent, meaningful communication.

To say I’m excited about my next step and about the future of Pragmatic is an understatement. I’m eager to build upon the team’s agile structure and continue to grow the company’s creative capability.


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