Breeanna Straessle: 40 Under 40 2015

Director, corporate communications, Cision

When last year’s Vocus-Cision merger generated headlines across international media, including Reuters and The New York Times, and on technology sites such as VentureBeat, Breeanna Straessle was at the center of the media storm. And then as the company went on an acquisition spree, snapping up Gorkana, Visible Technologies, and Viralheat, she was back in the spotlight.

As the former director of corporate comms for Cision, Straessle led external and internal communications, overseeing a team of seven PR, design, social media, and copywriting professionals. Along with executing media strategy, she led influencer and analyst relations, social media, and content marketing, and much of the brand and creative work, including native advertising.

In August, Straessle left for a new challenge, joining Cracker Barrel as its manager of corporate communications. She is tasked with developing and executing strategic communications initiatives to ensure effective management of the company’s corporate reputation, brand, and identity.

Former colleagues praise her "meticulous" attention to detail; consistent, month-over-month business growth; and increase in media mentions. Her analysis of "bottom-line metrics" on her team’s output demonstrated her passion for Cision’s core attributes.

Before the merger, Straessle led Vocus’ PR and social media team, where she increased media coverage of its annual conference by 623% and social media buzz by 157%.

"She is strategic, thoughtful, a team player, and a leader," says a colleague who worked with Straessle at Cision. "Breeanna is often described as an incredibly hard worker who is a huge asset, with an absolute dedication to the team and its success."

She honed her digital chops at Carousel30, a digital agency in Washington, DC. Brought on to create the agency’s marketing division in 2009, she quickly made the leap to marketing director, leading digital strategy for a variety of clients.

Along the way, she earned a master of arts in PR and advertising from the University of Alabama, graduating summa cum laude, and finds time to volunteer for the National Park Service. She also spent nearly four years volunteering as the communications director and chief spokesperson for DC Web Women.

- Thanks to her leadership, Cision secured the highest participation rate among AMEC events during Measurement Week

- Straessle’s teams are regular award winners, capturing the 2013 American Marketing Association DC chapter’s Outstanding Marketer Award

- A diehard Alabama Crimson Tide football fan, you can often find her catching the game with her husband, Brian, and their cat, GatorBear

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