Guru Talk: Shawna Cronan – Compassion International
Knowing how to manage a digital asset management system across 38 different countries is no small task, but Cronan has some tips to make it successful.
What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
I have worked for two companies as a DAM professional: Scripps Networks Interactive and Compassion International. In my current role at Compassion International, I am the digital media manager of a global system where we have users from 38 different countries.
I got my start in DAM at Scripps Networks (HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, DIY, GAC) by managing HGTV’s DAM library. Over time, our media libraries grew from small, individual brand libraries into one large media library. I migrated the HGTV and Food Network individual libraries, and learned a lot along the way.
What draws me to DAM is the balance of creativity and logic. DAM professionals have the privilege of working with beautiful media and creative people, and we also pride ourselves in organizing these assets, satisfying our inner geek.
How do you describe digital asset management to others?
To those unfamiliar with DAM, I will explain that it is a central location for storing, accessing and retrieving digital files. And when I do my job right, with a few clicks, users can search for what they need and then download their desired files.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
I had a great mentor at Scripps Networks. I also learned by getting my hands dirty. When we consolidated libraries at Scripps Networks, I manually migrated the HGTV library that consisted of about 50,000 assets. You really get to know your system uploading that many files!
What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?
It’s equally important to take the time to know your users and to learn your system. Ultimately, your library is no good if it isn’t being used.
If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?
Is there such a thing as an international spa critic? That would be a pretty good gig.
What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?
In my new role at Compassion International, one of my favorite things is spending time with our users and training them to use our system. When I see that my colleagues have a “breakthrough” moment and they’re excited about its features, it is very satisfying for me.
What more would you like to learn about DAM?
In general, I just want to keep learning. I will keep questioning and streamlining processes. There is always something to improve, new technologies to learn, and more efficient methods to deliver our assets to our users.
This interview originally appeared on DAM Guru on Mon, 26 Jan 2015. For more DAM News interviews, see the interviews index page.Share this Article: