Careers in DAM

Hands-on skills

MM: Perhaps you can speak to some of the more human and/or professional dimensions of a DAM practitioner? You led off today talking about your 19-year career and working your way from the bottom up. Now you have 150 or so people reporting to you.

If you were advising or coaching somebody that was 28 or 32 years old today, and who asked you, “Hmm—what’s this DAM thing?” And, “What are the career upsides for that?” What do you envision as necessary skills that someone should possess in a DAM-related environment?

Also, what other kinds of jobs should an innovation leader such as yourself think about having under his or her belt that would prepare him or her for the current and anticipated future of advertising and the publishing business?

JK: To the first point, I’d say to spend time on workflow. It generally will always come back to help you. Listen carefully to your users and get multiple opinions.

MM: By that, James, do you mean getting an academic or a structured education / orientation around definition and modeling of workflows?

JK: I was thinking more of a hands-on approach and using flowcharts to map things out—to clearly understand every step of the workflow. That’s what I was thinking.

Secondly, if you want to get into DAMs—and I see them just growing and growing and becoming more and more prevalent—think about the DAM as more than just what you need it for. Try to think about how it may touch every department in your organization and how you can help those departments.

I’ve mentioned several times today that all of the creative and production folks are on it. And the advertising folks. I didn’t mention that the marketing team at Newsday—as soon as they heard about Cumulus—wanted in. So we said, “Sure. Why not?”

When the Pennysaver or Star Community Publishing wanted in, we said, “Sure. Why not?”

So think about more than just your local department. That can go a long way in helping the company and your career.

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