Jessica Berlin discusses Digital Asset Management
Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor.
[0:06] Today, I’m speaking with Jessica Berlin. Jessica, how are you?
Jessica Berlin: [0:10] I’m good. How are you?
Henrik: [0:11] Great. Jessica, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Jessica: [0:14] I am the National Director of Digital Asset Management for the American Cancer Society. I started with them about six years ago in their Creative Services Department. As the need for a new tool came up, there was a workgroup formed, and I became quite involved with that workgroup.
[0:32] Through that work, the development of a DAM department came to light. Fast‑forward through the application process, I became the Director of Digital Asset Management.
Henrik: [0:43] Congratulations.
Jessica: [0:44] Thank you.
Henrik: [0:45] How does a national non‑profit organization use Digital Asset Management?
Jessica: [0:49] In some ways, we use it the same way as anybody uses a DAM, but we also do a lot of things differently. We use our DAM more as a marketplace, if you will, for our assets. We want to make sure that all of our staff, our volunteers, and our external partners have access to everything they would need to use to promote the lifesaving work that the American Cancer Society does.
[1:11] For our media partners, they need to be able to access our public service announcements. For our volunteers, they need to be able to access fundraising materials and advocacy materials, as they spread the word around that. Our staff needs to be able to have materials that have the most up‑to‑date and correct messaging guidelines, cancer information, as they go out into the communities to spread that word.
[1:37] Our DAM is a way to make sure that everyone is using the most current materials. We don’t have to worry about what channel do we find this on? Is this current information? Is it outdated? Are these statistics correct? This way, we can insure that everybody’s accessing the right materials.
Henrik: [1:52] And, I assume, in a more consistent fashion?
Jessica: [1:55] Absolutely.
Henrik: [1:56] What are the biggest successes and challenges with Digital Asset Management?
Jessica: [2:00] Our biggest challenge has been making sure what we deliver matches what we’ve promised. We’ve done an excellent job communicating how our new DAM ‑‑ which will launch, hopefully, very soon ‑‑ will be heads and shoulders above the previous tool, how it will make everybody’s lives easier, how they’re no longer going to have to try to figure out where to find things and how to search for things.
[2:23] They’re very excited about it. We’ve got that tremendous buy‑in. We’ve got to make sure that what we give them matches that. We’ve run into some problems along the way. Part of that included delaying the launch of our tool, so that we could make sure that we fulfill on that promise we made to them. By far, the biggest challenge is making sure those add up.
Henrik: [2:43] Just so I’m clear, is it a technology change, or was there something much different from DAM X to DAM Y?
Jessica: [2:48] Completely different, apples and oranges.
Henrik: [2:51] Ok. Beyond the technology, what changed?
Jessica: [2:53] Internally, there have been a lot of different things that have come up within the American Cancer Society. We’ve merged a lot of programs, and we’ve merged a lot of departments and changed the structure. In that, you have redundancy of assets. You have outdated materials that have been used here, but not here. It’s almost an overhaul of the entire asset collection that we have on top of it.
Henrik: [3:17] So, it wasn’t just the technology. It was also the information, the assets to your point?
Jessica: [3:19] Yes. We’ve done an excellent job communicating what’s coming, getting the users ready to adopt that product, and really getting them excited about it. Unfortunately, on the other side of that, having to delay it has been a challenge for us. We have people that are so excited about, emailing us constantly, saying, “Well, what’s the ETA on that? When can we get into that? We know it’s going to be fantastic.”
[3:40] We’re really excited about how well it’s already being perceived and it hasn’t even launched yet.
Henrik: [3:44] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Jessica: [3:48] I would say, my piece of advice for people trying to get into the DAM world, if you will, would be to understand what their responsibilities are. On top of the traditional pieces, you’re going to be a cat herder. Looking to a new DAM, developing a DAM, or running a DAM is not a decision of a sole person. You have to…
Henrik: [4:09] It could be…
Jessica: [4:11] It should not be. You have to make sure you have a group of cross‑functional responsibilities involved in that. Sometimes, that can be very challenging to get those people together in a room and to make DAM a priority, when it’s not a priority in their day‑to‑day tasks.
[4:24] You also have to be a salesman, which nobody likes to be.
Henrik: [4:28] True.
Jessica: [laughs] [4:29] You have to really get user adoption amongst your organization. That means throwing out those various road shows, going around being a cheerleader for your product, and getting people excited about. People focus on the implementation and getting the metadata correct and the taxonomy correct and the assets reviewed. They forget about the customer service side of it.
Henrik: [4:51] After production starts and still keeps on going after it.
Jessica: [4:55] Exactly, the trainings, the communications, and such. Those are things that I would let people know that they’ve got to make sure they enjoy that part of it, as well.
Henrik: [5:04] You’re basically bringing the rhetorical plate of milk…
Jessica: [5:08] Yes, pizza, milk, chocolate, whatever it may be.
Henrik: [laughs] [5:12] To bring all those cats together for that common goal. Excellent. Thanks, Jessica.
Jessica: [5:18] Thank you.
Henrik: [5:19] For more on Digital Asset Management, log on to anotherdamblog.com.
[5:26] If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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