Listen to Erin McEIrath discuss Digital Asset Management
Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Erin McEIrath. Erin, how are you?
Erin McElrath: I’m just fine. How are you?
Henrik de Gyor: Great. Erin, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Erin McElrath: I am the Creative Tools Manager at an e-commerce company called Brandless and I manage all of the digital asset management and content that comes in and out of the company, whether it be on the site or on our printed collateral or on our social media.
Henrik de Gyor: How does an e-commerce company that puts people first use Digital Asset Management?
Erin McElrath: We use it just like any other company would. We do a lot of creative assets internally for marketing purposes. We also use it to store all of our product information, all of our packaging. Anything. Any image that has shown up on our site, we like to house on our DAM, but most recently, we’re starting to use a lot of user-generated content (UGC) from social media. So we’re scraping all social media sites and the images that we like and we would like to use further, ideally, we would like to put that in the DAM, in the, in the next coming months. In addition to the digital asset management, I also do all the post-production workflow. So I’m working with all of our outside agencies as the content is funneled in through the company and then approved and funneled back out.
Henrik de Gyor: What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Erin McElrath: Well, I think the biggest challenge, and I think anybody has been in the industry for awhile can agree that the biggest challenges assessing the need of the company for our positions. We do a job that we’re basically when we’re doing our job, no news is good news and everything is sailing right along and very efficient, but to bring other people on as help and as teammates because this is a very hard job to do by yourself. To show the need and the value of the position can be challenging. When the company would rather spend their money on new creatives or engineering team on new platforms to show that the DAM is actually the brain and the hub of the organization. When that is running smoothly, everybody can do their jobs. It takes a lot to show that value for successes. I guess on that same note when everything is running smoothly, that is my biggest success. Right now at Brandless, I have implemented three workflows using our current DAM where content has flowed in and out through a system with permissions and approvals. Everybody seems to be really happy with it and everything is working. So I think that to me is the pillar of my big success in any job that I have is making sure that the DAM that the company purchases is used to its full capabilities.
Henrik de Gyor: Would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Erin McElrath: I think the biggest one is don’t be afraid to assert yourself. We’re often seen as the people in the corner doing manual data entry work. That’s how we’re viewed by certain members of a team or a company, but we’re really not. We do so many things and most of the time nobody knows what we do. Digital Asset Manager is such a broad term that it could mean anything, so define the role that you want within your organization and what will be most appropriate and try to align yourselves with them, with the people in your company that you know you can help them most. Oftentimes, they don’t know what you do. Go up to them and asked them their pain points and see how you can help.
Another big one, most recently I kind of spoke about it earlier… Learn all you can about user-generated content, which is often called in the industry UGC. This is really big now. A lot of Digital Asset Managers don’t like to put that in the DAM because there’s so much. The liability is very unclear. It changes all the time and oftentimes when we have assets, we have contracts and releases for those assets, but for UGC we do not. Oftentimes, we just have a screenshot that our producers said, “can we use this photo?” And the person said “yes,” and that’s it. I think in my opinion, times are changing and we’re starting to formalize that relationship. Now Brandless, for example, is using a lot of UGC content and our marketing and our social media. We like to have and I like to have those in the DAM so I can track where they’ve been used and who is responsible for that connection. If something goes wrong with that initial user that uploaded that content, we can take it down immediately. I know where it lives on everything, so yeah, just familiarize yourself like technology is changing and we’re right at the forefront of that, so just be on the ball.
Henrik de Gyor: Well thanks, Erin.
Erin McElrath: Thank you very much.