Will Work For Love: Susie McManus, DSE, Georgia

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Susie McManus is the digital media editor at Digital Signage Expo. She writes and posts news and feature articles online; works with contributing writers; handles DSE’s Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets; takes care of Web site updates regarding editorial content and DSE 2010 details; and compiles DSE’s weekly e-newsletter. She also assists editorial director Richard Lebovitz with the annual
Apex Awards, quarterly Business Barometer surveys and DSE conference planning.

  1. Describe your personal Susiework space.
  2. I have my own cozy office in our building with a huge floor-to-ceiling window right behind my desk (which I was very pleased to learn about on my first day as it is the first time I’ve ever had my own personal office at a job). Our office building is located in a suburb just north of Atlanta and backs up to a large forested area (which is very pretty now that the leaves are turning bright orange and yellow), so we see deer and other wildlife quite often through our windows. This usually makes for good entertainment breaks: Each time someone spots a deer (or sometimes, a deer family!), everyone in the office crowds together in that person’s office to watch.

    As for my desk, right now it’s stacked with projects I’m working on, as well as with books, magazines and white papers on digital signage since I’m only a few weeks into my job with DSE and am still learning about the industry.

  3. How do you get to work?
  4. I drive myself through a lot of traffic! I’m pretty lucky compared to many metro Atlantans who commute an hour or more each way to work. It only takes me about a half hour, though there’s no telling how long it’ll take whenever it’s raining. I try to keep my sanity driving alongside other hurried commuters by listening to morning radio shows or music on my iPod.

  5. What is an average day like?
  6. I’m not sure I’ve had an average day yet since I’m still relatively new to the job. I joined DSE right before our Web site re-launch, so I have spent a lot of time adding/updating content and fine-tuning the new site. Every day does involve gathering and reading press releases to then write into news to post online. Beyond that, my days consist of editing, Tweeting, updating DSE’s Facebook fan page, interviewing sources for news/features, working on feature articles, meetings and so on.

  7. What is essential for you being able to work happily?
  8. A good night’s sleep and a strong cup of coffee on my drive to work. (I’m not so much a morning person!) It’s also important to me to work with open, creative people who enjoy what they do and like to share their ideas and knowledge. I’ve been out of college for just under four years now, so I tend to work best (and happiest) in places where I am constantly learning and developing as an editor. Respect and a team-minded atmosphere are essential to working happily, too.

  9. How flexible are your working conditions?
  10. Pretty flexible. Everybody has lives outside of work, and our management definitely understands when doctor’s appointments, sick kids and things like that come up.

  11. What do you think your employer looks for in its staff?
  12. I think my employer looks for hard workers who are passionate about what they do, and also are dependable, open-minded and looking to help the company grow as much as possible.

  13. What suggestions do you have for your company?
  14. I’m still learning new things daily about the industry and my company, so only minor suggestions so far — nothing earth-shattering!

  15. Do you have any frustrations you would like to share with us?
  16. Right now, I’m happy to be a part of an industry that’s evolving, growing and also very interesting. I haven’t found much to be frustrated about.

  17. What do you like best about your job?
  18. I like the open environment. Lots of discussion goes into the next DSE show and into information development for our Web site, and all opinions and ideas are heard and appreciated. While a lot of companies say every employee’s opinion and ideas count, I think DSE really lives that.

    On a lighter note, I also like that most of my coworkers graduated from the University of Georgia (UGA) like I did, which means tons of football talk around the office! (The South is all about college football). UGA isn’t having the greatest of seasons so far, but it’s great to be working with fans that root for the same team as me, rather than, say, University of Florida fans, who mostly like to rub in how great their team is.

  19. How open is your company to new ideas and suggestions?
  20. Very open! Every employee working here wants the best future for the company, and that means listening to and incorporating new ideas.

  21. How much responsibility have you been given?
  22. I have a good bit or responsibility in terms of maintaining DSE’s Web site and developing a social media strategy. I work with Editorial Director Richard Lebovitz on bigger projects, and he and President Chris Gibbs are guiding me in terms of DSE’s future tradeshow and editorial goals.

  23. How green are you and your company?
  24. The company recycles, and we handle most tasks electronically, so we don’t print off a lot of paper.

    I’m a big recycler myself, and I try to use my reusable shopping bags, water bottles, etc., as much as possible. I recently started making my own greener home cleaning products, too, out of lemon juice, etc., which is pretty easy to do.

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