Photos and other digital assets play an important part in storytelling for nonprofits. Managing all those photos and digital assets can be overwhelming. In this Pro Interview we catch up with DAM admin pro, Kristy Smith. Kristy has a great deal of experience working with DAM systems in the nonprofit sector. She has some great insight for nonprofits looking for a better way to manage their digital assets.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you are currently doing – give us a brief bio.
I have 7 years of experience working with DAM systems. Currently, I work for an advertising agency in Columbus Ohio. I am their Digital Asset System Manager. This is a new position that the agency created to fill a need in the area.
What was your experience with DAM at a nonprofit?
I implemented the nonprofits first DAM system. After implementation I remained the primary contact and manager of digital assets. I was responsible for all aspects of DAM on an administrator level.
What are the core functions of a DAM system used by a nonprofit?
The two main DAM functions that benefit a nonprofit are: Asset collecting and retrieval. You need a place to collect and store the assets you have worked so hard to create. And you need to be able to search and retrieve those assets to use across your marketing channels.
How often did you use the DAM system?
As an admin, I used the DAM every day. I would be in and out of the system several times each day. General users would visit the DAM on a weekly basis and marketing users would use the system daily.
What benefits did you see?
There are many benefits to adopting a DAM system. Top three in my opinion:
Controlling access to rights managed images is an important one. Hospitals have to adhere to HIPAA laws- so it is extremely important to restrict access to any patient related assets.
Access to files and searching; giving each person the ability to access and search assets is invaluable. Staff members like to be able to browse and search without having to wait for the creative/production teams to respond to their request.
File conversion on the fly. A typical staff member on the marketing team does not have access to photo editing software. Before DAM they would have to wait for the creative/production team to convert assets for use in multiple channels. With DAM they are empowered to do their own asset conversions.
What did you do before DAM?
Before DAM we housed our files on internal servers with a folder structure to assist in searching. You really had to know what you were looking for. Using this method as your primary means of searching is time-consuming and costly to the organization.
As you move into the agency world, what DAM knowledge do you see being most beneficial?
Within an agency we are managing multiple brands. Having a DAM system to track each brand and their corresponding assets is essential. Proper metadata and tagging is key.
For nonprofits getting started with DAM, what advice would you give as they evaluate, justify, and launch?
Implementing and launching a DAM is certainly a team effort but I would suggest assigning a single point person who is responsible for managing the system daily. Your DAM system will consistently evolve with time. Adopt a system (and provider) who can evolve with you.
You can connect with Kristy on Linkedin.
Want more about nonprofits using DAM?
We interviewed Simon, Head of Media for Kent Scouts, to see how they use Smartimage to organize and share their photographs and brand assets. Check out the case study.Smartimage Pro Interview with Kristy Smith on DAM in nonprofits by Nate Holmes