Welcome, Rachel McManus, Content Strategist!
We are so pleased to welcome Rachel McManus, Content Strategist, to the team. Read more about Rachel below!
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
I’m originally from Northwest Indiana, about 40 minutes from downtown Chicago. However, I spent about 12 years in Virginia Beach, where I met my husband, and now as a Navy wife, my location is subject to change pretty frequently.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Ball State University (chirp chirp!) for my undergrad, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications (basically a fancy way of saying “broadcast journalism”). A few years later, I attended Regent University, where I earned my Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, concentrating in Organizational Communication.
How did you get into content strategy? What areas of your field do you like to focus on?
My career has been pretty heavily communication-based, so my previous positions have always included an element of content creation and strategy. I realized as I worked that whenever a project specifically involving content landed on my plate, that was the project I would enjoy doing more than any of the others. For me, I really enjoy telling stories and helping people get their message across in a way that’s meaningful and impactful.
Do you have a code of ethics or a mantra that you live by when doing content work?
Every story is worth telling, so let’s tell it.
How do our core values (collaboration, initiative, ingenuity) align with your own?
For me, the collaboration part is easy. I’m a people person, and I do best when I’m able to work with and learn from others. I love getting to know people, what they do, how they do it. And I love taking those things I learned and applying them to projects or to my own life. I think the world could be a much better place if we all learned to listen, share, communicate effectively, and work together for the good of everyone.
For initiative and ingenuity, I’m going to go back to communication. For me, the process of sharing information and listening to others is what really helps drive change. When we work together and brainstorm with each other, that’s when those ideas can come about.
I’m also one of those people who will come in and observe for a bit. While I may be quiet during that observation time, I’m taking mental (and often physical) notes. My thought process is something like, “Okay, what’s happening here, how can we make this better and easier for everyone, how can we improve, and what’s working that we can apply in other areas?” I also ask a LOT of questions once I’ve had a little time to assess what’s going on.
I’m a big list person. You’ll find all sorts of lists on my desktop full of ideas and comments about things I want to work on. Once those observations are made, the questions are asked and answered, and those lists are complete, I love figuring out how to put a plan into action to make those ideas happen. I enjoy trying to find a different perspective and way of looking at things and working with others to see things a little differently. I think any progress we make in society as a whole needs to happen by simply thinking outside the box and taking chances.
What do you want to learn in the next 12 months as a content strategist? What do you want to learn about the web development industry?
As a content strategist, I really want to learn about our clients and what’s important to them. I want to learn their stories, and I want to help them tell those stories.
As for the web development industry…is everything a reasonable answer? Because everything. My career background is composed of journalism, academia, and healthcare, so web development is still new to me. I learn quickly, and I’m excited to learn more. But I haven’t even scratched the surface of this industry just yet.
What is your favorite artist/song/album & why?
The Beatles. Because they’re THE BEATLES. Enough said.
What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
I self-published a fantasy novel, and it’s the first in a trilogy. So yes, writing is definitely a thing for me. I’m genuinely afraid of flying. But I love traveling and seeing new places, so I kind of have to grin and bear it to get where I want to go. I learned how to surf when I lived in Virginia Beach. I miss it very much now that I’m not living near an ocean. Also, one of my quirky party tricks is I have all 50 states memorized alphabetically. Though, I think that might actually be pretty common for kids who grew up in the ‘90s and had to learn that song in elementary school.
That’s more than one. The obvious one might be that I sometimes overshare, haha.