YPDaily: Karen Snider

Karen Snider is a thirtysomething philanthropic young professional who is the National Media Manager for the Canadian Red Cross. Her workday can change up at a moment’s notice if disaster strikes, and that’s when she kicks into high gear and public response and information becomes tantamount. Find out more about this amazingly adaptable woman in today’s YPDaily.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m the National Media Manager at the Canadian Red Cross responsible for implementing the national social media strategy and doing media relations in Ontario.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I’ve been working here for more than two years. I took the job because I love what the Red Cross does, not just internationally, but right here in Canada. The organization is diverse and Red Crossers are among the most driven people I’ve ever worked with.

Do you plan on starting your own company in the same industry one day?
The Red Cross is the perfect fit for me. There are so many opportunities for anyone working here; I’d like to stay for awhile.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my day-to-day is connecting with Red Cross supporters, staff and volunteers through social media networks. We have a lot of fun with social media, especially on our blog, RedCrossTalks, which is kind of nerdy and a little quirky.

The most challenging part of working for the Red Cross is responding to disasters. You never know when a disaster will happen so essentially we are on-call all the time. When one does happen, such as Haiti or Japan, it is all-hands-on-deck and our teams work around the clock to respond. Red Crossers are incredibly dedicated and efficient – it’s almost like we are at our best when the situation is the worst.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
It’s hard to say for sure. Five years ago I never would have imagined that social media would play such an important role in my work. Communications is changing very quickly and it’s important to be flexible.

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is doing work that is meaningful and makes a difference. It also means waking up every day and looking forward to your job. I’m thankful because I get all of those things at the Red Cross.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being hired as the first-ever social media staffer for the Canadian Red Cross is a milestone of sorts. It turns out that my job is made easy/fun because Canadian Red Cross executives, staff and volunteers have all of the ingredients that make social media work: They are energetic, progressive, inspiring and passionate about the work they do.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be flexible and open to learning new skills.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Of course I support the Canadian Red Cross, particularly the International Disaster Relief Fund.

I also volunteer for and have an education fund for 85 boys and girls at an orphanage in Uganda. Over the last two years, I’ve helped raise more than $20,000 to make sure the kids who grow up in the orphanage can access higher levels of education. It’s important to me because I love the women and children from the orphanage. The kids need higher levels of education if they are going to succeed.

What is Notable to you?
People who inspire others because they are passionate.