(This week's staff feature comes in a Q&A format, with Ayeshah Dickerson and Eliza Lotozo asking questions of the author of this weekly newsletter, Susan Krysiak.)
Susan Krysiak is Cape May MAC Director of Media Relations. She earned a bachelor of arts degree and a Juris Doctor degree and has worked in media, public relations and the law. She loves film, art and poetry.
How does your past work life help you navigate media relations at Cape May MAC?
All the skills I’ve acquired in my life and career help in this position, but adaptability, creative problem-solving, persuasiveness, curiosity, seeing the big picture, and a commitment to communication are important as Director of Media Relations at Cape May MAC. Most important to doing a good job is adapting and responding quickly and completely to requests from media, on their timetable, and anticipating what they will need and when. Sometimes that has meant being at the Cape May Lighthouse at midnight or at the Physick Estate at 4:30am.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic altered your workflow at Cape May MAC?
A lot has changed with all our workflow in the last two months. With our tours and events temporarily halted, my schedule changed but has not let up. Normally in spring I field calls from media far and wide looking for story ideas, photos, phone interviews, information about spring and summer tours and events or Cape May's historic sites. Instead, we all are working to create new experiences that bring Cape May into people’s homes.
What are the key ways media relations is helping Cape May MAC during the COVID 19 pandemic?
It's a positive step we took coming up with ways to bring Cape May to people through virtual experiences. We'd never done that before. The day before Cape May Point State Park closed and the governor's Stay at Home Order went into effect, I had to move quickly to create virtual video tours while maintaining social distance. These have been really popular and we are doing more, including a series on our 2020 anniversary exhibit "50 Years of MAC." We also are reaching out to members weekly with email newsletters that include spotlights on staff (like this one!) and longer features, which is new.
How did you come into your love of Cape May?
I've lived in the Cape May area since 1999, when I became editor of the Cape May Star & Wave newspaper. I always say that was one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I ever had. Because of that experience, and later helping manage the newsroom at the Cape May County Herald, I have a real appreciation for how hard members of the media work. I see their sweat up close and remember it well. It's also shown me how special Cape May is. I can't imagine any other place to live. I love it so much. You get to know people well, and share a history, and that's what makes it so special.