5 minutes with… Clare Manson

Name: Clare Manson

Job Title: Finance Director

First job in the industry: My first experience in finance was my one week’s work experience at school which was with Inland Revenue, which is now the HMRC. My first actual job was in the finance office of John Menzies PLC, which was big sort of newsagent and stationary supplier – like HMV but for stationary! Then, my first job in the direct mail industry was here with Dragonfly.

Area of expertise: As the only person in finance in this office, I could say that it’s finance and leave it at that because I’m the only one in the office who does finance at all! But, within finance, my specialty and interest really lie in the cash management side of things. I find it really exciting to anticipate what money is coming in and what money is going out.

What do you love most about print media? I’ll admit it, I didn’t come into my interview with Dragonfly already very passionate about print, I didn’t know much about it to begin with! But when I did interview, I really liked the people here. I love that they can get so passionate about print and pick up on the tiniest design details. They always put things into terms that I can understand and have really opened the world of print marketing to me. Now that I work here, I can appreciate why people love it so much!

What is the best thing being an accountant? Excel. Joking! I like the fact that there’s a finish product to my work and I can see the results. It’s a lot of work to become an accountant and I love that I’m now using exactly what I spent the last however-many-years building up. It’s really satisfying to be in the position that you’ve worked for years to be in!

Is there anything about finance that you think people would be surprised to know? Finance is not just boring numbers! There’s more to it than just excel! Finance is the key to new opportunities and growth. Though I do love the numbers, too.

Is there anything about print and direct mail that surprised you? I had no appreciation for the different types of postage – it’s not just sticking a stamp on an envelope! It’s so much more complicated. When I started, I knew I didn’t know much about print, but I thought I had a solid understanding of postage, as we all do! Postage really surprised me, there’s a lot more to it than we think.

Favourite ad/marketing campaign? I know it’s a bit of a cop-out, but the John Lewis Christmas campaign really gets me. I always want to see what they’re doing year after year. Christmas campaigns in general are fun! They generate a lot of conversation, comparing this year’s against last year’s, or one against the next and seeing what really works and what doesn’t. (Aldi’s Christmas carrot is a no-go for me).