40 Under 40: Clodagh Edwards, CEO at IMAGE Publications

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You can bet Clodagh Edwards, 37, and CEO at IMAGE Publications has had at least seven Americanos and made at least as many phone calls before she’s even begun her morning commute. Her advice for succeeding in publishing? “Learn new skills and be curious about everything around you. Immerse yourself in your role, whatever it may be.” Below, we get a sense of life in fast-paced publishing.

My Inspiration
My cousin Jane-Ann McKenna heads up Médecins Sans Frontières here and is someone who has, literally, put herself on the front line of some of the worst disasters in the world.

Industry Role Models
Natalie Massanet, the Net-a-Porter founder, is a true pioneer (incredible digital offering, great print title, energy, focus, class …) I can’t wait to see what she does next now that she’s left Net.

Career Advice
Let fear drive you, not paralyse you. Our industry is in flux – everything’s changing and you can’t afford to be afraid of the changes, or slow to react to them. Learn new skills and be curious about everything around you, not just your own little patch. Immerse yourself in your role, whatever it may be.

Opportunities in Ireland?
We’re always looking for new editorial and commercial talent and growing so fast that I know great opportunities exist in this country! This year we’ve made four of our interns permanent staff and they’ll go far. Finding talent is tough because so many people assume that all the exciting jobs are abroad.

My Industry
I’ve always loved publishing (it’s a mad business, like no other!) and now that it’s redefining itself, I love the challenge that presents and I want to play my part in defining the future of it.

Career Low
Battling through the recession with massive targets on my shoulders and achieving them with slim resources was stressful and something I never forget now that I’m managing other people. Teams only work if everyone is giving their best, from the top down and the bottom up and that takes nurturing and leadership. I’m delighted we’ve grown the business so much since then and that we still have such a strong, loyal team behind us.

Career High
Turning IMAGE into the first truly multi-platform publishing company in Ireland. I’m so proud we can offer readers and advertisers a 360-degree experience – real life events, constant social interaction, great digital and print content. I love growing the IMAGE community and think about it morning, noon and night.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I hate this question. Ten years ago no one read on their phone let alone checked it 150 times a day. Twitter and Skype hadn’t even been invented. Who knows what the future holds?

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