Lizzie Cramm’s illustrious career has taken her across the North American continent.
But when the opportunity arose to return to her home province and become the Newfoundland and Labrador regional president of SaltWire Network, Cramm jumped at it.
“When I saw the call from SaltWire, it just made everything in me tingle,” she said Friday during a stop on the Trans-Canada Highway en route from Gander to St. John’s.
“It was so exciting to think of the possibilities to be with this great company, be in a province I love, back with family and community.
“My dad was an avid reader of the paper. If he was still alive, I think this would be one of his proudest moments — to see his daughter be a part of such an amazing company.”
Cramm — who was born in Virgin Arm, near Summerford, on the province’s northeast coast — will be welcomed at The Telegram’s offices Monday to officially take up her position at the province’s largest newspaper.
She has a great vision for the company and the newspaper industry in this province.
A business development professional with more than 15 years’ experience in digital media, business prospecting, sales and marketing, Cramm brings experience in local, national and international markets, particularly related to media planning and media sales.
Growing up in Scarborough, Ont., she started her career with Bell Canada. After 13 years, she moved back to this province in 1993 to raise her daughter in “a more loving, protective environment.”
Cramm worked for the Discovery Regional Development Board as a tourism and economic development facilitator in this province before being recruited by a company in Philadelphia.
Four years later, she became vice-president of business development at Kitara Media (now known as Propel Media), a technology company in New Jersey that connects digital marketers with audiences through real-time, intent-based technology.
After 12 years with that company, she considered slowing down and moving back to Newfoundland to retire. She returned to this province for 13 months, but in 2015, she made the decision to move to Alberta and started her own consulting company, which she still operates.
“But I started feeling very isolated because I was so used to being a part of a corporate team, collaborating with a team,” Cramm said. “I found entrepreneurship to be a very lonely time for me.”
The SaltWire position came at an opportune time, she says, and she has never doubted her decision.
“Not for a second,” she said. “I tell you something, if there’s anything I believe in, it’s this province. There are many great people in this province and if I can do anything to help move us forward, to create a great work environment for people, hey, that’s what I’m about.
“I’ve never, ever thought of this province as being a place of disadvantage. I’ve always thought of it as a place of opportunity. It just takes spirit, guts, determination and that fighter spirit. That comes from pure love of this great province.”
First and foremost, she said she plans to “listen, learn and evaluate” to ensure the needs of the company, staff and customers are met.
Despite the popular notion that the newspaper industry is a dying one, Cramm sees a bright future for newspapers in this province.
“When you look at where we are with technology, this digital world, I think a lot of people now are seeing the value of reverting back. … People are now starting to realize they’re starting to lose touch with their family, their friends and their community. And I think people want to revert back to being more connected,” she said.
“Papers are tangible. You can feel it, you can smell it. People are going to start to crave that. If you create an environment in the paper which attracts customers, you have relevant information, you have great content, you’re making yourself a part of the community.
“Nothing beats picking up the newspaper, flipping the pages and drinking your coffee. If we really focus on great content and great pictures, there’s an opportunity for us to grow our readership.”
However, Cramm firmly believes the company still needs to have a solid digital strategy, with more focus on video.
“So, I believe there’s room for both,” she said.
“But I think if we really focus on being the leaders, giving a quality product, then we can make a real huge footprint there. That’s my intent.”