In Focus: Interview with Susan Gates, CEO at Redbird, United States

Luis Marques | Muse Awards
In Focus: Interview with Luis Marques, CEO & Art Director at M&A Creative Agency, Portugal
August 10, 2018
In Focus: Interview with Lester Lim, Creative Director at Creaxis Design, Singapore
August 15, 2018

Susan Gates | Muse Awards

Susan Gates

Susan Gates launched Redbird with her business partner, Amy Rappeport, in 1996 as a custom publishing company, making magazines for big brands. She and Amy came out of the magazine business in New York – Esquire, Newsweek, National Geographic – and were set on helping brands bring national quality editorial to their marketing efforts in order to touch customers in more meaningful ways. In 2005, with the digital landscape opening wide, she and her partner brought in two more partners, Miriam Bookey and Jenna Briand, both from AOL Time Warner, and both experts in digital content, to expand their content offerings across all platforms, from print to websites, mobile apps, social media, to the full range of video services.



Susan Gates | Muse Awards

Interview with the 2018 Muse Creative Awards Winner - Susan Gates

1First, tell us about yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
I launched Redbird with my business partner, Amy Rappeport, in 1996 as a custom publishing company, making magazines for big brands. Amy and I came out of the magazine business in New York – Esquire, Newsweek, National Geographic – and were set on helping brands bring national quality editorial to their marketing efforts in order to touch customers in more meaningful ways. In 2005, with the digital landscape opening wide, we brought in two more partners, Miriam Bookey and Jenna Briand, both from AOL Time Warner, and both experts in digital content, to expand our content offerings across all platforms, from print to websites, mobile apps, social media, to the full range of video services.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
Our name, Redbird, is a from a favorite Wallace Stevens poem describing the appearance of a red bird, boldly standing out against a tangled forest. In today’s crowded marketing landscape, it is a reflection of the clarity and quality we value. We help brands stand out, connect deeply with their customers, and deliver value at every turn. Our team consists of 18 full-time employees, together with a network of over 150 independent contractors including filmmakers, magazine editors, strategists, designers, and writers. This networked model allows us to customize teams and pull in best-of-breed talent to each project. For example, we brought in colleague and friend Carrie Tuhy, founding editor of Real Simple, to steer the development of Muse winner Ideas of Order, the magazine we created for our client California Closets,
3Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
In a recent study, marketing intelligence SaaS Beckon found that only 5% of branded content garners 90% of all engagement. There is simply too much noise out there as brands push to fill social streams with layers of daily messaging. We’ve got to slow down, and I believe we will. I believe that top-tier creative leadership knows that the only way to reach customers in meaningful ways is to develop best-of-breed, editorially-driven content. We’re talking about investment pieces that actually break through the noise, forge a meaningful connection and make a difference in peoples’ lives – bringing wisdom, or laughter, or a resonate reminder of what it means to be human together.
4What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
Magazine-making is in our DNA. Redbird’s best-of-breed print publishing talent includes the brightest leadership from brands like Conde Nast, Time, Inc., Wenner Media, Livingly Media, Vice, and the Los Angeles Times.
5If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a career in creative industry, what would it be?
Push the boundaries. Celebrate mistakes. That’s where breakthrough happens.


Winning Entries

Crash Course Series | 2018

Crash Course Series | Muse Awards
Redbird created a number of how-to guides for Staples' small business audience centered around a variety of known pain points. This content lived on multiple platforms, including... (read more)

Rachel Testimonial | 2018

Rachel Testimonial | Muse Awards
Featuring real customers with authentic stories, we created six 30-second on-brand vignettes showing how EO Products’ values are woven into people’s daily lives. Each... (read more)

Trade Secrets | 2018

Trade Secrets | Muse Awards
Redbird created a series for client Staples called Trade Secrets to spotlight small business owners and capture actionable “how to” tips to share with others. The name... (read more)

Ideas of Order Magazine | 2018

Ideas of Order Magazine | Muse Awards
As a business centered around entering and organizing people’s homes, our client California Closets had a uniquely intimate relationship with its customers—but one they wanted to... (read more)

Anthem | 2018

Anthem | Muse Awards
Redbird told EO Product’s story in a unique, deliberate, and cinematic way to communicate the company’s values, history, and commitment to product quality. We paired... (read more)

Science of Success and Working Out | 2018

Science of Success and Working Out | Muse Awards
Redbird created a number of highly engaging infographics for Staples to help solve various pain points for their small business audience. All of our content... (read more)

Random Acts of Health | 2018

Random Acts of Health | Muse Awards
Redbird conceptualized, launched, and developed the “Random Acts of Health” campaign for Kaiser Permanente. Random Acts of Health Moments are vignettes illustrating... (read more)

Redbird

Redbird


Redbird is woman-owned and run, creative and strategic agency that helps brands be more human. We are based in Los Angeles, with outposts in Seattle and New York. We make content and experiences that get to the heart of what people care about. Our current clients include Microsoft, Costco, Staples, Banner Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We’ve been telling brand stories — through award-winning websites, videos, magazines, apps and social content — for more than 20 years. Our deep experience in journalism, filmmaking, strategy, and design makes us naturals at identifying narratives that matter and bringing them to life at every interaction, on every platform.


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