Job Envy: Maggie Crane
31, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor
She’s the “right-hand man” to Mayor Francis Slay, and the first person you’ll likely hear from when it comes to policies, announcements and all things mayoral in the city of St. Louis. Whether writing his next big speech or crafting a quote for The New York Times, Maggie Crane has a voice to be heard—and it screams St. Louis dedication and pride.
HOW SHE GOT INTO THE BIZ I spent nearly a decade in broadcast news, most recently as a reporter for KMOV, when I got a call from Mayor Slay’s office. I’d always liked interviewing the guy, and while I never envisioned leaving TV news at that time, it was too hard to pass up such a unique opportunity to work for the mayor and to have a hand in helping shape the city that I love and call home.
EDUCATION/TRAINING I have a bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Louis University, but I think my training started far earlier. My parents must have seen something like this in my future, because I started working in my mom’s restaurant as a kid, counting change for customers at 6 years old and waiting tables by age 9. It was a great education in customer relations.
BEST WORK DAY EVER The Cardinals home opener. Let’s face it: the day is nearly a holiday in the city of St. Louis, and after getting the mayor through several interviews, we went to the game. A close second is the night of the primary election. I started less than six weeks before voters went to the polls. Clearly, I had a good feeling about how the votes would shake out, but it was still nice to know that I was going to have a job for the next four years!
WHY HER JOB ROCKS I’m curious by nature and always want answers to my questions. There’s nothing like getting those answers directly from the top. I’m also exposed to a lot of forward-thinkers and have the opportunity to help shape city policy.
TYPICAL DAY I talk to reporters, write speeches, put out fires and ignite them when necessary. One thing is certain: no two days are alike, and that’s what I like about it.
PROUDEST MOMENT I hadn’t been here long when Mayor Slay gave me a compliment about my work and work ethic. It meant a lot, especially coming from a man who keeps insane hours. My dad also thought it was pretty cool when I was quoted in The New York Times about the city’s response to a snow storm.
BEST JOB PERK After spending years parking blocks away from work and reporting outside in the rain, snow or heat, it’s the little things I enjoy—like a parking spot right outside City Hall and four walls and a door to my own office. But, in all seriousness, I’m lucky to have access to smart leaders throughout our region, whether it’s at a meeting in the mayor’s office or accompanying him to a dinner reception.
FAVORITE INDUSTRY ANECDOTE I think it’s easy to underestimate how dedicated the people are who work in public service and keep this city running. It’s a 24/7/365 operation. There are some really dynamic people who work to make the city of St. Louis a better place to live.
BEST THING ABOUT ST. LOUIS There are too many to list! But I’m obsessed with our architecture, our cultural institutions and our food. I never have any trouble finding some good live music, an art show or a new restaurant to try.
ONE THING ABOUT MAYOR SLAY PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED BY He knows at least one word in almost any language, and he can juggle (both literally and figuratively). Oh, and he has good taste in music—Pink Floyd is a favorite.
GOALS FOR THE FUTURE Ten years ago, I never imagined myself in this job, so it’s hard to see exactly where this might lead me next. For now, this is a cool new challenge.
Photo credit: Attilio D’Agostino