“The field (journalism) is really fabulous. It used to be predominantly male, but recently more women have snapped up opportunities,” says Heidi
Heidi Copeland, of Amherst, NH, is the Associate Publisher of Business New Hampshire magazine.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Heidi began her career as a police reporter in California, and eventually made the move back to New Hampshire. After relocating, she did everything for her own news agency which sold articles to the Union Leader, as well as writing for an energy trade publication in Boston, and for a robotics magazine.
Heidi landed her position at Business New Hampshire while working in Boston. “At the time, I was a publisher of a magazine that was just south of Boston, and one of the women that I knew who worked for Business New Hampshire suggested that I meet with publisher, Sean Mahoney. We met, got along, stayed in touch, and he eventually called me when he was looking for an associate publisher.”
Having always wanted to be a writer, Heidi finds it odd that she ended up on the business side of journalism, but she isn’t any less happy about her position. “I’m very excited because for the first time in many years, I will have an article published,” she enthuses. Heidi’s article will focus on stories about the daily commute to work.
Heidi enjoys the creative and innovative aspects of publishing. “One of the things about publishing is that now a magazine has to be so much more than just a magazine. Print revenue is going down because of the economy, so publishers have to be really creative about where the revenue is coming from. For example, we’ve expanded our contract publishing revenue, we hold about eight or nine events per year, and we do custom publishing for the State of New Hampshire and for Easter Seals. We’re always looking at reaching new audiences and finding new ways to deliver quality information.”
The biggest hurdle she has come across in her position is the expectation for free information. “For some reason, everyone believes that all information should be free of charge, but this just can’t happen. Look at the music industry – ten years ago it faced the same problem, and now people know that they have to pay for music downloads, and it’s become a profitable industry. I had a discussion with a business leader in Rochester, and I told her that 2010 is going to be the year when people are going to start to pay for online information. This woman said that she never wants her readers to have to pay, but she said that her publication was losing reporters because she just couldn’t pay them all. Hopefully more people will realize this and there will be a quick turnaround,” Heidi says.
Heidi says that becoming involved in journalism is a great career move, especially for women. “The field is really fabulous. It used to be predominantly male, but recently more women have snapped up opportunities. I think this is because men do not tend to stay in careers that don’t have high salaries, but women will often stay in a career that offers career gratification over salary. The money factor does not diminish the importance whatsoever. You just have to love what you do.”