Claire Meyer is one of the winners of ASBPE’s Young Leaders Scholarship award in 2020. She is the managing editor of Security Management magazine.
How did you get involved in the business?
I never thought I would have started my career writing about security. Following my graduation from the Missouri School of Journalism, I applied for a variety of B2B publication positions because they would enable me to report on topics I had never given much thought before—HVAC systems, dairy production, packaging manufacturing, security. These niche publications could give me the opportunity to see the world around me from new perspectives while producing content tailor-made for professionals with specific challenges and goals. As I began to delve deeper and deeper into the industry I reported on, I earned unexpected insight into the world around me and gained a newfound respect for my audience—security professionals whose job is best achieved if no one notices their work behind the scenes. In response, I strove to recognize their achievements in the business press, sharing their best practices, unique technology applications, and solutions to mind-boggling challenges. How do security leaders educate employees about how not to get tricked into revealing sensitive information? How does a world-class art museum protect its assets without hiding them from the public? How can an organization manage thousands of employees working abroad during an emerging epidemic? Through my reporting, I can share this knowledge with other security professionals, who in turn can use it to enhance their own travel security programs. In business media, I can see my work making a difference.
Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years?
Over the next 10 years, I hope to continue working within the security media space, developing its publications and content to best suit the next generation of security and risk management professionals. This means driving change with online-first content, repackaging evergreen content in new formats, and keeping a close eye on emerging topics that will affect safety, security, and risk management for years to come.
What are the top challenges editors face today? What are possible solutions to those challenges?
A top challenge faced by business publication editors is the push to do more with less. It’s hardly a new challenge—content producers have grappled with this conundrum for ages. However, the proliferation of free content online and the wide variety of outlets, mediums, and styles used to disseminate that work has made it difficult for traditional editorial to keep up, especially as budgets are slashed, workforces diminished, and reader loyalty is easily swayed. These challenges require fundamental shifts in how editors go about their work, and no two business publications will find the same solution. However, amid the overwhelming volume of digital content, I believe print can become a differentiator. This goes against the grain, and against the common idiom that “print is dead.” But I have found that—even among younger readers—receiving well-designed, expertly written, and curated content in the mail cuts through the fog. At the same time, it provides a prestige product for businesses, associations, and publishers to share as an added value. That is not to say print is not a challenge in this arena. It’s expensive. Advertising is drying up. It still requires substantial manpower and resources.
How has your job changed since the onset of COVID-19?
At Security Management, we were monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic since very early January, reporting on it regularly in daily news posts and—later on—in longer online exclusive features. We shifted to providing timely, digital-first service journalism to feed readers’ insatiable hunger for new perspectives from their peers and subject matter experts. In the meantime, we stayed the course on our regular print content (which took a natural turn to address longer-term COVID-19 impacts). The editorial team also led the charge within our association when it came to producing and curating content for members around the pandemic, and we coordinated multiple efforts in a very short amount of time through a cross-department campaign—a success story that is now being adopted in many other content campaigns across the organization.
Additionally, the pandemic has changed my job from a team management level, too. As the pandemic grew, it pushed our team to work entirely remotely, which led us to embrace different and advanced measures of staying connected with each other, from weekly one-on-one videoconference check-ins with the editors to virtual happy hours.
Claire Meyer is the managing editor of Security Management, where she covers a variety of topics from the active shooters to travel security to the opioid crisis. She manages a team of editors who produce award-winning articles that serve to inform and inspire a diverse readership. Meyer graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s in journalism and minors in French and fine arts. She has worked in B2B media within the security industry since 2012.