Nicole Stempak is one of the winners of ASBPE’s Young Leaders Scholarship award in 2020. She is a freelance writer based in Northeast Ohio.
How did you get involved in the business?
My professor first introduced me to business to business (B2B) publishing my junior year of college. This was during the Great Recession, when some recent graduates were struggling to find jobs in journalism or were, at best, earning minimum wage. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to pursue the career path I had wanted since I was 16 years old. I started researching the B2B industry, and it felt like a door of possibilities had opened. I enrolled in a special topics course on business reporting. Through the recommendation of my professor, I secured an internship at a B2B publishing company the following summer. I am entering my fifth year of working in trade publishing, first in healthcare and now in cannabis. I still love it. Over the years, I have started spending more time planning and strategizing. That’s where I want to continue developing my skills in the coming years. I like finding new ways to cover topics we write about regularly. I like building relationships with industry experts who can share their experiences with our audience. I like brainstorming ways to improve workflows and e-newsletter open rates. In short, I foresee myself focusing even more on how to enhance our audience’s experience while educating them on how to improve their businesses.
What are the top challenges editors face today? What are possible solutions to those challenges?
I believe the biggest challenge the B2B industry faces is competing for our audiences’ time. They are bombarded and inundated with information from other B2B publications, consumer publications, brands, friends and colleagues. We are also vying with other websites, channels, apps and social networks. As B2B publishers, our collective mission is to educate and improve our audiences’ businesses. We have the distinct advantage of having earned a reputation as a trustworthy source for information, and they turn to us again and again. They see the value we provide. We don’t have to sell our services to them. Rather, we have to continue meeting their expectations to help them run their businesses in a 21st century global economy. I think focusing on our roots will help us remain a fixture in their information diet even as the methods of communication (email newsletters, conferences, webinars, videos and podcasts) change. We are a reliable source for information that has a direct impact on their business operations, whether through efficiencies that impact the bottom line or education on emerging trends. We must continue to partner with industry experts to share their insights and be a platform where rich ideas are shared.
Nicole Stempak joined GIE Media Inc. in October 2019 to help launch Hemp Grower, of which she serves as editor. Previously, she worked in healthcare trade publishing as editor of Physicians Practice and senior editor of I Advance Senior Care. She occasionally freelances for business publications and other area news outlets. She earned her bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism and her master’s degree in user experience design from Kent State University.