Interview with ‘Head Honcho’ Heidi Semple

‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ – Heidi Semple

Heidi Semple’s job demands that she spent a lot of her time on the phone or on her laptop typing away.

The 45-year-old Market Deeping resident is the Managing Director of Scene Marketing Ltd and founder of Scene Publications. She launched the Scene magazines in 2007 with just one Deeping-based magazine. Today she has added five successful titles to the Scene portfolio.

Heidi has accomplished quite a lot in a short amount of time. So for her, running a magazine is not difficult.

Her first job was working as a Pharmacist Assistant. She does not have a degree just the usual O-Levels.

Once she began her career in publishing, she became hooked,

“It just got into my blood really, because once you understand it; it is such a fast pace,” said Heidi. “Every day is different, you never know what you are going to be working on. It is being proactive, imaginative and I quite enjoy that.”

At Emap, she started at the bottom as a telesales person and came through the ranks. Over the years, she relished the changes. Heidi spoke about how frustrating it became working for a big company.

“It took ages for a decision to be made. We had a meeting about a meeting, back-to-back all day,” she said.

However with Emap being taken over by Bauer Media, she began looking at other options and working for herself sounded like a better idea.

She initially got the idea whilst working with a colleague who also embarked on doing something similar elsewhere.

“It was meeting and talking to people that I realised there was a huge need for community information,” she said. “Nobody knew what was going on in their community and I was able to deliver that kind of news with the Scene.”

So that is how the Scene magazine was born.

“Now I work harder than I did before that it doesn’t feel like work.”

Kimberley Evans, fellow colleague and Advertising Executive at Scene Publications agrees, “Heidi knows her stuff, she is very proactive and a very likeable person.”

With multi-media journalism coming in, Heidi said it hasn’t had much impact on the magazines they do.
“We have multi-media, we can view our magazines online, they are interactive and we have to go more and more down that route,” She said.

Her training from Emap comes into good use at Scene when dealing, managing people and deadlines.

Heidi said, “Emap were very good with their training and I took every opportunity I got. So in that sense I know how to deal with people and hopefully know how to get the best out of them.”

Heidi has a wide range of skills but would like to add more to her repertoire. She wants to experiment with having a magazine that would be placed on a newsstand and which is a paid for publication.

“I have worked on national magazines but only one element of it. So as much as I had editorial, marketing and even subscription experience to a degree, actual paid-for distribution I don’t have experience of,” she said.

Any advice?

“You got to be so imaginative and you have to be more creative as it is more accessible now.”

To read more on Scene, visit magazine website: http://thescenemagazine.co.uk/

Follow them on Twitter: @yourlocalscene

Like their Facebook page: City Scene Magazine

A Wannabe Hack

Hello!

Technically this should have been my introductory post, but my online journalism module needed a blog entry. So that’s where the Charles Dickens entry fits in, oh well. So here goes! My name is Najmah Bibi but you can call me Naj,  I am currently studying journalism at Anglia Ruskin University.

So how did I get into journalism? Well, when I was younger, apart from playing with dolls I was always reading and writing but I never had a lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. So I had the moment of clarity when I was 21, stuck looking for a job in business administration, I realised that I needed a career change. So here I am four years later. I hear/read everywhere how hard it is to get into journalism. A month ago I attended the ‘So You Want To Be A Journalist’ conference in London. In which, the only advice I heard from other journalists was start a blog and make a brand of yourself, although I was a little sceptical of this at first, then I thought why not give it a try – I have nothing to lose.

This blog is basically for me to showcase my skills, and as I have an interest in everything you’ll see me writing just about anything, or me wishing I could. Though I’m still finding a niche to write about. I’m still gaining confidence in writing blogs, so I hope you like what I write and let me know what you think.

Follow me on twitter: @NajmahBibi

Naj