SPOTLIGHT: MEGAN HESS
Megan has served on the New York Women in Communications Board of Directors in multiple roles. She is currently its Vice President of Young Professional Programming.
As mobile and emerging platforms editor at Bloomberg LP, she sits between the newsroom and the product side. She packages content tailored toward the needs of mobile audiences on the company’s consumer mobile app; coordinates push alerts; creates and publishes content to external platforms, including Apple News and over-the-top services; and oversees newsletters from a strategic, product perspective.
Megan has worked at several other media organizations, including Mashable, Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine, The Huffington Post and CNNMoney.com. She also founded and runs an award-winning career blog, NoJoeSchmo.com. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she majored in magazine journalism and international relations and minored in Chinese studies.
Megan is the recipient of NYWICI’s Membership Empowerment Grant, which she used to take a front-end web development course at General Assembly.
Why she does what she does… “In the media industry, there’s always talk of life expectancy — how long print will survive, whether the “pivot to video” will kill text and so on. But there will always be a need for smart, deep storytelling (and I say that as a news junkie.) Technology has changed, so it only makes sense that the way people find and read the news has changed. I focus on different, innovative ways to access that news: maybe it’s via a push alert on your phone, maybe via a chatbot, maybe via your email inbox. There’s always something new to experiment with, and it’s part of my job to explore those things instead of shying away from them and hoping they don’t affect me. It’s a good practice in adaptability, which I think is more important than expertise with any one specific tool.”
Drawn to NYWICI… “I was initially attracted to NYWICI because of how it helped lift me up after receiving a scholarship while in college. But I remained involved after seeing how it lifts other women up, and I wanted to be a part of that. I also love how it connected me with women — and eventually, mid-career mentors — who worked in different areas of communications. Those are people I otherwise wouldn’t have come into contact with. Many other professional groups are limited to a specific age range (say, young professionals) or a specific field within media.”
My favorite social media platform… “I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. Every time I decide it’s too toxic, I come across something so hilarious or insightful that it makes me stay.”
Marketing/Media/Content/Video/Social’s biggest challenge… “Creative monetization for the news: The future is not in banner ads.”
Off the clock, really… “Yoga! I get cranky if I go more than a week without a class. Cooking is also therapeutic for me. Immersing myself in a recipe can completely remove me from outside stress. I usually try out a new recipe every Sunday. Last week was a coconut-sweet potato-lentil curry. It’s also a good excuse to invite friends over for dinner! And just as much as I enjoy cooking, I love finding new restaurants around New York. I’m also a New York Times crossword puzzler. Each day’s puzzle usually loads on the iPad app by 10 p.m. the night before, so I like winding down with it before bed.”
My nirvana… “I categorize getaways into ‘trips’ (when you’re sightseeing and very busy) and ‘vacations’ (when it’s truly a relaxing experience). For me, Costa Rica was the ideal blend of the two. I spent lots of time on the beach, but also went zip lining and surfing. Plus, the coffee was amazing.”
Did you know… “I was born on Christmas and so was my younger brother! But we’re Jewish, so don’t ask about double presents (sometimes Chanukah does interfere, though.”
Day to relive… “Not a specific day, but a feeling: This past summer, some friends and I spent a weekend in Portland, Maine. I specifically remember one afternoon we were on a pier, and everyone was sitting around at picnic tables eating lobster rolls and sipping beer. A band was playing music and the weather was perfect. I felt so grateful to be there.”
Words to live by… “People will forget what you did, but will always remember how you made them feel.”