Unsurprisingly, the rapid changes blasting their way through the media world are having the side effect of shifting the roles of those working in it. Wendy Moore, who climbed her way up the ranks of the magazine world after starting as a copy girl at Women’s Weekly and then Woman’s Day, knows firsthand that even the role of the magazine editor is shifting.
“When I first started the editor managed the magazine and the pages, a business analyst would manage all the finance and the publisher would manage any expansion outside the actual pages. It’s much more commercial [now] in that we manage the entire brand, and the expansion of the brand beyond the page,” she says.
Most of what she’s learned has been on the job.
“I’ve been lucky in recognising when I’m in the right place and the right time and putting my hands up to be involved in any type of project. It means you’re a bit busier, but you have a more interesting job,” she says.
As she hit management, she drew on her childhood to look at what makes a good boss.
“My parents ran their own business; they were really good managers. Watching someone run a small to medium business [you are reminded] how important staff are to a company. When you’re in a big business it’s easy to forget that,” she says.
Now, as editor-in-chief in charge of a team of 30 on a magazine with a circulation of over 675,000, Moore also follows the lead of some of her former editors who were generous with the facts.
“I share all the information on sales and general performance of the magazine with everyone. I think it’s really important for people to understand the effect of what they do day-to-day, and get a sense of when it works,” she says.
Her already busy job is made busier by her role as a judge on Channel Seven’s House Rules. Still, for Moore, the time and effort has paid off.
“It’s a great partnership for the magazine and the show. For me, it’s been an insight into a type of media I didn’t know about at this level [and] for the team it’s been good. Everybody has had a little bit of exposure to television, which they wouldn’t have had,” she says.
The team approach may well be a partial key to the magazine’s low staff turnover.
“I think the secret to being a good manager is actually taking care of your staff. It’s very difficult to find great people and keep them, so you have to create an environment that great people want to work in.”
Name: Wendy Moore
Current position: Editor-in-chief of Home Beautiful (also judge on House Rules).
Responsibilities: Managing both Home Beautiful magazine and brand, as well as associated products (like the Home Love app).
Education: Started working as a copy girl in magazines at the age of 18, straight after high school. “All my ‘education’ has been on the job!”
Additional training/courses: Various management courses including a Certificate IV in management.
“Experience has been the most powerful means of education for me.”
Professional associations: None.
Strength: “I think I’m really good at hiring great people. I never underestimate how much work my team is doing.”
Weakness: I have a hell of a lot of ideas and I have trouble saying, ‘No, let’s just wait on that one.’
Management style and tips: Inclusive. I’m not sure if it’s me or the environment, but it’s about being dynamic and always evolving.
Work motto: “I do love my job so it’s not that hard. I just think what we’re creating can always better.”