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To write or not to write?

To Write or Not to Write?

IN 1750 SAMUEL JOHNSON SAID, "A MAN MAY write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it." More than two centuries later, people in various fields around the world still uphold Johnson's sentiment and continue to write. Novelists, professors, corporate executives, architects, poets, public relations directors, security managers, and other types of professionals all write about the work they do. Why do these busy achievers take the time to put pen to paper or hand to keyboard?

The following authors told Security Management what motivates them to write: Philip D. Anderson, president of D/A General; Lonnie R. Buckels, CPP, head of security operations at Hughes Aircraft Company; John W. Gamble, managing director of The Tenac Group; William L. Kizorek, president of Inphoto Surveillance; Clifford E. Simonsen, CPP, president of Criminology Consultants International; Edmund J. Pankau, CPP, president of Intertect; and Charles R. Pierce, president of LRC Electronics Company.

Some of these authors have been writing articles for various publications for more than 20 years; others started just a few years ago. But no matter the motivation, time involved, or subject matter, these authors all agree that writing specifically for Security Management brings certain benefits. These benefits include education of others in their profession; improved writing and communication skills; peer respect; positive implications for their businesses or even themselves; opportunities for additional writing ventures; and, of course, personal gratification.

"You hear the old axiom, |Everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.' Well, I finally figured it was about time to put my thoughts down on paper and share them with others," says Lonnie Buckels. He has enjoyed writing since his poetry-writing days in school - "It's a release and a hobby." Buckels believes words and communication are vital to any professional: "The ability to express one-self clearly cannot be overstated - in any environment."

Writing for Security Management gives him a forum for discussing controversial topics or subjects of personal interest. For instance, his May 1991 viewpoint article gave him the opportunity to write about his views on professionalism. Buckels also noted that "since SM has a good, wide distribution and you know who your audience can clarify what you're doing." He has received positive calls and letters in response to his articles and remembers one article in particular he coauthored with Robert B. Iannone, CPP: "We got calls even before we got our copies of the magazine - they came that quickly."

Buckels's own company's approval cycle is a problem he encounters in preparing articles. One article he started writing in 1985 "took two years to put together and run through the system. Don't forget, when you work for a large company, you have to go through clearance in the organization." Fortunately, that factor hasn't impeded his desire to communicate with other professionals.

Buckels also writes for other magazines and has recently been asked to participate in a three-volume encyclopedia of security management. It hasn't been all success stories, though. He has been unlucky at times - but he hasn't stopped writing: "I receive rejections, but I understand that [publications] have different needs at different times."

Buckels admits that "everybody likes to have their ego scratched a little bit. So just seeing your name in print is nice." In the end, the benefits are quite personal. He notes, "The pay is what you receive from your perspective and what your peers think of you."

LIKE BUCKELS, WILLIAM KIZOREK is no stranger to writing - he began writing 20 years ago. Nonetheless, he didn't write his first article for Security Management, "The Invisible Drain," until 1989.

What motivated Kizorek was his feeling that detectives and investigators were being stereotyped as bumbling, gumshoe "professionals." Kizorek wanted people to understand that investigations require skill and that investigators are indeed in a professional field of work. He also thought that writing an article was an effective way "to become a spokesperson for the industry."

"I found as a result of writing and increased exposure, I was more respected within my industry," Kizorek says. Writing articles also has helped his business, both directly and indirectly. "I'll be called for advice in a tough case. Then, as a result of my writing, after I give the advice, they give me the case."

He recalls the reactions to his first article on claims investigations published in Security Management: "Several security directors from large companies read |The Invisible Drain' and began giving my company business because I wrote it - I explained something new to them in that article." In fact, he got a case two years later because someone still had the article on file. He indirectly attributes at least $450,000 in business from that article. "That's an example of the power in writing," Kizorek explains.

He frequently has articles appear in various other publications and may also start writing a column for a new magazine geared to in-house attorneys. Kizorek has published three books on investigation and has two more on the way. Strangely enough, his fourth book was a children's book, which is being used as a classroom textbook.

Yet for Kizorek, writing isn't just about making money for his company; he derives pleasure from the writing process as well. "I love to write and give speeches. I'll take a Dictaphone on a 10-mile walk and write chapters at a time." Kizorek's philosophy of writing is that "the more you do, the more you hone your skills."

Philip Anderson is another author who enjoys writing. He jokes, "I've always been a closet Ernest Hemingway." He started writing for Security Management about five years ago on the subject of gate openers. Anderson's most recent article dealt with electronic patient-wandering systems. He notes that his Security Management articles result in "wider exposure for my employer as well as its products," and he welcomes the exposure gained through Security Management articles result in "wider exposure for my employer as well as its products," and he welcomes the exposure gained through Security Management's international audience. In fact, he "had a request for reprints from somebody in the United Kingdom" for the May 1991 article on patient-wandering systems, "Providing Unrestrained Care."

Anderson also writes for other publications and says he'll continue to contribute articles to Security Management. Once he hired an ad agency to help him write an article, but he found the group's approach too aggressive. Anderson now prefers to write on his own, with no outside help.

Although John Gamble has written for other magazines, "Growth the Old-Fashioned Way," published in September 1991, was his first article in Security Management. His soon-to-be-released book deals with client retention issues and the service management industries.

Gamble started writing six years ago in publications affiliated with the health care industry. However, he says his company "had wanted to get into the security industry, and SM was one of the best [magazines] in that market-place." Another benefit of the Security Management article, which was on the topic of client retention, was that he ordered reprints.

Gamble feels that over the years his style of writing has become much more matter-of-fact. As he explains, "People aren't looking for any literary genius; they are just looking for some help. Offer them some help in an article that's easy to understand and something they can send on to others in their organization that will help them as well."

Gamble recognizes other benefits of writing and plans to submit more articles to Security Management: "It's a great way to enhance your [business] image and improve your posture."

For Clifford Simonsen, writing articles is not a revenue catalyst, although he admits "it's helpful when people in the industry have heard of you because of an article." He explains that he started writing when he was the associate editor of the Military Police Journal in Europe in the |60s.

Since then, Simonsen has written for various criminal justice publications and academic journals, has five textbooks on the market, and has published several articles in Security Management. He feels that over time his style of writing "has gotten more polished." According to Simonsen, "My idea of writing is to convey information and write in a level that is easy to understand, clear, and easy to follow."

Most of Simonsen's articles deal with security management and leadership issues. "When I have a topic that I feel is important to write about, I write to share my views," explains Simonsen. His goal is to "try to motivate people" and "write on topics in a motivational manner."

Simonsen isn't in the business to make money - he simply enjoys writing and wants to share his experiences and information. But he admits he enjoys the occasional comments. "People sometimes say |Aren't you the guy that wrote_______?' and I've gotten a lot out of that personally."

Charles Pierce has experienced similar conversations because of writing articles for Security Management: "I have people walk up to me at [trade] shows who call me by name and act like we're old friends. |I've read all the articles you've ever written in every magazine,' they say."

Pierce began writing when he was just 10 years old; he used to tell people that he was going to be a creative writer. Over the years he has written many short stories and poems, among other literary ventures. "My ambition in life was not to be a technical person; my ambition in life was to be a creative writer."

Only in the last six years has Pierce started writing about his main expertise - closed-circuit television. His writing began when he started giving seminars for his customers and he found no printed educational materials to his liking. "What little I did find was outdated and very technical, so I just started writing in my normal style, which is simple, everyday language." In fact he wrote so much that it turned into three books.

Pierce started writing articles for Security Management for several reasons: He wanted to update his books, get new information out into the security industry, and increase exposure for both himself and his business. Fortunately, the feedback he has received is positive, which encourages him to write more for the magazine.

His business has profited, too. "I actually believe the articles that I've written for various magazines have helped my business increase by as much as 10 to 15 percent," he says.

Pierce finds that "people are just begging for information. I urge anybody who can lift a pen and who has any style or creative capability to write - a good editor can straighten them out on everything else." He adds, "Thank God for good editors!" Finally, Pierce states he has found that the more often your name is seen in the press, the stronger your credibility is in your field.

EDMUND PANKAU IS ANOTHER AUTHOR who has benefited from having his articles published in Security Management. He first started writing years ago when he saw an article that impressed him on how to search public records. "It inspired me to start writing," he says. Investigations, particularly those that deal with fraud, are the topics of his Security Management articles.

Pankau felt he should "take the business of investigation outside of the [security] industry and into the larger marketplace." Adhering to this goal, he recently signed a mass-market contract for his book, Check It Out. Soon he'll be starting a monthly column in the Houston Chamber of Commerce magazine. It will be an "interactive column - like a |Dear Abby' of fraud," Pankau jokes.

Pankau says there are few professionals in the financial fraud industry who write or give speeches. "They're as hard to find as hens' teeth," he says. But by writing for Security Management, Pankau feels he has helped the security industry grow by adding his own skills to its body of knowledge. As a result, he has grown professionally and achieved recognition not only in private security but also in law enforcement.

Pankau believes that one of the hidden benefits of writing for Security Management is that it compels others to write as well. "I've found that when I write an article on applicant screening, two or three other people look at that and say, |Yes, but he missed something,' and then they write an article, and it helps us all."

Some of the articles that he has written for Security Management have been reprinted in other business and professional magazines across the country. Some have even appeared in Egypt and Argentina. From a business point of view, the articles have proven invaluable. One article, "Rent and Run," was reprinted in several other magazines and literally brought in several thousand dollars' worth of business for his company.

Pankau's writing has also led to much wider attention. He has been featured in Time and Business Week and has even appeared on national television programs.

Yet Pankau has benefited personally from writing as well. It has "taught me to express myself in ways I hadn't done before," he comments. After his first article in Security Management, Pankau had people call and write with compliments. "It made me proud to feel that people were reading it - to me, that's the greatest compliment."

He also frames all of his published articles. "I'm proud of them," he says. "I feel I've gotten much more out of my association with SM than it's gotten out of me. It's made me more confident and recognized, it's brought in more business, and it's made me know I can do more."

Pankau spreads his belief in writing by encouraging his employees to write, too. "If they've got an idea, write it out," he says. He would like his employees to continue to develop as professionals, and he sponsors any educational seminars or programs to that end. In fact, several of the investigators he employs have had articles appear in various publications, including Security Management.

Whether it's compliments from peers, a new business account, improved writing skills, a television appearance, or just personal pride from completing a challenging project, all the authors interviewed have benefited from being published. Indeed, they all feel that anyone who sets his or her mind to it can write. Perhaps Pankau best sums up the benefits of writing for Security Management with this philosophy: "By sharing our knowledge and writing articles, we get paid back 10 times what we put into it."

Jennifer G. Kornegay is production editor of Security Management.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:executives share their experiences by writing
Author:Kornegay, Jennifer G.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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