From the desk of…
Even when he was a student at FIT, Patrick Greene (Advertising and Marketing Communications ’11) had great leadership qualities and a flare for the publishing world. He went from Editor in Chief of FIT’s student newspaper, W27, to a senior internship at ELLE, which landed him a full-time job at the magazine before graduating. He then went on to work at Details and most recently joined Playboy, where he is the Luxury Director for the magazine’s advertising. All this, by the age of 25. We talked to this young alumnus about his thriving start in the magazine industry, some goosebump-inducing ads, and a few of his favorite things.
Tell us about how you started out in the magazine industry.
The magazine publishing industry is very small and incestuous. After interning and then working full-time at ELLE for six months the magazine was purchased by Hearst. The shake up was rough for a lot of people, but I stuck around through the transition and eventually one of my bosses left ELLE for Details. About a month later, she asked if I wanted to join her at her new publication; I said yes.
How was it different working with a male audience?
Details was such a huge learning curve. Selling a women’s book is nothing like selling a men’s book. If you’re a big brand like ELLE or Vogue, people want and need to run with you month after month. At Details it took a lot of re-educating the clients on what men have to offer and why speaking to them through advertising is necessary.
How did the opportunity at Playboy come about?
After about three months at Details my publisher, Kevin Martinez, pulled me aside and told me that I had much bigger things in my future. He went out of his way to help groom me for the role I’m in now. Playboy reached out to me via a recruiter back in February after seeing my success with the fashion and luxury list at Details. After many meetings with key players and a lot of back-and-forth, I finally made the jump to Playboy, an iconic American brand.
What does the job entail?
As Luxury Director, I’m responsible for all of the fashion, grooming, watch and luxury auto advertising that runs in the book, online and via social media.
You must be extremely busy! What’s a typical day like?
I know it’s cliché, but there isn’t really a typical day. For instance, my third day on the job I was on a plane to Las Vegas for a tradeshow. A lot of my time is divided between attending client events/activations, going on sales calls, and constantly emailing, emailing, emailing.
What’s the upside of the bustle and “emailing, emailing, emailing”?
There’s a giant payoff. Like the rush you get when you break an account that you’ve been working on for a long time. Nothing like it.
Any client acquisition that was particularly memorable?
My favorite win to date has to be breaking the John Varvatos fashion account for September. The head of marketing for Varvatos is known in the industry to be a no-nonsense kind of lady, so I came prepared with the heavy artillery–my publisher and editorial director. You could actually sense the moment during the meeting when she was convinced Playboy was the right fit for their brand. The excitement in the air was palpable.
Talk a bit about the kinds of ads that run in Playboy.
A lot of our advertisers have a little more freedom with their creative by running with us as opposed to other books. They can get away with more. For instance, Jaguar ran an ad last Fall with copy that read, “Have you ever had a Piloerection?” which is the scientific term for goosebumps, something you get from driving a Jaguar.
Interesting how the copy adapts to the publication…
Yes! Our readers are definitely a different demographic and genuinely uninhibited. It’s always an exciting day at the Playboy offices.
On to the more personal. What’s your favorite item on your desk?
I have a small collection of owls all around my desk, so each one reminds me of the family member or friend who gifted it to me. I’ve always had this odd fascination with them. In certain cultures the owl symbolizes wisdom, perspective and intuition. All things I try to embody.
Favorite spot in New York City?
The promenade in Brooklyn Heights and the waterfront in DUMBO. I live nearby, and I make it a point to go there instead of schlepping into the city on the weekend.
What’s the last song you downloaded?
“The Stockholm Syndrome” by CLMD vs. Kish feat. Froder. I’m a little obsessed with EDM currently.
Most treasured possession?
This little glass and metal rose that my late grandmother always kept on her nightstand.
What advice would you like to share with peers and current students?
Network. More than anything it’s all about the people you know. Yes, classes and education is important, but 90% of what you learn will be on the job. The people who get you that job matter the most, so make sure to create genuine, meaningful relationships.