Here Media VP has job he always wanted, leading marketing for LGBT media company
Get to Know: Here Media's Vice President of Marketing, Robert Hebert
As the Vice President of Marketing for Here Media, Inc., Robert Hebert leads all marketing efforts for the LGBT-focused media company, while serving as the creative director for Here Media’s portfolio of brands, including Here TV, Out Magazine, The Advocate, and Pride.com.
“I’m fortunate to have the job that I always wanted,” says Hebert, “I create new media brands, work to expand audiences for established media brands, and meaningfully impact the evolution of the LGBT media space.”
Hebert started his career at Rasenberger Media, launching new cable networks.
“Two of our clients were gay and lesbian television networks seeking distribution at a time when cable operators perceived tremendous risk to carrying gay and lesbian content. There was a complete absence of LGBT-focused consumer research, so that was challenging.”
Hebert says it was an uphill battle, but meaningful because it helped fuel the conversation that the LGBT audience was too valuable to ignore, and deserved to be respected and served.
In his current role, Hebert oversees his organization’s in-house content agency.
“Here Media has been executing 360-degree programs rich with custom content for a decade now. The content agency will provide our advertising partners with turn-key programs designed for audience engagement and performance.”
Before joining Here Media, Hebert was part of Forbes creative services team, helping build advertising products.
“For me, it was incredible to see the nature of publishing shift during the great recession, and to witness the birth of native advertising.”
Hebert believes that good content, no matter how it’s paid for, provides value to consumers.
What mobile device can you not live without?
I hate to be boring but, iPhone 6S Plus.
Which apps do you use most often for work?
Spotify – when I start to get distracted, music helps me fight the urge to jump on Facebook.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
Instagram, because its evolving visual language is the most interesting contribution America has made to aesthetics.
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
New York Times.
Take me through your typical workday.
I take a call or two from the car as I commute from Hancock Park to Westwood, check email, look at schedule, check in on campaign performance, re-prioritize my to-do list, and get to it.
I try to fill my morning with creative tasks and schedule meetings in the afternoon. The end of the day is reserved for administrative concerns.
I like to take a challenge or a new concept out the door with me and use the drive home to entertain scenarios.
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
Launching Pride.com, a trending news and current events site for young LGBTs.
What does your desk look like right now?
Two notable things about my desk would be the orange vase and the assortment of niche fragrances.
The vase was blown by Michael Anchin, who made a business out of his creative passion. Fragrance is a passion that points to my future, but I don’t yet know how.
How many miles have you traveled in the last 12 months?
About 15,000 miles, not very much. Japan is the most interesting place I have traveled to for work.
Right out of college, I was eager to live in Asia, and got accepted to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. I grew to share the culture’s obsession with aesthetics.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
Our dependence on Facebook to engage the audience we have invested in building there, and the diminishing returns we are seeing on that investment.
Can you tell us about a campaign or work project you’d like to do over?
We recently created a 360 virtual reality video of Los Angeles Pride which was sponsored by an advertiser. The Orlando massacre happened the night before. If I could do it over without the need for approvals and planning, I would have planted the video in the midst of the vigil that happened the next day in DTLA.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career.
I acquired my professionalism from Catherine Rasenberger, who had a total understanding of the cable industry and, today, really understands the power of content.
Joseph Schramm – so enterprising – demystified business and deal making and demonstrated the power of partnerships.
Forbes Chief Insights Officer, Bruce Rogers, is a kind, graceful and inspiring leader whose ability to truly listen and effect change is formidable.
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
Curiosity, inventiveness, and persistence.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
I am learning acrobatics at Cirque School LA.
Why did you go into marketing?
Because advertising is so often terrible.
What other career would you like to try, and why?
Hotelier – a great hotel or resort is an essay on life perfected. It’s an ultimate creative realm.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?
I’m finding the Hillary Clinton Campaign videos to be very effective while being understated.
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