Team Stirista: Patrick Howard
1.) Tell us more about your responsibilities and tasks. What does your average work day look like?
Our department works on a pretty wide variety of projects. In addition to supporting our more traditional internal marketing functions, we also work on everything from product-related UX work to creatives for clients and proposals. A lot of my job revolves around prioritizing the many types of projects we work on and making sure the team has everything they need to do their jobs. We have some fantastic people in the department, and I also look at an important part of my job as doing what I can to help create a fun environment that encourages creativity and excellence.
2.) What do you like best about working at Stirista?
I’ve had a lot of opportunities to learn and grow at Stirista, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to learn from some truly talented people. As I’ve gotten to know people here, I’ve built some great professional relationships as well as friendships.
3.) What sparked your curiosity for this position?
Between its software services, data, and marketing campaigns, Stirista has a pretty technical set of offerings. I think that’s one of the things that originally made me interested in working here. I’ve always enjoyed both technical and creative work, so working on marketing a company with a technical background seemed like a good fit.
4.) What excites you most about what you do?
The last thing i want is a job in which I get complacent and bored, and I don’t ever worry about that with this job. Between our marketing work, proposals, client work, and other things, I run into new challenges every day. Both marketing and creative work are constantly changing, and I’m always working to stay on top of trends.
5.) What did you do before coming to Stirista?
I got started in the creative industry after I got out of the military in 2011. Photography had been a passion of mine for years, and I started working as a freelance photographer while going back to school to help pay the bills. I also worked for my university’s newspaper as a photojournalist. So between the two jobs, I got the opportunity to work on a variety of exciting projects.
I mainly shot local concerts in the Denton, TX, area. Denton has a fantastic local music scene, and about 75 percent of the performances I shot were in small venues, restaurant basements and the like. That was always a challenge, as there was no professional stage lighting. But I found that those performances had a fun energy that was hard to replicate at larger venues. I also did some work with local bands, and even did some work with local wrestlers. One of the more interesting was a lumberjack-themed wrestler who wanted some portraits with him licking a chainsaw in an attempt to get into the WWE.
I found that a lot of that experience directly transferred to other creative areas I worked on learning, such as graphic design and copywriting. Marketing also plays a pretty large role in any kind of freelancing, so that was also my first exposure to marketing.
6.) Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I have a turtle with one eye. I wanted to name him Publius Horatius Cocles after a famous one-eyed Roman, but my wife told me that was stupid. His name is Franklin now.
7.) What advice would you give to those who are interested in doing what you do?
Marketing is going to continue undergoing a lot of changes. Fields like marketing, analytics, and creative are becoming increasingly interconnected as speed and flexibility become more important. Finding ways to develop your technical and creative abilities will make it easier for you to adapt with the industry. However, I think developing your ability to empathize with audiences has been, and will continue to be, the most important skill for marketers. It isn’t always easy, but being able to understand who you’re marketing to, at an emotional level, is an extremely important part of building successful campaigns.