We know that breaking into the publishing world is not an easy task: who better to give you tips and insights than a Conde Nast Publishing Director? We have a special interview with Kate Slesinger, Publishing Director of Tatler and Vanity Fair. I met Kate a few years ago in London when I had the opportunity to work for her. Apart from being an amazing mother and wife, she is one of the most hardworking, disciplined and creative people I had the chance to work for and learn from. Last week I asked Kate Slesinger if she would kindly offer us an interview, answering a few questions which I’m sure you will find interesting reading as well as something from which to benefit.
Tell us a bit more about how you got into the publishing business? I started my career as a graduate trainee at J Walter Thompson advertising agency, part of WPP. My MA degree from Cambridge University was in Modern & Medieval Languages, so not remotely vocational, though mind-broadening and intensely interesting. In one of the numerous interviews I had in order Turkey Phone Number land my first job, someone very successful at Saatchi & Saatchi told me that it’s not your first career choice that determines your professional path, but your first career decision.
He Was So Right
Having satisfied my need to give voice to my creative side as well as the more cerebral and business-like half of my brain, I decided that dreaming up communications plans for the likes of KitKat and Listerine at JWT – first in London and then for three years in New York – was not for me. I moved back to London, securing a job in a small Fashion PR agency, which provided the stepping-stone I needed to make the move into glossy magazines. I was fortunate enough to meet the then Publishing Director of Vogue at a press launch, and the very next day I was in his office being offered a job on British Vogue!
Kate Slesinger Tatler and Vanity Fair interview 2. Can you give us a flavour of the working day of a Conde Nast Publishing Director? No two days are the same! A large part of my role managing a multi-million business across the Tatler and Vanity Fair platforms involves securing. Building and nurturing client relationships, and there are myriad ways in which these interactions can happen. Breakfast might be at Cecconi’s or The Wolseley with the Managing Director of Chanel or Tiffany. Discussing plans for the forthcoming season, always with a view to how our titles can collaborate. Lunch might be at Little House, Mayfair, with the CEO of one of the ad agencies we sell to. Talking about business generally; a recurring topic is, of course, the meteoric rise of digital and social media, and what our brands are doing in that space.
Very Often, I’m Asked To A Press
Launch or an event, say for a new fragrance or store opening or relaunch after refurbishment. Tatler and Vanity Fair are incredibly socially-oriented, so often the one doing the hosting is me! We give parties for all the industry sectors, from Travel to Watches & Jewellery, to celebrate – for example – a particularly relevant print supplement or book launch. Interspersed between the wining and dining, there’s a lot of face time. With my team, with other departments in Condé Nast. With prospective candidates and would-be prospectives for roles in the industry. It’s a good day if I’ve helped someone get a toe on the ladder, struck a new business friendship. Worked with my colleagues to solve a challenge; but the best days are those when. I do all these things and get to see my children awake either end of the day.