W. Brent Phillips

Director of Marketing and Advertising at Navy Recruiting Command

Degree(s): BJ '90

Whereabouts: United States, Memphis, Tennessee

What do you do?
I am the director of marketing and advertising for Navy Recruiting Command. We support 5,300 Navy recruiters through national and local advertising and marketing campaigns. We direct the annual marketing plan in partnership with the Navy’s advertising agency (Campbell Ewald, Detroit). I am responsible for building the Navy’s brand and generating actionable leads to support a annual total force recruiting mission of 45,000 officers and enlisted personnel into the active and reserve components of the United States Navy.

How did you get your job?
After flying of off aircraft carriers for the first 14 years of my career, I was selected to take command of a Navy Recruiting District that covered Arizona, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. I had a successful tour there and demonstrated an understanding of practical marketing. The admiral in charge of Navy Recruiting called me and asked if I would take over national advertising and marketing.

What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
I learned how to write a tight sentence.

What advice do you have for current students?
Take a course in accounting. Understanding how marketing adds value to the company and being able to communicate that in terms that your company’s financial team can understand is invaluable.

What is your favorite J-School memory?
Presenting 30- and 60-second radio spots for a “dive watch” that featured Erik the Red as the spokesperson. Vikings would need a rugged watch…right?

Updated: November 10, 2011