How HearstMade Evolved its Operations with Airtable


When Jolie Greenstone first met with stakeholders of HearstMade about a position to reimagine the Studio’s processes, she immediately knew where she wanted to start.

Having worked with Airtable for several years prior, she understood the structure, personalization and overall efficiencies that the platform could provide to the team. In less than a year, Jolie has established herself as a leader on the team who has evolved HeartMade’s creative intake process, pre-sale tracking, and time management systems. “Airtable is helping us determine where our time is best spent,” Jolie said. 

At HearstMade, the branded content hub within HearstMagazines, Jolie is part of a nimble team of around 50 people. The team creates successful campaigns, comprised of video content, social media spots, fosters influencer relationships, and more, creating branded content for magazines within the Hearst family. 

Early on, Jolie identified an opportunity to track end-to-end campaigns and streamline communication for the broader media solutions team to foster consistency. As a self-described “process nerd,” Jolie knew base syncing and automations could prove transformative for HearstMade. “In my interview I said this is a tool that I need. They were open minded. I loved that there was already mutual trust in my vision before I was hired,” Jolie said. 

When Jolie first joined HearstMade, she realized there was an opportunity to reimagine the way the post-sale teams were working and communicating together on campaigns. She knew that in Airtable, she could build out a time tracking system, formal process for creative requests, and standardized print pricing. By connecting these teams and combining operations, Jolie was able to give visibility into HearstMade’s rapidly changing product roadmaps and give real-time insight into what they were working on and what was in the pipeline.  

First, she created a pre-sale tracking system which enables her team to standardize incoming pitch requests and ideation. Tracking this in Airtable allows the team to manage request volume and hours worked against each prospective client. Additionally, Jolie created a form to help estimate print production costs based on the scope of the work, number of design iterations, and unique costs associated with the project. 

Now, whenever Marketing pitches a piece of content to a client involving Print, they can submit a request for proposal to Jolie’s team through an Airtable form, and it will auto generate a quote for creative costs. Jolie put together a menu of Print options for internal requestors, which uses formulas to automatically generate estimates based on production execution, number of design iterations, and costs associated. The requestor is automatically emailed with the specs—eliminating roof for back-and-forth, and setting accurate expectations from the jump. For example if someone wants to request a four page booklet, or an eight page booklet from the creative team, Airtable formulas will automatically populate the base with projected costs associated with the project. Once the total is populated  in the base, an automation is triggered, sending an email to the requester with the specs and the finalized creative estimate.

Photography Credit:

Header Photo Credit: Busà Photography

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HearstMade's Creative team on a shoot in Malibu Creek State Park

Next, she created a time tracking system that helped her team advocate for additional headcount based on hours worked. Jolie has an automation in place that prompts the team to log their hours at the end of each day, while allocating those hours to respective clients. She anticipates this system will provide meaningful insights into where time is best spent. 

“We've already seen benefits from this, which has been really exciting. We've been able to advocate for additional support to improve the bandwidth of our teams.”

Jolie Greenstone

Creative Operations Director

Seeing Jolie’s vision come to life has led to a lot of pride. A large part of the success has been due to the native integration with Salesforce. She says, “efficiency has increased drastically, I don’t think people on my team, or even I knew that this was possible. Seeing the positive effects that it has had on people and the trust it has built for our team is phenomenal.”


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