Promo Execs Headed to ‘Boot Camp’ at Promax

Mar 22, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The creative promotion types who usually attend Promax & BDA’s annual conference in June will get a dose of reality this year.
The organization has scheduled what it’s calling a “business boot camp,” designed to help its members focus on the dollars and cents of television.
“Its intent is to give a general business feel, so they are more mindful to the goals and objectives of the heads of the networks who actually have to make those [profit-and-loss statements], said Michael Levine, president of Michael Levine Search Consultants.
“For creative folks it’s important to get better at business and to understand strategy,” Mr. Levine said. “It’s a tough environment. It seems like we’re coming out of this rough time-let’s knock wood when we say that-but I think we all have to be armed with better armor to face the world.”
During boot camp, promotion executives will learn about strategy, negotiating and selling their work to upper management.
Being a better negotiator is about “saving them money and will save their companies money. It’s just doing better business,” Mr. Levine said. “No one ever bothers to teach them that part of it and they expect them to learn it. But how can they without some help?”
Mr. Levine said he’s not trying to turn art directors into accountants. “In the framework of business you can find your creativity and do even better, award-winning work,” he said.
If the seminar is successful, Mr. Levine would like to cover management and communications in future boot camps.
Well-trained creative managers are hard to find, and this type of seminar could help send promotion makers down that road. “As a recruiter we hear all the time, `We don’t want a promo cutter. We want somebody who can understand strategy.’ They want people who know how to make a spot that will sell, as opposed to something that may look good but won’t have the marketing objectives inherent in it,” he said.
Business boot camp will be held June 23, and Promax will charge a separate fee for the six-hour seminar above the regular convention registration price.