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Case Study 1

Page history last edited by Jonathan Lukes 13 years, 2 months ago





Name of Organization:     PromaxBDA


Tag Line:                            The international association for entertainment marketing professionals 


Address:                             1522e Cloverfield Blvd.
                                           Santa Monica, CA 90404

                                           United States of America


Phone:                                310-788-7600


Fax:                                     310-788-7616


Website:                             www.promaxbda.org


Micro-dossier                     Jonathan Lukes

completed by:


The aim of this case study in not to simply restate the information about PromaxBDA available on-line and elsewhere but to offer insight into how the organization works and offer practical tips on getting the most out of membership.



2.1 History


1956 - Promax founded as "a non-profit, full-service, membership driven association for promotion and marketing professionals  working in broadcast media".


1997 - Promax and BDA (The Broadcast Design Association) formally merge following many years of holding joint annual conferences.



2.2 Who are the Members?

 PromaxBDA claims to represent "every major broadcast and cable television organization, radio, computer hardware and software corporations, internet and other emerging technology stakeholders, premier design, promotion and advertising agencies". 


How many members are there?

Over 3,000 individuals and companies


Where are the members located?

Over 70 countires.


Promax is divided into nine international chapters, reflecting local television cultures. In alphabetical order:


      • Africa
      • Arabia
      • Asia
      • Australia
      • Europe
      • India
      • Latin America
      • United Kingdom



2.3 Role

 PromaxBDA's goal is to be:


What?               The primary world resource for:


      • Creative Inspiration
      • Community
      • Education
      • Career Development


                         See sections covering each of these topics below


For whom?         Promotion, marketing and design professionals


Which sector?     Entertainment and information industry    




3.1 Membership Categories

 Promax has three membership categories:



3.1.1 PromaxBDA365

 This is the basic membership which comes with a range of benefits as described on the organization's website. The annual subscription is $199 plus a one-off processing fee of $25 for new members.  



3.1.2 PromaxBDA365 Elite

 As the name suggests this is the premium membership category and as such it comes with additional exclusive benefits available only to Elite members. However, exclusivity comes at a price and Elite status has a hefty $1995 per year price tag although this does include registration at the annual conference which this year will set you back $1,000.



3.1.3 PromaxBDA365 Academic

 Perhaps of most interest to readers of this wiki is PromaxBDA365 Academic membership for educators and students. This includes most of the standard membership benefits as well as preferntial access to three events specifically aimed at this particular community, the Creative Educators Forum, Student Portfolio Night and the Making the Cut Competition.


In comparison with the first two categories membership comes at a relatively reasonable $49.


In order to qualify for this category you must be either:


  • a full or part-time professor, adjunct professor or teacher at an accredited or independent secondary or post-seconday institution; or


  • currently active/enrolled at a high school, university or college


In both cases proper ID in the form of school ID or a class schedule is required. This has obviously proved an issue in the past as the  website explicitly states that there are "No Exceptions".


All membership dues are non-refundable but as a subscription to a professional body you should be able to set them against your tax bill. 



3.2 Registration

 As part of the research for this case study I registered as a student member in order to describe and assess the process.


3.2.1 Create a new contact record

 The first step for all membership categories is to create a contact record.


  • From the PromaxBDA website homepage either click on "Join Now" in the "Become a Member" graphic box, "join" in the very top right hand corner or select "Become a Member" from the Membership drop down menu.


  • On the next page click on "Create a new contact record" which takes you through to a contact information form. Four fields are required, first and last name, email and job level (select student from the drop down list). Click on "Skip Company Search".


  • On the next page complete your address information and click on "next " to create your on-line contact.


  • A few minutes later you will receive an email containing your Username (your email address) and a temporary password. See the picture below.  




3.2.2 Contact PromaxBDA's Member Services Manager

 Although the Promax BDA Website states that the next step is to log in with your new Username and Password and continue your application on-line when you click on "Apply for new membership" you are taken to a page which contains links for only PromaxBDA365 and PromaxBDA365 Elite membership on-line applications. These applicants, as well as educators applying for Academic membership, can also download a PDF form to complete and fax to the organization. However, there is nothing to indicate what student applicants are supposed to do.


I therefore rang PromaxBDA's Member Services Manager:



Anush Payaslyan on (310) 789 1509 who informed me that all student memberships have to be completed over the phone and that the next step was for me to send her copies of my student ID. I therefore forwarded her a scan of my New School ID as well as a copy of my schedule (just to be certain as New School ID's do not contain a validity date) together with my contact details. Her email address is anush@promaxbda.org.


A few minutes later she telephoned me back on the telephone number I had supplied, I gave her my credit card details and my membership was approved. 




Signing up for membership is just the first step. There are many different ways you can use that membership to further your career.


4.1 Read PromaxBDA Daily Brief

 The first indication that you are a PromaxBDA member is the arrival in your in-box of the promaxBDA daily brief. As its name indicates this is an email sent out each workday aggregating news and information that may be of use to those working in the electronic entertainment marketing industries. An example can be seen here:  promaxBDA daily brief.docx. The email leads with a new video promotion or "hot spot" followed by links to news under such headings as "media markerting",  stations"& syndication", "digital news", "games & gamers" and "innovation & ideas". In this edition the lead story is the re-branding of cable TV channel Sleuth as Cloo motivated by the same reasons as the re-branding of SciFi as SyFy, ie the name Sleuth wasn't copyrightable.


As anyone joining the world of on-air promotion soon becomes aware promoting yourself and your work is as important as promoting your programme or network. Therefore much of the content of the daily brief is given to advertising Promax's various conferences and services. Also links are provided to submit your own work for inclusion. This can be a great way to raise your profile within the industry and with future employers.


For those suffering from information overload there is also the option to unsubscribe at the end of the page.



4.2 Enter a Competition


One of the quickest and easiest ways to raise your profile in the world of on-air promotion is to enter (and hopefully win) one of the competitions run by PromaxBDA. You can find details of the various competitions on their website under "Industry Development", "Student Opportunities". Not only is winning a great way to make your resume stand out but merely entering puts your name and work in front of the judges all of whom work in the industry and who may be a potential employer.


Nor is the competition necessarily that tough. PromaxBDA recently sent out an email extending the deadline for their Making the Cut Student Competition which is usually an indication that either they haven't received that many entries.


The 2011 Making the Cut competition is run in partnership with the CW Television Network. The aim is to create "a piece of non-traditional promotion" for one of three shows which air on the CW. The winner receives "a shot" at an internship at the network (so not guaranteed), round-trip airfare to the PromaxBDA 2011 conference paid for by production music company Extreme Music (the website doesn't say if there is an alternative if you already study or live in new York City where this year's conference is being held) and the possibility of your work appearing on the CW and its website.


You can enter even if you're not a member but in that case you'll need to register and create a profile (see 3.2.1 above).  


Once registered you have access to footage from the shows, music from the Extreme library and even access to voice over artist from Jason Marks Talent.



There are three categories: 1) Animation & Design - Motion 2) Design - Print and 3) Digital and Interactive Media. Entry is free with a current student ID.


If you win not only do you receive a whole year of free PromaxBDA basic membership but you'll also receive one of these shiny gold awards known as a Muse statue. Not quite an Emmy but they are made by the same company that makes the Oscar!



4.3 Attend the Conference

PromaxBDA's signature event is its annual conference. If schmoozing and partying (together with a little conferencing) at your employer's expense is your scene the conference is for you.



4.3.1 Reasons To Attend

One of the reasons for attending the conference listed on the PromaxBDA website is "Establish youself as a thought leader." However as a student and or first time attendee perhaps more important are:


  1. It's a great networking event. Make connections with colleagues and potential employers - there are over 2,500 attendees.
  2. You might learn something. Many of the sessions are both enlightening and entertaining. Topics range from reviews of the year's best promos and branding to tips on brainstorming and generating creative ideas - there are over 75 sessions.In addition you have the opportunity to hear some inspirational speakers. This year these include Spike Lee, Al Gore and Gene Simmons! 
  3. Have a good time. The conference's parties, especially those thrown by the big networks, are legendary.



4.3.2 The Good News

The PromaxBDA conference is held in a different city each year. The good news is that this year it is being held in New York which means that if you are staying in the city over the summer then there are no expensive air fares or hotel stays to pay for. The conference runs for three days over June 28th-30th and is being held at the Hilton New York.



4.3.3 The Bad News

The bad news is that registering for the conference is very expensive. It starts at just under $1,000 and becomes progressively more expensive as the conference approaches.  Registering on-site costs nearly $1,600!



4.3.4 More Good News

However there are ways you can attend that won't require you to break the bank: Become an Intern

Although it is too late to apply for the 2011 conference each year PromaxBDA hires interns to provide logistical support for the conference. As a member of the production crew you might be asked to help with the awards ceremonies, sponsorship fulfilment, IT, special events or graphic design. This is a good method of meeting and mixing with marketing and promotion professionals, learning the ins and outs of running a large conference event as well as attending many of the sessions and parties for free.  


In order to become an intern you need to complete an on-line application form and be available to work on the relevant dates. You have to pay your own travel expenses but PromaxBDA cover your hotel costs, provide three meals a day and pay a stipend (they don't say how much this is). Student Registration

If you are a student member of PromaxBDA the you are entitled to a special student rate  of $199 - a huge saving on the regular rate. Persuade your Employer to Pay

If you are currently working in the field of on-air promotion or branding then put together a good case to persuade your boss why you simply have to attend this event. Student Portfolio Night

Another opportunity worth considering is Student Portfolio Night where student can meet and show their portfolios to industry executives. Apparently last year one of the participants was offered a job! In an email sent to all student members the event is described as "a special networking event offering college students and recent graduates the opportunity to meet, show their portfolios and gain constructive feedback from creative executives and leaders of design in media and entertainment marketing".


Numbers are limited to 25 students who are pre-qualified by submitting their resume and portfolio to Katerina Zacharia, PromaxBDA's Director of Industry Development and Diversity. If selected you'll get to spend three minutes with each of the ten companies in attendance. One of last year's reviewers was cult typographer David Carson.



PromaxBDA has jumped on the social networking badwagon providing on-line tools for the members to connect and interact. Currently these seem to be still in their early stages of growth. They include:


5.1 Building A Profile

This section allows you to create an on-line resume.


5.2 Directory

Find other members and "communities" i.e. groups such as the Awards Committee or the Board of Governors.


5.3 Resources

A library of documents. I did a test search which returned 0 results so this area seems in its infancy.


5.4 Discussions

At the moment there are just two discussions, the Open Forum which has over 7,500 subscribers and the Ambassador Community. The Ambassadors are a group of selected members who act as information conduits between PromaxBDA and individual companies.


5.5 Events

Event listings. However, despite the upcoming conference etc no events were listed here.


5.6 Blogs

If you are an avid blogger or simply into shameless self-promotion this is the area for you.



PromaxBDA offer a number of training courses and workshops throughout the year. Examples include:


6.1 Emerging Media Workshop

Free to members. Sessions on new social marketing applications, augmented reality technologies and geo-targeting innovations.


6.2 Promo Bootcamp 


Held simultaneously with the annual conference Promo Bootcamp covers Promo Workflow, Creative Writing, Editing, Promo Structure and Directing Voice Talent. Although it bills itself as "intensive" given that you'll be studying with 249 others it's unclear quite how intensive it will be. If you sign up early then it costs a hefty $200 rising to $400 at the conference itself. The ubiquitous Lee Hunt will be one of the presenters at this years' camp.



Perhaps of most interest to many joining PromaxBDA is the Career Center which provides on-line tools for job searches. Although the Center is still in beta there were a total of nearly 1,400 jobs listed on the day I checked. You can filter your search by keyword, location or job type.


7.1 Career Profile

When you first access the Center you are sent an email with suggested next steps. The priority here is creating a Career Profile, a little like LinkedIn. As the email says the profile "includes all the details of your resume, and it allows you to receive job opportunities -- and offers -- without having to search on your own.  Employers can search for and view your profile without knowing your identity. "


7.2 Job Alert

You can also create a Job Alert. This is a tool which automatically emails you should a job be posted which matches your search criteria.


7.3 Other Tools

The account also allows storage of job opportunities, storage of cover letters, communications with employers and any notes you make on job openings or employers.  



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