As you strive to perfect your total management capabilities, there is a fine art to extracting maximum results from those who contribute toward your camp’s success.
For example, sessions on staff training and motivation are always sellouts at the national and regional camp conferences, as directors and owners endeavor to learn how to optimally leverage the innate people skills within their counselors and specialists. From each season’s first day, you want staffers to summon up every ounce of their abilities to work with and lead and nurture campers. Thus, you provide them with tools and with motivation to keep them going — right through the summer doldrums — right up to the very last day.
Another management function that deserves this kind of attention is the development and production of your marketing program. It is likely that you enlist the services of outside resources to help produce brochures, videos, your camp’s Web site, direct mail programs, and public relations/publicity programs. Knowing how to interact with these creative resources and how to encourage their work on your behalf will reward you with better, more hard-hitting, and more convincing selling messages.
Who are these resources? They can be as mechanically based as the local copy center or printer. It could be the local newspaper’s advertising department. Moving up the ladder, there are photographers and videographers, graphic designers, and copy writers. Finally, it could be the services of a local or regional advertising agency with whom you entrust much or all of your coordinated marketing campaign.
When a graphic designer is to prepare an advertisement, a direct mail piece, a brochure, or Web site design scheme, ask for alternatives. After all, the best way to be convinced that you like a certain design is to compare it with one or more, which you like less. When creative professionals, present their work — be kind! People who perform creative functions are very protective of their work — after all, it is a display of their imaginations. Your critique should be constructive, and outright rejection must be accompanied by a strong rationale. The worst way to lessen motivation in a creative professional is to say, “Nothing that you have presented grabs me very much! Go back and do some more!”
It is often wise to show layouts or manuscripts to others for a wider variety of opinions. However, choose this “jury” carefully. Many people have no ability to make judgments such as you may be requesting, yet it seems everyone loves to be an “advertising expert.”
Photographers and videographers
Once hired, make sure to leverage the ability of your new advertising agency to provide strategic thinking. Advertising agency professionals are marketing experts. If they cannot get beyond basic design, layout, and copy writing to really help you expand your business, they are probably not the right resource for you.
Ask an advertising agency — point blank — where you fit among all their priorities. It is unl