Archives For staff

TrojanOne is For Sale

MH3 —  December 19, 2013

No, just kidding. But who can blame any of my agency-owning peers for some wishful thinking of selling our businesses this week after witnessing the IMG sale?

In less than 10 years after being sold for $ 750 million to Forstmann Little by the estate of the late great Mark McCormack, IMG is now being sold for more than three times that…$2.4 billion to William Morris Endeavour. These two transactions reflect the brilliance of two men. Mark McCormack, who founded IMG in 1960, effectively invented the agency business model for sports and sponsorship marketing. The second genius in our saga is Ted Forstmann, who, according to the script written by industry pundits, went from a reviled investment banker criticized for gutting IMG…to a man who clearly knew what he was doing!!!

IMG has incredible assets in the properties they own and the rights they broker. Now we know they aren’t just incredible; they are pretty valuable. Worth billions.

So how much would you give me for TrojanOne? What assets do I have? You probably don’t see media rights to international properties or ownership of fashion shows or marketing relationships with star athletes on my balance sheet. But look a little further.

What I do have is the most dedicated and talented team of people you would ever want to be associated with, who proved to me once again in 2013 that they will do whatever it takes to get our clients promoted. They push the boundaries of creativity with Twitter-activated vending machines, keeping a relentless focus on clients’ business objectives, generating thousands of leads for a Grey Cup sponsor, or ensuring our field staff are motivated and equipped to travel the country and endure the demands of a grueling experiential tour schedule.

I have witnessed my team spend all night rebuilding bike racks at an international sports event; held my breath while they created from scratch, in less than 24 hours, a mobile payment system for an event registration venue that threw us a curve; and tried to support them relentlessly during six emergency conference calls on a weekend when a music property went astray.

Most people in life never get to work in area they love. The passion my people have for their work is amazing and I love them for it. That’s why TrojanOne will be accepting bids today starting at Infinity!

Summer School

MH3 —  March 6, 2013

Seems to me that the weather must be getting nicer, based on the flurry of summer job inquiries I received this week.

Friends, clients, ex-clients, suppliers, neighbours, net-workers are all sending me the same email. This email details the ambitions, talents, and virtues of their son/daughter/niece/nephew/neighbour who are looking for that perfect summer opportunity. This email tells me they NEVER hit people up to arrange summer jobs. This email forgot they said the same thing last spring!

Bring ’em on I say. It’s candidly the best channel for recruitment.

But I would like to offer some unsolicited advice to the young nominees who are approaching us for work, to help ensure they get the best shot at the best opportunities this summer.

1. My name isn’t “Mike”. Yep, happened today in fact. A second year student emailed “Dear Mr. Mike Harrison” for a summer job. Guess they teach name recognition in third year. (I politely, for me, emailed them back and said Mike wasn’t hiring, but Mark might be if they wish to try again.)

2. Our company name is TrojanOne. No space. Capital O. Not T1.

3. Enough of the petty stuff… here is an important one. Brevity! Don’t send me your cover letter, resume, and three references all expertly compressed and PDF compatible. Sorry I don’t have time! I am going to flip your email to one of my hiring gurus along with a quick comment: “Mandatory Hire”, “Please Interview”, “Up to You”, and “This kid puked on my lawn last summer…”. So don’t bother filling up my in-box young stars, send me something short, and…

4. Sweet! Hey if you want to work for us, don’t just send me a form email. Customize. Personalize. Humanize. Here is a real life quote from an applicant yesterday:

Dear Mr. Harrison,
Thank you so much for considering me for a potential summer position.

I saw my mother’s email to you … maybe she should be the one going into marketing and promotion. To be described as tall by her is unreliable, at best, and “busty”… maybe relative to my twelve year old brother.

I look forward to hearing from your “hiring dude”.

Hilarious! I hope we have hired her already.

5. This is the most important tip. Figure out what you want to do, how you want to learn, and whom you want to meet. Then be disciplined and diligent at getting it. Summer jobs can be great experiences. They can be great fun. They can be hard work. They can be a great party. They can be a great foundation. There is no right answer. However you need to figure out how you want these four months to impact your future, because whether you realize it or not… you’re not headed to a job, you’re headed to Summer School.

Thanks Given

MH3 —  October 4, 2012

There is no person more frustrating to deal with… than your mirror image. At least for me that’s the case.

You see your flaws in them. You can predict their reaction to your conversations. You get annoyed when they slip, not because of their actions, because you assume responsibility for their misstep.

Everything you wish you wouldn’t do, draws twice the emotional reaction when they do it. It’s almost as if you want to say, “I can sway off course, but you shouldn’t!!!!”

Usually these people are someone that you admire or enjoy collaborating with. The good news of a mirror is they understand you. They share some or all of your value set. They have similar aspirations. You rarely have to persuade them in joining your pursuit of some ambitious goal. Without being told, they know when to jump in and clean up a mess. Without being told, they know when a task needs fulfillment, despite the extraordinary personal commitment. Without begrudging you, they often will sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole. Their allegiance is unwavering. Your trust is oceans deep. Their output is top notch. Your expectations are exceeded. Their satisfaction is satisfying you. Your satisfaction is in being satisfied.

Continue Reading “Thanks Given”…

Executive Education

MH3 —  August 30, 2012

Summer is over.

At this point my kids would shout, “Well, THANK-YOU Captain Obvious!”

But it is.

I know cause I froze my arse off last night at football practice for my youngest. I am talking at 7:00 PM I was freezing.

Of course maybe my arse was cold due to the fact that I had a colonoscopy yesterday. It certainly was empty! Okay too much information, but if you doubt me just Google Dulcolax and Picolax….
I also know that summer is over because nothing got done this week. Or at least it felt that way. Something about the Labour Day long weekend. Amazing how one final Monday off (with due apologies to Thanksgiving) can create a psychological wall in people’s minds. Somehow this is a slack week. Of course the people working this week won’t agree with me. But trust me, September is tomorrow… not in a week.

Continue Reading “Executive Education”…

Grand Slam

MH3 —  March 8, 2012

The moment of truth has arrived.

The day of the big new business pitch has arrived.

It’s like the killer exam in third year university. The door has been firmly shut. The adjudicator has taken his seat. Your trembling hand reaches for the first page. There is no time to run out and wish you had studied more.

It’s time to present the pitch. Continue Reading “Grand Slam”…

Home Run

MH3 —  March 1, 2012

I often wonder what people are thinking when we get in front of them to make a new business pitch.

We had a couple going on last week. Big ones. Agency game-changers in fact.

Each is with blue chip companies. Good-sized budgets. Great brands. Plus a history of doing interesting experiential and event work. Which makes me both excited and nervous.

Often people ask me to provide them examples of our best pitch ever. Hard to say. Perhaps because the process is like speed dating meets job interviewing. Continue Reading “Home Run”…