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2012 a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship

William Hood – The Cooper Union

Case Topic Response:

As Managing Principal I would first analyze the potential ability of our marketing staff to aggressively expand our PR campaign into untouched markets. Though it would be risky, the strategy would aim to

increase the marketing department’s value, generate new project revenue, and reduce our need to eliminate positions. If this option lacks promise, I would question the redistribution of the employees' work within or outside the firm. Could the Principals assume responsibility for business development? Could our architects devote a portion of their day towards the preparation of marketing graphics? On the other hand, could we outsource these positions, such as by hiring marketing consultants or an out-of-house accountant?

Following these considerations, I would propose a three-part strategy to cut the overhead of non-billable staff. Firstly, I would eliminate the marketing manager position and re-assign the generation of new business to the firm's Principals, one of whom would take charge while the others would split their attendance at networking events. If our efforts are unproductive, I would hire a consultant to bolster the procurement of new work, especially as it pertains to project leads outside our geographical area. Secondly, I would propose a reduction of the accountant’s hours to part-time status. Lastly, I would place more responsibility on the remaining marketing staff member for managing marketing efforts and coordinating proposed project teams. His extraneous administrative tasks could be restructured as "floating" chores among the office. And, after teaming him with the Principal assigned to new business and to an in-house architect with graphic talent, I would promote the junior marketing employee to "marketing projects manager." The promotion would hopefully increase his productivity and job commitment. Overall, the reorganization would decrease our overhead while re-energizing our marketing operations.


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