Managing with the Three P’s

In May of 2012 I took the position of Marketing and Enterprise Development Manager for the City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department. I’ll be honest, it was a little intimidating at first. I was leaving a village in Vermont with a population of 10,000 to lead the marketing efforts for a city of 380,000. To keep myself and my team focused, I put together three principles to guide our marketing efforts.

Developing these principles involved two steps:

Evaluation - Evaluation of current marketing efforts. Evaluation of the team’s skills ets. Evaluation of the existing relationship between the marketing team and the rest of the department.

Vision - What do we want to become? What steps are necessary to get there?

The Three P’s:


The marketing team is expected to proactively seek solutions and begin new initiatives. The marketing staff should take the initiative to find out about upcoming programs or events and identify the best tools for promotion, rather than waiting to be contacted by staff. By being proactive, marketing efforts can be well planned and executed, instead of duplicating what has been done in previous years.


With the boom of social media and mobile technology, the marketing landscape changes almost daily. It is a priority for the marketing team to be aware of new opportunities and to stay on top of best practices. Effectively engaging the public in this era means that dollars and time need to be invested in non-traditional advertising mediums. The team is encouraged to be leaders in the field by continuing their professional development, implementing new initiatives, and sharing their knowledge with colleagues.


Being progressive must be balanced with purpose. New tools and platforms cannot be adopted simply for their novelty, there must be a good business case for each investment of time and resources. Sometimes this means waiting to utilize a platform until there is evidence that has been adopted by enough citizens to be beneficial. Other times it may mean putting an initiative on hold until staff has ample time or resources to devote to the project.

By combining a progressive mindset with purposeful planning, I’ve seen our team make a significant impact in our brand, our engagement and our bottom line. I believe we’ve also made significant strides in being more proactive since the new team has been in place (though I think there will always be room for improvement due to the size of our operation). It is always encouraging to hear our team or department leadership use one of the three P’s when discussing an idea. I’m thrilled with how the three P's mentality has been adopted.

Last modified onFriday, 22 August 2014 16:25

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