What We Can All Learn From Betty White

2012-21 BKLOT Promax Betty White P

White is being honored at this year's PromaxBDA conference.

The PromaxBDA conference is honoring the nonagenarian as reinvention and promotion take center stage.

Jonathan Block-Verk became president of PromaxBDA, an association for professionals in media marketing, promotion and design, in 2008. Since then, the organization, which used to host one yearly conference, now sponsors 13 events throughout the world. But its annual conference, which this year is in Los Angeles, is still the big show.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: PromaxBDA has been re-invented over and over. How has it survived?

Jonathan Block-Verk: The last couple of years, we have really aggressively been trying to superserve sectors of the business. We've launched some major initiatives like sports media marketing, where we bring together the sports media community -- all the leagues and teams -- which draws hundreds of people. Our Station Summit in Las Vegas, focusing on the local television and syndication communities, in its second year, has already become the second-largest event of its kind globally.

THR: What can we expect from the conference in Los Angeles?

Verk: Today, when content is available on every platform, on every medium, whenever and however you want it, marketing is what is now driving success in the business. It's how content is packaged, how it's branded, how it's delivered and how it's monetized, all of which is a function of marketing. Marketers for the first time are elevating and becoming the leaders of the entertainment business. Many of the top networks are really marketing-driven entities now. Everybody says content is king -- absolutely. But if you don't have a kingdom, it doesn't get you very far.

THR: Why are you honoring Betty White at a marketing and promotion conference?

Verk: If anyone has ever rebranded themselves and kept themselves relevant throughout such a long career, it's Betty White. The Betty White brand has been around for decades, arguably longer than any other personal brand.


WHEN: June 12-14
WHERE: JW Marriot, L.A. Live



  • Media Leaders' Summit: Participants will include Machinima's Allen DeBevoise, PBS' Paula Kerger, FX Networks' John Landgraf, TBS/TNT's Michael Wright
  • What Marketing Taught Top TV Execs: With Peter Liguori, E!'s Suzanne Kolb, USA Network's Chris McCumber, HLN's Scot Safon, Cooking's Michael Smith, TLC's Amy Winter