Q&A: Get to know Shaun Fogarty, Digital Sales Director of The Virginian-Pilot

Name: Shaun Fogarty

Title: Digital Sales Director, The Virginian-Pilot

Tell us a little about your background: I have been working in the digital divisions/departments of local media companies for nearly 20 years beginning with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I have been with Pilot Media – Publisher of The Virginian-Pilot and PilotOnline.com for 11 years and currently serve as the Digital Sales Director responsible for all advertiser based digital revenue strategies.

Cranium Tap seems like a really innovative solution for advertisers. Tell us a little about it. CraniumTap, a Pilot Media property, is our custom research solution where we try our best to tap into consumer thoughts and behaviors through multiple sources and methods to uncover valuable insight impacting a myriad of business decisions or, in three words, we access intelligence. We offer a multitude of research services from Geo Analysis to Customer Profile Analysis to Employee Surveys. All of our service offerings can be found here: http://craniumtap.com/our-services/

Anything interesting happening on the video revenue front for you all? Where do you see that space going?  On the video front we are experimenting with YouTube Director now that it is available in our area. Pilot Media is a Google Premier Partner and we like to experiment with Google’s offerings so that we stay up-to-date on everything available in the marketplace.

How are you thinking about Facebook today? Your news organization has done a lot with Call to Actions and bots with Facebook. Is it paying off? From a selling digital services perspective, we continue to grow revenue by helping businesses advertise on Facebook. Advertiser demand from local SMBs for placing ads Facebook continues to increase. When businesses realize that they do not have the time and/or the expertise to do it themselves,  we help them by driving results while giving the business owner time back to focus on other priorities.

What gets you most excited about media and the Pilot’s revenue opportunity today? There is a tremendous amount of potential in selling digital services, especially to B-to-B companies. YTD, we have experienced sizable revenue growth from this category and are looking to grow even more. While there is a lot of competition in the marketplace, the trust in the Pilot Media brand matched with our track record of delivering results for advertisers positions us well for continued growth.

Anything else you’d like to share that you think the Pilot is doing well that others could learn from? We have made a commitment to digital sales training that has resulted in solid digital revenue gains from across the organization. Pilot Digital Academy is a training program we built in house that includes classroom instruction, testing, role-playing and best practice sharing. Every salesperson, sales manager and sales coordinator must attend the one hour training session weekly. We are coming up on our two year anniversary of the program and we can clearly see that it is driving revenue and increasing expertise. Lastly, every salesperson and sales manager at Pilot Media is expected to become “Google Digital Sales Certified.”