Mark A. Whittaker
East McKeesport, PA 15035
Objective: Serve as Internet expert to develop marketing and/or content strategies and tactics for a company or organization that wants to make full use of the Internet to strengthen existing customer relationships and build relationships with new customers.
About: I am an experienced website leader, writer and editor who has managed the development of interactive websites and marketing programs that have generated millions of additional page views and several hundred thousand dollars in advertising revenue for publishers.
- Worked closely with the founder of Dream Local Digital and developed product offerings for search engine optimization, search PPC advertising and native advertising. And I work tirelessly to eliminate the usage of exclamation points in everyday social media posts.
- As a result of a consulting contract with AIM Group, I was, for a time, the nation’s leading expert on prostitution advertising and the amount of revenue such advertising generated for online publishers.
- In first full year as online director at the Beaver County Times, aggregate page views increased 85 percent year-over-year, and revenue increased 45 percent. Site was redesigned, and advertising rates were revised and standardized. Also created a customized marketing program for a local cyber school that generated $50,000 in revenue.
- Supervised the launch of a dozen user-generated content sites using a new content management system and as a result increased traffic to weekly newspaper websites.
- Pioneered a paid, sports-related e-mail newsletter that generated $50,000 in new revenue on about $20,000 in expenses.
- From 2000 to the present, I have continued to retool work skills and develop new ones to adapt to the evolving Internet and to help transition my employers into the digital age.
- Helped PittsburghLIVE win the EPpy Award in 2002 for the best overall newspaper website in its circulation category.
Senior Marketing Strategist
Dream Local Digital, Rockland, Maine, December 2010 to present
Dream Local Digital is an online marketing agency that develops marketing strategies for many types of businesses and organizations across the U.S. and Canada. I joined Dream Local as it was just beginning and have been involved in partner sales, developing and executing marketing strategies, creating and editing social media content, writing and editing blogs for both internal publication and client use, and writing and editing native advertising content for clients. I have been involved in developing Dream Local’s search optimization, PPC advertising and native advertising products. I do most of our client SEO evaluations and manage Adwords campaigns both in Adwords and through a vendor tool.
Sales Director / Consultant
The AIM Group LLC, Altamonte Springs, Fla., March 2009 to September 2014
I was responsible for U.S. sales and marketing for an interactive media consulting company that focuses on classified advertising. The AIM Group offers a variety of consulting services to newspaper companies, broadcasters and Internet-only businesses, large and small. It also publishes a variety of reports, including the Classified Intelligence Report. I have also worked on various consulting projects. As a result of the consulting work for one AIM Group client, I became, for a time, the leading expert in the U.S. on prostitution and escort service advertising.
Interactive Media Director
Beaver Newspapers Inc., Beaver, Pa., August 2007 to December 2008
Responsible for day-to-day advertising, design and operation of the company’s websites, including TimesOnline.com and EllwoodCityLedger.com. Supervised a staff of up to eight. Position reported directly to corporate COO for Interactive Media and included responsibility for working with newspaper advertising, editorial, production and circulation staffs to integrate good online and interactive practices. Developed a unique marketing program for Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center and School involving video and integration with the TimesOnline.com site. In the first year, aggregate page views increased 85 percent year-over-year, and revenue increased 45 percent.
Director, Online and Interactive Services, July 2004 to August 2007
Tribune-Review Publishing Co., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Primarily responsible for day-to-day operations of PittsburghLIVE.com and about 20 other websites for the Tribune-Review Publishing Co., excluding most editorial content. Responsibilities include supervising staff of five; advertising sales; promotion and coordination of new Web products and projects; and integration of Web projects with print products. Launched a dozen new community-oriented Web sites. Worked closely with our largest advertiser to develop newsletters and a sponsored mortgage calculator. Helped develop a $30,000 advertising program for Coors Light that integrated with sports page, newsletters, discussion boards and scoreboards. Created and delivered an online advertising training program for the print sales staff. Managed a $1.9 million annual budget.
Managing Editor, January 2000 to July 2004
PittsburghLIVE, the website of the Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Coordinated the posting of the company’s six daily newspapers – including the Tribune-Review and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – and two weeklies. Manage a staff of five online editors. Responsible for communication between the website and the affiliated newspapers; supervised creation of web-only content; negotiating partnership agreements. Launched SteelersLIVE ‘Xtra, a subscription-only newsletter and website, which earned $50,000 in subscription revenue in its first year.
Opinion Editor, April 1996 – January 2000
North Hills News Record, Warrendale, Pa.
Wrote daily editorials, coordinated and edited a board of nine community columnists, edited letters to the editor and syndicated columns. Organized opinion page projects and local hot topic questions to promote community input. Coordinated content for the News Record website.
EPpy Award, Best Overall Newspaper Website, 2002, Presented by Editor & Publisher magazine.
Herrick Editorial Award, National Newspaper Association, 1997
Elected to board of the Newspaper Association of America’s Digital Media Federation, 2007
American Press Institute Seminar for Digital News Management, Reston, Va., May 2001.
Poynter Institute Writer’s Workshop, Wilmington, Del., 1997, 1999
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa., Bachelor of Arts, Communication
University of San Francisco, Master’s Certificate in Internet Marketing, November 2010
Manager/player. Church softball team, 2005-present
Manager, Coach. Youth soccer and baseball, Cranberry Twp., Pa. 1995-97
Church councilman, Hope Lutheran Church, Cranberry Twp., Pa. 1994 – 1997
Chairman, Parish Life Committee, Hope Lutheran Church, Cranberry Twp., Pa. 1996-97
Participant, Anti-racism Discussion Group, YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Center for Race Relations, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1996-97