Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter Sets In

It was now 2015 and I wanted to rake up any post-holiday sales I could gather. Frigid January temperatures and snow took hold of Maryland like it did it 70-years-ago to the day for the soldiers trudging through the Battle of the Bulge and the Ardennes forest. My final campaign would focus on just that. The wintry weather. 

SNOW AND COLD MAKE A TOUGH FOE IN THE ARDENNES -- "If you can imagine an army fighting its way through the mountains of Garrett county in mid-January, with ten to twelve inches of snow underfoot, the trees encased in frozen sleet, the temperatures 4 or 5 degrees above zero, the skies overcast with a constant threat of more snow - if you can image this, you'll have some idea of the ordeal through which American troops are passing in the battle of the Ardennes." - Lee McCardell - January 12, 1945
IT'S A COLD, UNCOMFORTABLE UPHILL MARCH -- "It's a cold, sunless day. The icy road climbs steadily [. . .] Unwashed, unshaven with ten days' growth of full beards, knitted caps pulled down tightly over their ears, brown GI Turkish towels around their necks for mufflers, they look much older than they are. They shuffle along, dragging their galoshes through the snow in slow paced short steps of tire old me." - Lee McCardell - January 30, 1945

The Perfect Gift for 'Sitting by an Open Fire'

In 2013 Sun librarian Paul McCardell went exploring in the publisher's vault which is located in the basement of The Baltimore Sun, and discovered a large cardboard box containing two vinyl-records. The box was labeled "Electrical Transcription / WFBR, Radio Centre, Baltimore, Maryland / SUNPAPERS OVERSEAS PGM. / FROM OVERSEAS / 12/25/1943." 

These two records, each 30-minutes in duration, were copies of a special Christmas radio broadcast sponsored by The Sun. The broadcast was originally transmitted across the Atlantic from 'Somewhere in England' and aired locally by WFBR in Baltimore and nine other radio stations across the state. It also aired in Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

The special, organized by Sun war correspondents Lee McCardell and Holbrook Bradley, featured voices and performances of servicemen from the 29th Infantry Division, the Army Air Forces and women of the Red Cross and allowed many of them the opportunity to say hello to friends and family back home.

The timing and rediscovery of such a treasure prompted Paul and multimedia editor Steve Sullivan to work carefully on digitizing the hour-long broadcast which was rebroadcast online via baltimoresun.com for its 70th anniversary on Christmas 2013.
This commemorative CD is a re-recording of a special 1943 Baltimore Sun Christmas broadcast which brings to life the voices and music of more than two-score soldiers from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The servicemen participating in the broadcast were stationed somewhere in the British Isles during their training for the invasion of Europe. Voices and performances include servicemen from the 29th Infantry Division, the Army Air Forces and women of the Red Cross.

Now, let's jump ahead to August 2014. Sales for Written Under Fire continued to stay strong, but the holidays were approaching and I wanted to squeeze as much revenue out of this product as I could. I enlisted the help of multimedia editor Steve Sullivan to burn 300 copies of the Christmas broadcast onto CD-Rs while I purchased fiberboard CD sleeves for packaging, designed the CD label and sleeve cover, and assembled the finished product. We were going to bundle this CD with the book to increase sales. It worked! We sold out of the CDs multiple times and had to take backorders. This was a very good problem to have.

To promote the CD/book bundle I designed the following two holiday ads. For these ads I selected two Sun photos depicting soldiers in a wintery-scene and just like in previous campaigns I colorized them. Then I again looked to the past for inspiration with style and template.

I also promoted this CD as a supplement to the book because Lee McCardell and Holbrook Bradley, both correspondents in the book, organized the broadcast which featured many of the same servicemen from the same division they followed throughout the war.

Duration: November 2014 - December 2014
"When I was out there [in the Ardennes], yesterday, I saw only one Christmas tree. Some soldiers posted along a road had set it up on top of their cannon which was aimed toward Germany. They had no Christmas bells and no tinsel with which to decorate it, but I think it was the bravest Christmas tree I have ever seen." -Lee McCardell - December 24, 1944
"Good afternoon everyone, we're about to bring you a full-hour special broadcast direct from England. This broadcast is a Christmas present from the Sunpapers of Baltimore so that you may hear the voices of your servicemen and women overseas. The program was arranged in Britain by Lee McCardell, Holbrook Bradley and Thomas O'Neill. Literally dozens of your friends and neighbors have been standing by in Britain to wish you a Merry Christmas so with the very best wishes of the Sunpapers we take you to somewhere in England.' - WFBR of Baltimore, December 25, 1943

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Adding Some Color

Late in August I began experimenting with colorizing black and white images in Adobe PhotoShop. Happy with my results I would go on to use these images promotionally for both Written Under Fire's facebook and print ads. As you can see I continued using the retro-look for the third advertising campaign, and I would continue using this stylization for all future campaigns to come.

Duration: August 2014 - November 2014


A Retro Look

We successfully breached the market with the launch campaign and sales continued to hold into the third-quarter. But I wanted to continue the momentum by changing the creative. My inspiration for campaign number two came from World War II era propaganda posters and magazine advertisements. The retro-look of these ads needed to immediately grab the viewers attention and peak their interest.

Duration: July - August 2014

Print Campaigns

The Written Under Fire print promotions went through five phases overall. I didn't want the ads to get stale so when one campaign was active I was already working on the next one. 

With the launch campaign I wanted to draw the viewer in with imagery and narrative from the book. The previous books were all photo driven so I want to solidly convey that this book was text driven. I selected photos and paired them up with excerpts from the book. I also designed ads for specific days i.e. Memorial Day, D-Day in Normandy and Father's Day.

Duration: May 2014 - June 2014

Launch Ads
"BAR MEN FORWARD!" - "Come on," shouted Col. Van Bibber. "We'll have to clean 'em out--BAR Men forward--pass it back." Joes passed word back down the column: "BAR Men forward!" Two Browning automatic riflemen hurried forward. One crouched by either corner at the end of the street. Tanks were pouring fire from .50-caliber bow guns down Rue Don Pedro. BAR Men opened up. "Come on," shouted Van Bibber, waving his automatic. "Come On!" -Lee McCardell - July 4, 1944

SAAR RIVER BRIDGE TAKEN - "The attack on the bridge was no longer secret. From the far side of the river the Germans began firing at the engineers with rifles and machine-guns. "It was the most murderous small-arms fire I have ever seen in my life, "Colonel Philbin said later, "My hair actually stood on end as I watched those engineers of ours working under that fire." -Lee McCardell - December 5, 1944
# 3.
SNOW LIKE WHITEWASH - Stark chimneys of Eschdorf's fire and shell-gutted houses come into sight above these snow banks. Snow conceals the dirty litter of their ruins. Snow turns stacks of empty shell cases into white pyramids. Snow half buries army trucks and trailers parked in fields around the village. What a mass of hidden battle scars spring will bring forth this year in the Ardennes when the first warm sunny days melt this merciful snow! -Lee McCardell - January 29, 1945
Memorial Day Ad
GETTYSBURG ADDRESS - "...that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -Abraham Lincoln - November 19, 1863
D-Day in Normandy, June 6 Ad
WHISKED TOWARD BEACH - Crowded into the vessel, some two dozen of us were whisked in through the fleet toward the beach. Wondering whether the sweepers and engineers had removed enemy mines and underwater obstructions, we hung on as the ship bounced over one wave, then through the next. We passed vessels showing evident signs of hits by enemy shore-fire or underwater mines. Then we were on the beach. - Holbrook Bradley - D-Day Plus 1, June 7, 1944
Father's Day Ad

Friday, February 20, 2015

Using Facebook to Generate Pre-Launch Excitement

Written Under Fire: Baltimore Sun Correspondents' from Normandy to the German Surrender is a 264-page paperback book published by The Baltimore Sun. I owned this project and worked on it from start to finish. My responsibilities included researching photos and microfilm libraries, selecting photos and articles, typing the articles and organizing them to create the narrative, working side-by-side with a designer and overseeing the design and scheduling of all marketing and promotional materials, seeking-out and closing trade agreements for the promotion of the book with outside organizations (i.e. The World War II Foundation, War History Online and the local VFWs and American Legions) selling the product online and taking customer's phone orders, and overseeing a fulfillment clerk responsible for the shipment of each order.

Prior to launch and before I started promoting WUF in The Baltimore Sun's 30-print publications I ran the following facebook ads to build up hype.
April 15, 2014 - "Written Under Fire" - a new book from The Baltimore Sun about Maryland soldiers in World War II. On sale May 6. Learn more about the book http://baltimoresunstore.com/writtenunderfire

Share this update and spread the word.

Caption: McCARDELL ALONG AS THE OLD MAN LEADS JOES OF THE 313th INTO CHERBOURG - YANKS BLAST PILLBOX -- American anti-tank platoon works its gun at point-blank range as it reduces a German strong point in the fighting that led to the capture of the port of Cherbourg. Photo by Lee McCardell.
April 15, 2014 - Holbrook Bradley was a Baltimore Sun War Correspondent during World War II. Learn more about him: http://baltimoresunstore.com/writtenunderfire/correspondents
April 17, 2014 - Lee McCardell was a Baltimore Sun War Correspondent during World War II. Learn more about him: http://baltimoresunstore.com/writtenunderfire/correspondent
April 21, 2014 - Share the official "Written Under Fire" book cover with your friends.

April 22, 2014 - Maryland Rangers are seen here training for the invasion of occupied Europe somewhere in England. Click here and scroll down to explore the gallery: http://tinyurl.com/kfetu6g

"Written Under Fire" goes on sale May 6.

Share this gallery.
April 23, 2014 - We had some fun this morning playing around with colors in Adobe PhotoShop. "Written Under Fire" goes on sale May 6.
May 1, 2014 - Five days until the story begins. http://tinyurl.com/mix7yjs

Caption: AT SEA WITH McCARDELL - BALTIMORE OFFICERS -- Major William J. Witte, Captain Richard C. Hoffman 3d and Captain Robert J. Slingluff enjoy sunshine on deck as transport moves through calm seas. Officers and men alike wore life preservers during most of the trip to England. Photo by Lee McCardell.
May 2, 2014 - Four days until the story begins. http://tinyurl.com/mix7yjs

Caption: ALL ASHORE: A view of Maryland troops stepping on English soil. Toting gear and rifles and wearing helmets, the men file down a gangplank from a lighter at British port of debarkation in the rain. Note British officer at right of photo. Photo by Lee McCardell.
May 3, 2014 - Three days until the story begins. http://tinyurl.com/mix7yjs

Caption: MARYLAND RANGERS -- IN SCOTLAND - TOUGHENING UP -- By way of developing arm and shoulder muscles and toughening the hands, Rangers go through exercises like this every day. Photo by Lee McCardell.
May 4, 2014 - Two days until the story begins. http://tinyurl.com/mix7yjs

Caption: BLUE AND GRAY troops board an LST en route for the French coastline for the invasion of Europe. Photo by Holbrook Bradley.
May 5, 2014 - One more day until the story begins. http://tinyurl.com/mix7yjs

Caption: DRAWING CLOSE TO THE SHORE OF FRANCE -- The eyes of the 29th men on this invasion craft are on the Normandy beach which they are approaching and over which hangs a cloud of smoke created by exploding Allied projectiles. Photo by Holbrook Bradley.
May 6, 2014 - BREAKING: ON SALE TODAY - The voices of Baltimore Sun World War II correspondents sound off in "Written Under Fire." The book is filled with dispatches and photos from hot spots such as D-Day in Normandy, Brittany, Holland Fort Driant, Metz, Saar, Bastogne, Ardennes, Julich, Munchen-Gladbach, the Roer and Rhine Rivers, Neunburg, the Elbe and Reims.

Buy your copy @ http://tinyurl.com/mix7yjs

Share this update and spread the word.

A New Direction

From childhood on, I've been fascinated by American history-specifically World War II. I would revel in the company of my grandfather as he shared stories of his time during the Battle of the Atlantic aboard the U.S.S. Croatan (CVE-25). Being part of a fleet, which was known as a ‘hunter-killer’ group, serving aboard a carrier ship tasked with locating and sinking German U-boats certainly brought about many exhilarating narratives on my grandfather’s part. As I grew older, crowd favorites such as Saving Private Ryan, Battleground!, or the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers carried great weight with me as I recalled my grandfather’s service and sacrifices, as well as the many others that did the same. With the launch of my book project, “Written Under Fire,” it was with much excitement that I began to dive into the archives and research The Sun's role in the fight to defeat the Nazis.

The Sun sent correspondents Lee McCardell, Holbrook Bradley and Price Day, among others, to cover the war in Europe. England, North Africa, Italy, and France were just the beginning for these eager journalists. Their travels also encompassed Holland, Belgium and Germany. With the war in the Pacific theatre not to be forgotten, The Sun sent Howard Norton and Phillip Heisler to keep Maryland’s residents in the know during wartime.

McCardell followed troops in North Africa and Italy. On the morning of D-Day, before troops had even landed, he flew with the Ninth Air Force on the first bomb run of the Normandy beachheads. He described this as the "curtain-raiser of the battle for western Europe.” Days later he landed in France and rejoined the fight, which, for him, began in the port city of Cherbourg. Moving on from there, he would be the first American reporter in Paris after the Allies liberated the French capital. Succeeding Paris, he followed Patton, aka "The Old Man," and his Third Army through Alsace-Lorraine, Fort Driant, Metz, Luxembourg, Bastogne, the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), the Saar and the drive to Berlin. He was one of the first to report on the atrocities in the Nazi death camps, specifically in Neunburg, Bavaria. Later, he reported the momentous scene on the Elbe when the American and Russian forces met for the first time. 

Bradley followed the 29th Division on D-Day in Normandy, through the French hedge-rows, rode under fire in one of the first six tanks into Saint-Lo and was wounded in Vire. He returned to the battle-hardened Twenty-Ninth, shortly after checking himself out of the hospital, to continue in the breakout to Brittany, the siege of Brest (where he witnessed the capture of the Nazis' massive concrete U-boat pens) and continued on to Germany by route of the Siegfried Line, Aachen, Julich and the Elbe.

Preceding Europe, Day reported from North Africa, then Italy; specifically from the battles of Anzio, Cassino, and Rome. Later, when The Baltimore Sun was the sole newspaper worldwide to have its own reporter at the German surrender in Reims, Price Day was there to report every detail.

What adventure! What a story so deserving to be retold!

The Baltimore Sun archive contains over 900 photos taken on the frontlines by McCardell and Bradley. Considering this wealth of content, and 2014 being the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe, I pitched a WWII photo book idea to the upper echelons of The Baltimore Sun. After their deliberation, the book was approved, and I was in business. The digitizing process from 2010 captured the publication dates and photographer's names for each photo from the archive, but because there were no captions, for the OCR reader to scan, there was little to no chance of knowing who or what it was [as a viewer] you were looking at in each photo.

November 2013: I was still in the researching stages, for the book, when I realized that without adequate captions the only way to make it happen would require going into the microfilm archives. So I spent many long but rewarding days feverishly paging through the microfilm archives of The Baltimore Sun, The Evening Sun and The Sunday Sun using the publication dates on the backs of the photos to locate the captions, add them to the digital archive and ultimately to the manuscript.

As I was working on the captions, I encountered another problem: the long periods of time between each set of photos. For example, there were many photos from D-Day in Normandy, fighting in the Norman hedgerows and the Brittany campaigns (June-September, 1944), but then there were no photos to be found until the conclusion of the Metz campaign (November-December, 1944). What could I use to fill the gaps in the timeline? Then it dawned on me. I could create my narrative by filling the gaps with McCardell's, Bradley's and Day's numerous articles and dispatches. I'd been paging through them for weeks while gathering the photo captions, and they would solve my problem while complementing the photos within the book. This photo book would now be a more text-heavy piece, supplemented with photos. After the less than stellar performances of “Maryland Exposed” and “The Darkroom,” I felt that changing the direction from strictly photos to a narrative was a good move.

From that moment I embarked on a massive four-month stint of poring over Holbrook Bradley's book, “War Correspondent,” studying the timeline of the European theatre, researching the archives for dispatches that followed that timeline, and creating a narrative. All of the selected dispatches came from microfilm so there weren't any text files I could use to provide the designer. In addition to my normal daily responsibilities as manager of business development department, I spent most days, nights and weekends typing each dispatch word-for-word. I was typing so much that I wore out my keyboard and needed to have it replaced! But I didn't care. I was bringing the forgotten stories of McCardell, Bradley and Day, which hadn't been told in 70 years, out of obscurity. By the time the manuscript was proofread (three times) and the designer laid out the book, we had thirteen chapters and a 264-page book! 

Of the five books I did for The Baltimore Sun, “Written Under Fire” is the one I am most proud of, as well as the one I was most excited to work on and promote. I secretly hoped that after the book was published, Tribune Broadcasting would take interest in the story and do its own TV mini-series. I can dream!

From May 2014 through January 2015, “Written Under Fire” generated $65k in new revenue. Much of this success was due to the marketing campaigns I produced. We were back on track!

Let's Try It Again

Going into 2013 I had some big numbers to both replicate and improve upon. My answer to the successful book Days Remembered was Maryland Exposed: Iconic Photography of The Baltimore Sun. This book would be a sequel in what ultimately would become a book trilogy. ME would again take advantage of the wealth of imagery in The Sun's newly digitized photo archive. Like with DR I had a skeleton crew to work with, so any content we used would need to be entirely repurposed. ME was a photo study of the different cultural aspects of Maryland. Each chapter in the 190-page book focused on a new theme ranging from: life in Annapolis, life on the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore harbor, equestrian life, Maryland agriculture, weather and transportation.
The Darkroom: Iconic Photography from Seven Baltimore Sun Photographers would be the final chapter in the Baltimore Sun Iconic Photography trilogy. The Darkroom, a 190-page paperback, showcased the works of seven of award-winning Baltimore Sun photographers: Hans Marx, Richard Stacks, Robert F. Kniesche, William L. Klender, Ellis J. Malashuk, Walter McCardell and A. Aubrey Bodine.
Both books failed to captivate the public and generate customers or sales. Each book was sold on the Baltimore Sun Store's website for $19.99. Beginning in November and December I moved to bundle the two books with Days Remembered for a discounted price of $49.99. Customers bit for the holidays, and saved $10, but this wasn't enough to compete with the sales from DR in 2012.
Despite being good products Maryland Exposed and The Darkroom were severe let-downs and only generated $12,000 in total revenue. Was DR a one-time fluke? I needed to find out in 2014.
My responsibilities included:
  • P&L
  • Establishing deadlines
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities
  • Leading a team four individuals in multiple brainstorming sessions to conceive the book's theme
  • Research of material (i.e. photos and captions)
  • Selection of material (i.e. photos and captions)
  • Editing selected photos in PhotoShop per the designer's specifications
  • Working directly with a designer on the layout, design and cover design
  • Working with a copy editor to manage a proofreader
  • Selecting content to post on the Maryland Exposed landing page
  • Working with a web designer on the layout and design of the ME landing page
  • Working with the art department on the marketing and promotional content (i.e. print ads, online ads, emailed ads, social media)
  • Managed a clerk responsible for taking orders fulfilling them
  • Customer service
  • Sales and revenue tracking

Days Remembered

I continued to harvest revenue opportunities from the digitizing initiative by publishing The Sun's first photo book since 2001, Days Remembered: Iconic Baltimore Sun Photography. The main benefit of this book was not having to create or pay for any new content. Everything in the book was repurposed content.

 A holiday print ad for Days Remembered. Circa. 2012
Days Remembered was a great opportunity for us to use the wealth of The Sun's digital photo archive (previously an idol asset) and turn it into new revenue. DR was a ten-chapter book that covered the changing landscape of Baltimore and Maryland from the 1910's through to the 2010's.  Complete with an introduction, a dedication, chapter introductions, numerous photos and photo captions this 170-page paperback book covered a new decade.
DR was originally published as an item to celebrate The Sun's 175th anniversary. However, wildly successful and generating over $100k in revenue I was tasked to replicate its success again in 2013.
My responsibilities included:
  • P&L
  • Establishing deadlines
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities
  • Leading a team four individuals in multiple brainstorming sessions to conceive the book's theme
  • Research of material (i.e. photos and captions)
  • Selection of material (i.e. photos and captions)
  • Editing selected photos in PhotoShop per the designer's specifications
  • Working directly with a designer on the layout, design and cover design
  • Working with a copy editor to manage a proofreader
  • Selecting content to post on the Days Remembered landing page
  • Working with a web designer on the layout and design of the DR landing page
  • Working with the art department on the marketing and promotional content (i.e. print ads, online ads, emailed ads, social media)
  • Managed a clerk responsible for taking orders fulfilling them
  • Customer service
  • Sales and revenue tracking

Digitizing an Archive

In 2010 I was offered a job managing The Sun's newly formed business development department and I quickly jumped on the opportunity. My first project in this role was the digitizing, cataloging and sale of the entire Baltimore Sun photo archive.

My responsibilities included managing the prioritizing, labeling, shipping, digitizing and cataloging of 1-million archival Baltimore Sun photos in only two-years.

I also worked as the liaison who oversaw the workflow between four organizations: The Baltimore Sun (TBS), Image Fortress, CTI and Masterpiece Marketing Group (MMG).

I managed two clerks who were primarily responsible for three very important and necessary tasks. First, pulling folders from a priority list designated by the auctioning company MMG.

Next, confirming and then assigning the proper copyright to each photo. All photos ingested by the digitizing company, CTI, automatically defaulted to a Baltimore Sun copyright, but some of the photos in the archive were not actually taken by TBS photographers. Many photos were handouts provided by outside agencies like Wide World Photo, United Press International and the Associated Press. In order for TBS to distinguish outside copyright holders from its own these clerks would stamp the word "Other" on the backs of all the photos they determined were handouts. CTI would then key "Other" into the copyright holder metadata field before the image file was ingested into the Digital Fortress archive. Since TBS could not license or sell reprints of these "Other" images they held no monetary value and were deleted from the Digital Fortress archive to save on storage fees, but only after the original hard copy print was sold. MMG needed the thumbnail images to post on eBay and other sales channels.

And last, these clerks were responsible for barcoding and shipping 7,000 photos a week and 28,000 photos a month to CTI. These numbers were mandated in a pre-determined contractual schedule, and I'm proud to say that TBS finished this project months ahead of time.

The project began at the box level, followed by the folder level and ending at photo level. Each tier received its own unique barcoding naming convention. For example the clerk would:
   1.) Label box, A-1090-BS, scan the box barcode into the tracking software and essentially open the box.
   2.) Label folder, AE-5055-BS, scan the folder barcode into the tracking software and essentially open the      
   3.) Label photo, BFA-466-BS, scan the photo barcode into the tracking software and essentially place it in 
   inside the folder which is inside the box.
   4.) Continue labeling and scanning the other photos contained in folder AE-5055-BS.
   5.) Scan the folder barcode once all photos in AE-5055-BS have been scanned. Thus closing out the folder in   
   the tracking software.
   6.) Repeat the folder and photo process until the box is full.
   7.) Scan the box barcode again to close the box.
   8.) Ship to CTI

CTI scanned fronts and backs of each photo in full-color and in high-resolution and was also responsible for capturing important metadata from the backs of each photo. This metadata included: folder subject, photo subject, photographer's name, publication date, caption and copyright holder.  

Folder barcode: AE-5055-BS
Folder subject: John PowellPhoto barcode: BFA-466-BS
Photo subject: Boog Powell
Photographer's name: Harris
Publication date: 10/16/1970
CaptionOctober 16, 1970 - LA DOLCE VITA -- Boog Powell, with victory cigar clenched between teeth, frolics after victory. Photo by Carl D. Harris BFA-466-BS
Copyright holder: The Baltimore Sun

After digitizing each photo CTI uploaded the images and the associated IPTC metadata to a digital archive, maintained by Image Fortress. In the Digital Fortress archive each photo was searchable, and thumbnails and high-res images could be found and downloaded by those with the proper authorization.  Please feel free to stop and browse the TBS archive by following this URL http://baltimoresun.imagefortress.com.

This project preserved The Sun's photo archive.  By digitizing the 1-million photos, capturing valuable metadata and making them searchable this project created the opportunity for long-tail revenue streams through: photo books, photo reprints, photo licensing, countless blogs and newspaper subscriptions.  

All of the hardcopy photos were sent to an auctioneer responsible for selling them online to the highest-bidder.  These bidders are mostly collectors and preservationists. Sales of the original prints have generated $2,500,000 to-date.

A Step Up

In 2009 The Sun sold both satellite offices and consolidated both teams. We were now based out of The Sun's Calvert street location. Later in the year I was also promoted. While maintaining the responsibilities from my former desk, I now additionally oversaw four other local retail sales assistants who carried the same workload.

• I was responsible for training new sales assistants on the ad order entry process.

My Accolades:
2009 Support Person Sales Leader of the Year (Winner)

Enjoying an Orioles game during their 2009 Season. Compliments of The Sun for my hard work. 

My First Job Out of College

After graduation I moved to Baltimore City and in June 2007 I began my first job as an advertising sales assistant for the Baltimore's Sun's satellite office located in Hanover, Maryland. After a few months I was the sales assistant for two satellite offices one in Hanover and the other in Columbia.

The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel satellite office.
• Responsible for two teams of four account executives (AE's) in two remote locations.

• Managed multiple advertising accounts for eight AE's. 

• Assisted with account management of $6 million in advertising revenue. 

• Responsible for following all AE's ad order tickets and agency ad schedules to correctly reserve ad space in The Baltimore Sun and it's special sections.  This included proper billing.

• Responsible for working directly, on the AE's behalf, as a liaison between advertisers and The Sun's art department.
   - Submitting creative requests to the art department for spec ads.
   - Gathering ad copy.
   - Forwarding the spec ads to the advertiser.
   - Communicating the advertisers edits and revisions to the art department.
   - Getting approvals on-time and prior to deadline.

• Responsible for resolving billing discrepancies for AE's between advertisers and The Sun's billing department.

• Designed media kits for the sales team highlighting successes.

• Responsible for taking the minutes during all meetings and sending them out to the sales teams in a timely manner.

• On a daily basis organized all hardcopy tearsheets in the tearsheet room.

• On a daily basis tracked and reported actual revenue vs. revenue goals for both satellite teams. 

• On a daily basis used Microsoft Excel to organize revenue-tracking reports for all eight AE's.

• Responsible for creation of a “virtual office” which enabled AE's to manage account files, download sale promos, and fill paperwork out electronically while out in the field.  This was eventually adopted throughout the entire local retail department.

• Responsible for training new AEs on the ordering process for ads.

• Part of a multiple award winning team that finished 105% to goal for 2008 fiscal year.  

• My Accolades: 
2008 Support Person of the Year (Winner)
4th Quarter 2008: Support Person of the Quarter (Nominated)
3rd Quarter 2008: Support Person of the Quarter (Nominated)
2nd Quarter 2008: Support Person of the Quarter (Nominated)
1st Quarter 2008: Support Person of the Quarter (Winner)

2007 Support Person of the Year (Winner)
4th Quarter 2007: Support Person of the Quarter (Nominated)
3rd Quarter 2007: Support Person of the Quarter (Winner)

My Education

I graduated from Washington College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management.

Washington College is located in Chestertown, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore. It is the 10th oldest college in the United States and was the first college founded after American Independence. 

(Here I am in line to receive my diploma. You can also see my father in the background. He is at face level. with me. He's the gentleman with the mustache wearing a blue blazer and a red and blue repp tie).


Welcome! My name is Zachary J. Dixon and this blog is all about my professional career. I've worked in many areas ranging from administrative roles to management ones. This blog will detail everything for you. I'd love the opportunity to be the candidate you're searching for. Tally-ho!  -ZJD