Peace Arch News’ new advertising manager, Steve Scott – who took up duties June 15 – comes to the Peninsula from our sister paper, the Surrey Leader, where he was a sales consultant for the last two years.
“It’s a southward shift, and an elevation,” said the affable Scott, who has been enjoying getting to meet with PAN’s client base over the past three weeks.
“This is a really focused community – people here are really proud of who they are, and it’s great to be a part of that. I’m really looking forward to working with them.”
Born in London, Ont., he was raised in Mississauga, and studied business administration at the University of Western Ontario.
His first real foray into business was as co-owner of a Metro Toronto area courier and messenger company – he and a partner grew it into a $1.5-million concern in the days before faxing and emailing documents became prevalent.
His working life has always been sales and sales-management-based, he said, and he takes pride in an award-winning record in which he has not only met, but surpassed, individual and team sales goals and revenue targets.
His wide experience includes a 12-year stint with Yellow Pages and SuperPages as account executive – which followed his move to B.C. in the early 1990s – plus several years as sales manager for a hospitality industry employment-recruitment website.
“I’m a people person,” said the father of three, who lives in North Delta with his wife, Loni (daughter Brittany is 26, son Eric is 24, and youngest son, Jason, just turned 20).
“I always have been. My parents divorced when I was very young, and when my mom remarried – when I was 14 – I gave the speech and the toast to the bride.
“I’ve never had any fear of speaking in front of a crowd. It’s natural for me to go out and sell – but I feel like I’m an even better coach than a player.”
The sports analogy is not accidental. Sports are important to Scott (and the arts, too – his daughter is a singer, dancer and actress in Toronto).
Growing up, he played some football, but he confesses his real passions are hockey, golf and skiing. And he’s given back through sports, too – as a minor hockey coach and in volunteering to help raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, through the Hockey Fights Cancer campaign.
Scott was no stranger to the newspaper business when he joined Black Press in early 2013. From 2007 to 2010 he was a sales manager, and, subsequently, media consultant, for Pacific Press.
“I’m thrilled to be back in the community paper game,” he said, noting that a brief sojourn as a sales manager in another industry only convinced him that what he most enjoyed was being part of a business that touches the lives of all members of a community.
“Our competitors in the digital world say that newspapers are dying – I say poppycock,” he said, noting that for many people, it’s still vital that they receive their newspapers on a regular basis.
“Reading is still a part of their day. Even the younger group will pick up a paper and read it while they’re riding the bus.”
And while he acknowledges that our era of information overload has led to a fragmented media market, he feels the secret of successful newspaper advertising is being able to pinpoint and work for the needs of each client.
“I believe in responsibility, accountability and integrity,” he said. “I enjoy helping businesses achieve their goals. That’s what advertising does – and I enjoy seeing it work for people.”