WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS Express & Star ......... 10/12/19  Pics of MNA staff presentations at the Light House with Graeme Clifford.

Sales leader gains certified professional qualification

The team at MNA Digital is celebrating after their sales leader was awarded a professional diploma in digital marketing.

Stuart Perkins started the course six months ago and now has comprehensive knowledge of a range of digital marketing tools including social media, SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC).

MNA Digital is part of the Midland News Association (MNA), which publishes the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. For almost two decades Stuart worked as regional sales manager with the Express & Star, supporting local businesses with both their print and digital marketing.

However, last year Stuart decided he wanted to focus on the digital side and said the course has helped accelerate his learning. “I wanted to do the course to upskill and increase my knowledge of digital marketing,” he said. “It has given me the confidence to speak in depth to clients about marketing tools, such as PPC and SEO, and know that I’m giving them the latest advice and insights.”

Stuart joined the MNA in September 2001 and has worked with customers on both their print and digital marketing, but now his key focus is digital solutions but is also equally able to help customers with any print advertising requirements. “I enjoy increasing awareness of a customer’s brand or service, in order to help business thrive,” he said. “I’ve had years of expertise across both print and digital, but I wanted to get more in-depth knowledge on the digital side. The move across to digital has been really good for me and was something I really wanted to do.”

Stuart said the course took a lot of his time and the final exam was intense. “The course was done through the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) and for the final three hour exam I was closely monitored,” he said. “I did the exam at home but I had to take photos of the room and then keep my webcam on for the full three hours. I couldn’t talk, eat or have drinks – at one point I put my hand over my mouth and was told to remove it, just so they could see I wasn’t cheating. I even had to remove any paper from the printer and put it by the door in case there were notes written on it – it was really strict. The minimum pass rate was 60% so I was thrilled to get 81% – I feel fully qualified to give our customers the best advice and information about digital marketing.”

Louise Burns, Digital MD and commercial director for MNA Media, said that the DMI digital marketing diploma is a globally recognised qualification with 1,000’s of graduates. “Stuart studied daily to ensure a good pass grade and did it with flying colours,” she said. “Since joining MNA Digital as sales leader last year, he has implemented many changes that have brought about positive outcomes. This qualification will further enable him to support the sales team and help MNA Digital to achieve its growth plan in 2021 and beyond.”

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