WhaleShark names Hoyt comms leader

AUSTIN, TX: WhaleShark Media, a marketplace for online coupon codes and deals, has hired Brian Hoyt as head of communications.

AUSTIN, TX: WhaleShark Media, a marketplace for online coupon codes and deals, has hired Brian Hoyt as head of communications.

Hoyt, based in Austin, TX, joined the company in mid-October. He reports to Jill Balis, WhaleShark's SVP of marketing, who started at the company herself in August.

WhaleShark hired Hoyt, as well as Jeff Smith as senior director of SEO, to increase awareness of RetailMeNot.com and WhaleShark's other brands through an increased emphasis on social and earned media.

“This is really the beginning of us focusing on brand building,” said Balis. “We haven't done a lot of that in the past, and we think PR is a great way to do that to really help consumers understand the value proposition and to help them understand that if they shop smart, they can save every time they shop online.”

Hoyt will manage b-to-b and consumer-facing communications with a focus on building brand awareness for RetailMeNot.com and its value proposition. He will also coordinate PR with the company's international brands and lead global financial communications. Hoyt's role will also include social media, media relations, and events.

“Events are going to be really important to this company, to get out in front of our key merchant partners as we develop the b-to-b relationships with them,” Hoyt explained.

Hoyt added that he and Smith will frequently work together to coordinate the content the company distributes.

“With Brian, we're already on the same page as far as how PR and other brand-awareness activities can help SEO. As we build out new products and do new site development, it's going to be critical that we do those developments in a way that enables the search engines to read us,” Smith said.

Hoyt was previously VP of corporate communications and public affairs at Orbitz Worldwide. He has also worked in the corporate communications department at AOL, where he managed publicity for AOL News & Sports, AOL Travel, and MapQuest.com. He has also worked at Brodeur Worldwide as director of public affairs.

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