Telegram sales consultant wins award


Cooke Communications North Carolina President John Cooke Jr., right, presents the Cooke Cup to Telegram advertising Sales Consultant Chris Taylor on Monday in Greenville.


Staff Writer

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Rocky Mount Telegram’s Chris Taylor and his wife, Judy, enjoyed their time 20 years ago when they got to visit and vacation in Charleston, S.C.

Now, the couple will get the opportunity to go back again in the near future. Taylor, an advertising sales consultant at the Telegram, and his wife will take an all-expense paid vacation to Charleston. It’s part of Taylor’s reward as the winner of the inaugural Cooke Cup trophy contest, “The Road to Charleston.”

Taylor, 69, who also was awarded a Speedway gas card and cash, said Judy was excited when she found out about the trip.

“She is so thrilled to go back to Charleston,” Taylor said. “When we visited before, we liked the historic waterfront homes they have down there. We’re looking to go the second week in June and look forward to a couple extra days of vacation.”

Elizabeth Semple, vice president of sales and marketing of Cooke Communications North Carolina, said Taylor was part of a contest designed to motivate and reward sales teams at the Rocky Mount Telegram, The Daily Reflector in Greenville and The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City. The contest ran from August 2017 to April. 

Monthly winners were chosen from the Telegram, The Daily Reflector and The Daily Advance, and each newspaper picked one overall winner from their list of monthly winners. The monthly winners were awarded $100 Visa gift cards.

“All three of our daily markets are so different, but we all have one goal — to generate revenue,” Semple said. “I was looking for a way to unite the sales organizations and begin to share our successes with each other along the way.”

Nominations for the three finalists from the daily papers for the Cooke Cup prize were done anonymously and chosen on their goal performance, digital sales, special sections, ad network sales and innovation and teamwork.

Taylor, who won eight of the nine months of the contest for the Telegram, said he was a little shocked to come out as the overall winner and recipient of the first-ever Cooke Cup.

“I knew I had a pretty good chance, but it was a surprise because there are 20 sales people from our three papers that were involved in the competition,” Taylor said. “I’m just truly blessed, and I thank God for giving me the talent and ability to do my job.”

Taylor’s career in newspapers spans more than 25 years, including starting at his hometown newspaper when it was called the Wilson Daily Times.

Taylor also had stints at the Johnstonian-Sun in Selma and Smithfield Herald News before coming to take a position at the Rocky Mount Telegram in 2010. Taylor said he has truly enjoyed the eight years he has worked for the Telegram.

“I love it and it’s the best place that I’ve ever worked at,” he said.

Rubie Smith from The Daily Reflector and Beverly Alexander from the Daily Advance were also finalists for the Cooke Cup contest and both received $500 each.