The Tribune's new advertising manager began his career in Internet advertising, has worked as a marketing consultant, and most recently has been employed in advertising composition for a sister paper in Newton. Isaac Pearson brings a full set of skills to the job of helping businesses make themselves visible in print and electronic media.

A Haysville native, he studied journalism and minored in music at Wichita State University, graduating in 2001. He lived in Los Angeles for eight years and in Vancouver, British Columbia, for two, before returning to Wichita in 2010.

"It's been a good move," he said, and to people who comment on how quiet life must be back in Kansas, he answers, "you can live the life you want where ever you are, especially with the Internet."

A strong presence on the Internet is becoming more important to businesses, even in Pratt. Younger people tend to look for goods and services online, and in a small market, it can get businesses an extra 10 to 20 percent in sales, by expanding beyond the local community, he said.

The Internet advertising packages offered by GateHouse are superior to what's available through other channels, he said.

The great thing about advertising online, according to Pearson, is that everything is trackable. If a business places an ad in a print publication, they know what the circulation is, but not how many people actually saw the ad. The tracking feature of online ads is a real advantage for a business to be able to see what they're getting for their advertising dollar.

Many businesses in Pratt have a website, but some are more of a business card than an actual source of current information. Pearson wants to help businesses move beyond the "dipping their toe in the pool" stage.

"A big piece of what I want to do is helping people develop an online brand," he said.

He won't ignore print advertising, however.

"To do both is vitally important for any business," he commented.

Pearson enjoys music and plays with a group that does a couple of shows every month around Wichita. He is also a sports fan, and says he will watch pretty much everything.

He has a favorite Pratt story from his childhood in the Wichita area. Playing Little League baseball, he came to the state tournament in Pratt, where their first game was against a Pratt team. Twelve-year-olds in Wichita played to an audience of their parents; in Pratt, hundreds of people were in the stands. Miss Kansas threw out the opening pitch and an exhibition by a skydiver preceded the game. He actually missed the field, but that's a minor detail.

Pratt fans were behind their team, and the team was "giving us the business," Pearson recalled. A ball was hit to him in right field that he couldn't make a play on. At his last at-bat, determined to redeem himself, he made a base hit and his team won.

Bad news for Pratt, but the community's support of its players impressed a 12-year-old.

Gail Tackett, the Tribune's advertising manager for the past six months, is looking forward to retirement.