John Fairley

As Vice President of Digital Services at Walker Sands Communications, John is a strategy architect and technical director, managing the intersection of PR and digital services for one of Chicago’s most sought-after interactive marketing agencies.

A leading digital practitioner for more than 15 years, John has an extensive background in SEO, social media and the use of digital strategies in integrated marketing campaigns for fast-growing B2B and B2C clients across the technology sector.

John was a primary influence behind Walker Sands’ innovative Digital Ecosystem, an approach that emphasizes the intelligent integration of PR and digital marketing services for clients interested in maximizing earned, owned and paid media opportunities.

Prior to Walker Sands, John served as CTO for ThoughtSpeed, a privately held boutique venture capital firm focused on Internet-based technologies. He researched and tracked industry SEO trends and developed iterative actionable plans for portfolio companies.

John’s background also includes leadership at a multi-million-dollar software company that builds multi-channel automated communication solutions for Fortune 500 companies, including UAL, Wells Fargo, Express Scripts and Charles Schwab. As the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at CenterPost Communications, John was responsible for all components of product development, network operations, IT, quality assurance and technical writing.

John is the past winner of the U.S. Search Awards for the best use of PR in a search campaign and has been featured in several publications, including the Chicago Tribune and eWeek. He is active in the Chicago web development/SEO community and has presented at events such as SEO Meetup, SCORE, SocialDevCamp, Social Media Breakfast Club and Social Media Club Chicago.

John Fairley at the Chicago SocialDevCamp

What is the most exciting or inspiring project you’ve worked on at Walker Sands?
"PlaneTechs has been on ongoing project for more than 5 years. We have a multifaceted marketing program that involves their website, mobile, social, SEO, email and advertising with advanced analytics to measure it all by."

One thing people wouldn’t know about you is:
"I once took second place in a breakdance contest."

The funniest thing to ever happen to you at Walker Sands was _____.
"During a late day brainstorming session about twitter handles for Walker Sands Digital, we somehow get kept sidetracked about the Power Rangers and we almost went with @DigitalRangers."

What is your favorite account to follow on Twitter?
"@leeoden (PR, Marketing and SEO, what’s more to like?)"

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live?
"I’m very close with my family, so I need to live wherever they are, and a place with a great wireless broadband connection. I wouldn’t object if they all moved tropical location like Hawaii, and I was forced to go with them."