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Case Study: OLSON

CHALLENGE: Make a small, regional advertising agency famous within — and outside of — its industry.

What we did:

Serving as consulting agency communications director, (www.olson.com), Jennifer Weismann and OWL fanned the flames of the Olson brand, garnering recognition of work and ingenuity, while positioning the agency as a thought leader in the marketplace. Managed communications over three years — consulted through two CEOs and three business acquisitions. In those years, the agency grew from 150 people to nearly 400 and revenues grew by double-digits each year.

How we did it:

  • Targeted, intelligent media outreach to local, national, and international business and marketing media grew agency profile quickly.
  • Went from being reactive to proactive with information generation.
  • Used all tools at hand through each business acquisition; from message development to crisis communications
  • Consulted with top leadership regularly to ensure best face was always forward and that news was accurate and timely
  • Built reputation of agency through its affiliated non-profit, The BrandLab, to demonstrate thought leadership and agency’s charitable efforts
  • Broadened outreach and built attention for newer divisions
  • Sustained success/coverage with local, regional, and trade publications


  • Coverage told the Olson story and built the agency into the largest —and best-known — agency in the Twin Cities and one of the top independently owned agencies in the US.
  • The agency was featured in print, broadcast, and online — regularly and favorably.
  • Agency went from pursuing attention to being sought out for thought leadership to participate in articles and speak at national industry conferences.
  • Interesting note: The agency sold in 2014 for nearly $300 million.