2014 PR People Awards: Digital Communications Leader of the Year

Winner: Danny Olson, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Weber Shandwick

Danny Olson embodies the 21st century PR/marketing professional. He’s a seasoned veteran of the industry who is just as comfortable chatting up CCOs as he is CMOs and he can hold court on how to structure a brand newsroom or how to measure the average annual revenue generated by a Facebook fan. Olson studies his craft, devotes himself to his clients and their work, and pushes himself and his agency to think smarter every day.

In the last year, across his key accounts, Olson has grown his business in digital and social billings by more than 400%, bringing millions of dollars to the agency and delivering smart, measurable, cutting-edge work to his clients. He has both conceived of, and sold in, first-of-their-kind activations for his Meijer client on Snapchat, allowing the Michigan-based regional supercenter brand to become the first retail brand on the emerging platform.

The brand’s emergence on Snapchat was the second in a three-part college relationship building campaign that kicked off with Olson and his team leading the brand’s entrance on Tumblr, where it employed five college interns as brand ambassadors over summer 2014 to create content and engage with readers. In two months, the Tumblr, named Beyond the Aisles, amassed more than 2.2 million impressions, 60,000 engagements (clicks, likes, reblogs and follows) and 6,000 followers.

As interactive lead on the U.S. Army account, overseeing strategy as it relates to mobile, web and app development, Olson guided the program’s crown jewel, Army Strong Stories, into groundbreaking territory for the U.S. government by re-constructing the site as responsive. The site refresh and changes to the site architecture achieved all of the agency’s metric goals, with the following results standing out: a 15% overall increase in page views; a 100% increase in daily mobile site visits; and a 1,200% increase in page views from iPhone and iPad devices.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Brett Holland, Pepco Holdings, Inc.
  • Megan Levi, Ruder Finn
  • Kristin Montalbano, National Geographic Channel
  • Jennifer Stalzer, Mastercard