Olson opens PR, social media office in New York

CHICAGO: Olson has expanded its footprint in the US by opening an office in New York dedicated to its PR and social media unit.

CHICAGO: Olson has expanded its footprint in the US by opening an office in New York dedicated to its PR and social media unit.

The firm's Manhattan office officially opened three weeks ago, said Bryan Specht, president of Olson's PR and social media group.

Accounts such as Crain Communications, PepsiCo, Skift, Waywire, and Wrigley, as well as TiVo and Soul, will be serviced by the office, said Specht. He noted that the agency is growing in part through recent account wins such as Mars' Royal Canin pet food and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission.

“In our industry, New York is such a critical market,” he explained. “It's also a key market for talent, clients, and media and influencer relations.”

Olson already had offices in Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Toronto.

Three executives will lead the New York operation: VP Marie Espinel and newly hired VPs Michele Clarke and Alyssa Sperber.

Espinel, who has worked at the firm since 2005 when it was known as Dig Communications, is the PR and social media account leader for the New York office, said Specht. Clarke is leading media strategy and engagement for Olson New York, and Sperber is responsible for brand engagement.

Prior to joining Olson, Clarke spent two years overseeing her own marketing and communications firm. She also worked at Waggener Edstrom, where she led the global corporate communications practice and served as acting GM for the firm's New York office. Clarke also spent eight years serving as MD at Brainerd Communications.

Sperber, most recently VP of branding and development at Dentsu, comes from a different background than PR and social media, which allows Olson to “diversify [the agency's] capabilities,” said Specht.

Before Dentsu, Sperber was the director of brand partnerships for Clear Channel Communications' global media sales group. 

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