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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

OLSON is acquiring Dig Communications

OLSON is acquiring , the Chicago-based public relations agency. Together, OLSON and Dig will broaden existing public relations services, delivering enhanced thinking, creativity and capabilities to clients. Dig’s founder Peter Marino will serve as president of the newly combined Dig and OLSON PR practices.

With the addition of Dig, nearly 20 percent of OLSON’s revenue will now be driven by PR, securing the agency’s position as one of the top 10 independent, full-service marketing agencies in the United States.

“The borders between different agency disciplines continue to blur, and that’s why we have been building a cross-disciplinary agency that will thrive as that dynamic accelerates,” says Kevin DiLorenzo, president and CEO, OLSON. “Clients may come in through any number of doors at OLSON, but all will have a broad, deep set of capabilities at the ready to help them grow their business. Combining Dig with our current PR capabilities creates a next-generation PR firm to enhance our agency model.”

OLSON, a privately held agency, was named earlier this year to Ad Age’s “Agencies to Watch” list for its “out-of-the-box thinking.” Dig Communications, founded in 2004 by PR veteran Peter Marino, was named by PR Week in 2009 as that publication’s small agency of the year, and by Inc. magazine as one of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. For more on Dig, and to link to its new blog, follow @think_room on Twitter.

“We have been fortunate to grow with great clients and great employees who believe in the increasingly critical role that PR plays,” said Peter Marino, founder and president, Dig Communications. “OLSON is the perfect partner. We think alike and are both highly motivated to move our clients’ brands forward.”

Ultimately, Dig will transition to become OLSON PR. All Dig employees will remain in their office locations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Milwaukee, and OLSON PR will remain in Minneapolis. Earlier this year OLSON closed a deal with Denali Marketing, which added brand loyalty, one-to-one marketing and analytics to the agency’s offerings.

OLSON’s expanded PR discipline serves some of the largest brands in the world including MillerCoors, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Southwest Airlines and Harley-Davidson. These will be combined with OLSON’s existing PR clients, including General Mills, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and PepsiCo brands Izze Sparkling Juice and Naked Juice.

“Dig’s capabilities will truly augment our services. It’s a great match in the way we both think and serve clients—making this deal feel right from the get go,” adds DiLorenzo. “And Dig’s already thinking, like OLSON, in innovative, holistic ways. This year, it brought home four gold Effies, the top marketing effectiveness award in the world—quite unusual for a PR firm. Add that to OLSON’s 18, and together we’ve hauled 22 Effies home in the last nine years.”