PR Acquisitions: Olson Buys Dig Communications

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The Olson PR agency is acquiring public relations shop Dig Communications in a strategic move to expand their range of PR service and their presence outside of home base Minneapolis.

This is Olson’s second acquisition in 2010, after buying loyalty-marketing agency Denali in June, a deal that boosted the agency to become one of the Twin Cities’ largest full-service agencies and one of the country’s top 10 largest independents, according to AdAge.

The Dig PR shop acquisition will turn Olson into an even bigger business, with 360 employees, and nearly 20% of the agency’s overall revenue will now be driven by PR. Dig’s founder, Peter Marino, will be the president of the newly merged PR practice, which will be rebranded Olson PR. Dig employees will keep their current roles and locations in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York and San Francisco.

According to a statement by Peter Marino, Dig experiences a rise in inbound interest from potential buyers in the past nine months, being approached by several groups. The shop chose Olson for the “integrated potential” they presented, especially as existing clients required Dig’s PR services to be enhanced by other disciplines.

“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.”

“Dig thinks a lot like we think,” said Olson President-CEO Kevin DiLorenzo, who approached Dig about the deal this summer. “The companies, we feel, share DNA and values.”

The two agencies show not client conflicts or synergies, Olson’s roster including General Mills, Fifth Third Bank, Northwestern Mutual and Target, while Dig’s client list feature MillerCoors, Mars’ Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., Harley Davidson, American Express and PepsiCo’s Quaker.

“We’ve decided at this point in time our ambition is to continue to build the agency of the future as we see it and that isn’t through a holding-company model,” said Mr. DiLorenzo. “Our next move will be similar. Mobile is an area where we have great interest and our clients have great interest so that would be a smart next piece to put into the puzzle.”

Minnesota as a hotbed for Public Relations? Padilla CRT and Spong PR are among the independent firms that are big in the place very far away from Madison Avenue, New York.

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