Here's our next interview with the next young hotshot from the Minneapolis ad scene. Without further ado, here's Danny Olson.
How do you think you approach your job differently than other people?
"I think the most critical characteristic for success in any job is curiosity. I’m fascinated by consumer behavior, and I try to approach each day at work as an opportunity to learn something new. I want to know how things work, why people do the things that they do, how tech is evolving, how others have done things before me, etc. When you approach your work this way, you’re always listening and gathering information, which allows you to deliver work in a way that is both interesting and grounded in research."
What kind of accounts/projects do you currently work on?
"It tends to vary month to month, but the consistent ones over the past year or so have been Meijer (supercenter retailer out of Grand Rapids, Mich.), Red Stamp and some General Mills brands. My work is primarily focused on digital engagement strategies, whether that be platform-specific, influencer relationship management programs, content marketing and more."
What's the best advice you've ever received?
"I’ve been fortunate to work both with and for a lot of smart people, who’ve taught me a lot over the years. One phrase that sticks out to me is, 'Don’t model your clients’ deficiencies.' Which isn’t so much about clients as it is about anyone or anything. There are a lot of broken processes out there, but it’s up to you whether you subscribe to them, or whether you try to make it better."
What gets you excited to come to work every day?
"The pace with which our industry is changing means there’s always something new to learn. That terrifies some people. You know who those people are because we’ve all worked with them. The rules can change overnight and that’s exciting to me."
What has been some of your proudest work?
"I was hired at Weber Shandwick to work on the U.S. Army business as the interactive lead, overseeing digital platforms for a variety of programs. The work that this client, our agency and its partners have done specifically on a program called Army Strong Stories, an unfiltered Soldier storytelling platform, is some of the best work that I think I’ll ever touch. I was fortunate enough to oversee its transition from a blog-type site to a more mature, responsive content engine, and it’s work that I’ll never forget."
Who is one person who has helped you get where you are? Or, one person you really look up to?
"A great mentor during my time at Weber has been Greg Swan. He’s helped me navigate 'big agency,' led by example on doing great work, and serves as a great sounding board for new ideas and thinking. He is also a selfie pioneer, an excellent resource for new music suggestions and he usually has a bag of baby carrots that he will share with you. And not just the weird white ones."
Anything you want to say to the Minnesota advertising, PR, marketing community?
"Keep working with that flyover country chip on your shoulder. And always pack an extra toothbrush and a clean pair of underwear."