The Kohnstamm staff was first struck by Kelly Olson when she was a young, rising star producer with The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her compelling personality and wit meshed nicely with Kohnstamm’s tenacity, and together we successfully created some great segments featuring our clients on that iconic, mega-hit show. In her years after Oprah, Kelly built an esteemed PR career leading groups and campaigns at Target Corporation, Mall of America, Carmichael Lynch Relate, Fleishman-Hillard and a long and creative run heading her own agency, Sway PR.
Today, Kelly’s PR career comes full circle as Kohnstamm created a new VP position catered to capture her exceptional talent and track-record in experiential marketing and capabilities in earned and owned media. She knows the consequential importance to clients and brands of delivering on great ideas and unique programs that are holistic in their approach and indelible in their experiential execution.
At Target Corporation, for example, while responsible for strategic development and tactical implementation of integrated events marketing and publicity programs, Kelly helmed large-scale experiential marketing events — including creation of a first-of-its-kind holographic fashion show held in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal that earned a 100+ million media impressions and was universally celebrated by fashion and consumer media. Other examples: she drove the event marketing and PR for Target’s wildly successful Go! International campaign and managed critical brand partnerships including designers Luella Bartley, Proenza Schouler and Alice Temperley.
Kelly became a break-out consumer PR talent at Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch Relate while serving as the agency’s Experiential Marketing Practice Group director she championed multi-disciplinary programs for Maytag, CamelBak, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and V.I.O. A PR adrenaline junkie from the git-go, she launched her career in live events and broadcast by working the FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremonies, a Super Bowl halftime show, and PR for the premiere of a new show for Buena Vista Television – nothing has ever been too big, too creative, or too complicated for Kelly to pull off.
Kelly waxes poetic about having worked with legends such as Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, or finding herself in career situations getting flowers from Meryl Streep or holding the hand of a nervous Kevin Costner early in his career. However, the native Minnesotan’s abiding passion always returns to finding original, creative approaches that give worthy brands a better way to break-through and be recognized as the next emerging consumer star and business success.