O’Malley Hansen
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Holmes Report
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O’Malley Hansen

Holmes Report

Kelly O’Malley and Todd Hansen worked together on the McDonald’s account at international public relations giant Fleishman-Hillard, the former focusing on consumer marketing and food and nutrition communications, the latter on corporate positioning and issues management. They launched their own firm in 2006 with an approach that recognized the increasing influence of consumer conversations on corporate messaging and the growing convergence of corporate and consumer PR as once disparate stakeholder groups increasingly interact, and they sought to help clients address three disruptive trends: the fragmentation of media channels; the growing ability and willingness of audiences to participate in conversations with their media sources; and the increasing need to make communications less formal so companies can relate to audiences in an authentic manner.


Not surprisingly, the firm was an early adopter of social media, and in 2008 it took steps to educate clients on the appropriate use of new channels and to ensure that social and digital techniques were integrated into the vast majority of client projects. So when High School Musical 3 had its world premiere in Los Angeles, Disney took the lead on the traditional media outreach, while sponsor Sara Lee focused on social media, with O’Malley Hansen maximizing the company’s spot at the top of the red carpet to collect personalized messages from the movie’s stars and other celebrities. The firm also built a strong Twitter following with the outdoor enthusiast community in advance of the spring 2010 Everest expedition ledd by outdoor adventurer Jamie Clarke. And the Sara Lee Soft & Smooth Back-to-School Nutrition Summit opened a dialogue with thousands of moms after the company selected 13 prominent mom bloggers to attend the summit and help spread the message about the benefits of whole grain nutrition in time for back-to-school season.


Meanwhile, O’Malley Hansen has continued to attract big name clients such as Champion, Endust, AB Mauri Fleischmann’s and furniture brands Lane Furniture and Broyhill Furniture to a roster that includes Sara Lee Corporation, Sara Lee brand in the bakery, sweet goods and deli categories, EarthGrains Bread and Hanesbrands and to increase its fee income by close to 30 percent—and the firm anticipates additional growth in 2009, despite the economy.


O’Malley Hansen campaigns begin by establishing a clear, deep understanding of the most important brand attributes and making sure that client partners share the same perspective. The firm then develops a program that builds on those messages, identifying all key stakeholders and the most effective channels to reach them.


“O’Malley Hansen Communications is a tremendous partner to Sara Lee as the agency is fully committed to the success of our brands, our company and our consumer-customer relationships,” says Jon Harris, senior vice president for global communications at Sara Lee Corporation. “The team works as a collaborative partner with our communications and marketing teams on various initiatives across our organization. O’Malley Hansen brings tremendous enthusiasm to the Sara Lee brand, [and] continues to demonstrate strong creativity, using traditional media, event planning and the online environment to communicate a complicated nutrition message… They demonstrate their commitment to great thinking in whatever we ask them to do, so we have been able to do great work together. OHC is one of the best agencies I have ever worked with.”


Kelly O’Malley has experience in strategic planning, media relations, influencer outreach and fooda and nutrition communication and has worked with clients including Sara Lee, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble’s Millstone Coffee and Pampers baby care brands, Kellogg Company, Visa USA, ConAgra Foods and many others. In addition to 10 years at Fleishman-Hillard, she previously worked at Ralston Purina’s in-house agency. Todd Hansen has a background that includes media relations, marketing communications, employee engagement, interactive outreach, executive speaking opportunities and community relations and was senior vice president and director of the corporate practice at Ogilvy Public Relations in Chicago after FH. Notable additions in 2008 included vice president Kim Yurkovich, who most recently helped to manage the largest beer brands in the world—Budweiser and Bud Light—for Anheuser-Busch Companies; and director Sarah Kittel, formerly with Weber Shandwick Chicago, where she led assignments for for Campbell Soup, McCormick, Mars and others.

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