PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #54 – Michelle Olson, APR
About the Podcast
The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Michelle Olson, APR, Managing Director/Partner for Lambert.
About Our Guest
Michelle Olson, APR, is the managing director and head of the Phoenix office for Lambert, a Michigan-based public relations firm with offices in three states. The nationally-recognized firm works with clients ranging from global brands to emerging leaders in a variety of industries including automotive and mobility, consumer, education, financial and business, food and beverage and healthcare and biotech. With more than 30 years in public relations and integrated marketing, Michelle has served clients across the U.S. and internationally, and has significant experience in corporate communications and issues management across industries. She is a notable business leader and entrepreneur, having founded and led her own company prior to its acquisition in 2014.
Michelle’s work for clients involved in the U.S. opioid crisis has drawn attention from top tier media across the country and has received recognition from industry trade associations. She routinely integrates content marketing, social media, brand journalism and other online initiatives into public relations strategies, reaching audiences efficiently and quickly to impact change. She currently leads non-traditional communications strategy for two distinct projects for Bell – its bid to win a Future Vertical Lift contract from the U.S. Army and its entry into the future of mobility through a VTOL air taxi and an Autonomous Pod Transport (APT).
In 2018 Michelle was named one of Arizona’s Most Influential Women in Business by BizAZ Magazine and her firm ranked #3 largest PR firm in Arizona by the Phoenix Business Journal. She is a past chair of Arizona Forward, a 50-year old statewide advocacy organization convening dialogue on sustainability and quality of life issues. Michelle is a member of the Urban Land Institute (and a founding board member of its Women in Leadership subset), Experience Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce and Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. She has served as a judge for the prestigious Environmental Excellence Awards, the ATHENA Awards (recognizing outstanding women leaders) and the IMPACT Awards (recognizing Arizona’s most impactful companies).
Nationally, Michelle was recently elected to be chair-elect of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), a 21,000-member trade organization for which she has served as a leader at the chapter and regional levels as well. She was honored with the PERCY Award for her career achievements in Arizona in 2003 and previously chaired Counselors Academy, PRSA’s national section for agency owners and leaders. She currently serves as an advisor to the organization’s 10,000-member student body, PRSSA, mentoring its national committee and assisting at its governing assembly and leadership rally.
Michelle launched her career in Minneapolis but has made her mark in Arizona for 27 years, building relationships with business leaders, government staff and officials, influencers and media throughout the state. She is an avid mentor to students and young people interested in public relations as a career choice and a frequent guest lecturer at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.