Expanding to DC, and Many Big Announcements

We’re used to being busy at Online Optimism, but this past year put our favorite phrase of “better to be busy” to the test. In the last twelve months, we’ve:

This leaves us with one question:

What’s Next?

In our case, we look toward new challenges, and opportunities, as we aim toward our vision: Be the marketing agency that organizations want to work with and people aspire to work for.

Online Optimism is Expanding to Washington DCWith that in mind, we’re excited to announce our next expansion, to Washington, DC, complementing our headquarters in New Orleans and offices in Atlanta. I’m personally moving up to DC at the end of June to lead the charge there.

In all this growth, you might have missed just a few of the changes at Online Optimism, so let me quickly catch you up:

  • Sam Olmsted has taken the lead as our New Orleans Managing Director. After four years in which he successfully took our Search & Content team from only himself to four full-time employees (soon to be five), we’re excited to see how he’ll transform our largest location for good. Before Online Optimism, Sam worked in numerous marketing agencies, including IPG Mediabrands and Momentum Worldwide, creating campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and some of the biggest brands in the world. In his new role, Sam Olmsted will look toward building Online Optimism’s mission in Louisiana: be a leading digital marketing agency that grows businesses, benefits our local community, inspires employees, and spreads Optimism.
  • We’ve built out our Social Media capabilities, promoting our long-time Senior Strategist Meara McNitt to Director. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of working alongside the endlessly creative Meara (or had her Book-tok account come across your FYP), you’ve likely seen her work as she’s been leading our agency’s own social channels for the past three years.
  • Lauren Walter was promoted from Senior Content Strategist to Search & Content Director, continuing the Online Optimism tradition of promoting our very best from within. From our most difficult content projects to intricate technical SEO analyses, Lauren’s eye for detail has been key to many client successes (and she writes a pretty great poem, too!)
  • We finally found the limit of having only 1 business development employee handling all our inbound leads, promoting the very busy Irene Muchai to Business Development Director, alongside hiring Norman Thrasher III to lead our growth in Atlanta as a New Business Strategist—having two team members in this department for the first time.
  • We’ve added the talents of Esteban Largaespada to our Digital Ads department. As a 2009 UNO grad with seven years of paid search experience, he’s bringing exceptional results to clients near and far.
  • Our Design Director Juan Pablo Madrid worked alongside our Social team to convert one of our conference rooms into a permanent Creative Studio in New Orleans, before taking the plunge to join me in Washington, DC on our expansion there.
  • Our first-ever Social Media Associate, Stephanie Gutierrez, was promoted to Social Media Strategist for her hard work across countless campaigns (and social calendars.)
  • Our Specialist program continues to pay dividends at finding the best, undiscovered talent in our cities, leading to the full-time hires in New Orleans of Content Associates Savannah Bilbo and Casey Dawson plus Social Media Associate Madison Buck, alongside (from 475 miles away) Atlanta-based Digital Ads Associate Ariel Diaz.
  • We’ll have a new Multimedia Creative Strategist starting next Tuesday, so make sure to follow our social media to find out who it is.
  • Yes, we’re still hiring! If you know a great Content Strategist in Atlanta, we hope you’ll consider suggesting to them to become a little more Optimistic.

For our more eagle-eyed followers over the past six months, most of this likely isn’t news – we’ve been updating our website to celebrate our staff’s promotions, alongside running marketing campaigns in DC for nearly a half-year now, leading to some exciting projects which we’ll have case studies for soon. As with our other cities, we’re extending Donate, Elevate to our new office in DC, with our 2021 chosen non-profit of Life Pieces to Masterpieces. Their organization uses artistic expression to develop character and leadership, unlock potential, and prepare Black boys and young men to transform their lives and communities. To kick things off, I’ve made my $500 donation to their organization, which Online Optimism matched, then elevated to a total $1,500 donation.

If you’re wondering whether the DC expansion, following Atlanta, is part of a continued strategy to add cities every six months: the simple answer is no.

We’re looking to spend at least the next two years dedicating our time to building out our talent, connections, and clients in each of these regions. By the end of June, we’re on pace for a full quarter of our workforce to be operating out of the Eastern time zone. As some organizations bring their staff back into the office, and others go entirely remote, we’re confident that our plan is best: providing flexible work schedules that still keep teams, and clients, together. As Online Optimism value #4 states, Screens will not replace handshakes.

Because you can’t pet a barketer through a video call.