Vail Daily welcomes ad director Danielle Hanson back to the Vail Valley |

Vail Daily welcomes ad director Danielle Hanson back to the Vail Valley

After a long absence, Hanson is ready to help with clients’ success

Danielle Hanson, right, with her daughter, Tatum.
Special to the Daily

It took 13 years, but Danielle Hanson always knew she’d get back to the Vail Valley. It’s time now to build the future.

Hanson recently returned to the Vail Daily as the company’s new ad director. She said she’s excited for an opportunity to use “all the tools in our toolbox” to ensure clients’ advertising dollars are used in the best possible ways.

Hanson, a native of Minnesota, moved to the Colorado mountains right after college, landing in Summit County. There, she taught dance at the Summit School of Dance and looked for a second job. A parent at the school knew Hanson had worked at her college paper, and suggested applying at the Summit Daily News, one of the Vail Daily’s sister papers.

She used that connection to land a job at the Vail Trail and, ultimately, the Vail Daily.

She moved back to Minnesota for family life, including a new baby, Tatum. But even after moving back home, she yearned to again be in Colorado.

“I loved every minute of living here,” Hanson said. She’s also looking forward to new opportunities, for clients and the Vail Daily.

Living the digital life

Hanson’s career led her to a position on Target’s media strategy team. That group put advertising inserts in newspapers around the country. At Target, Hanson also led local digital strategy, engaging with every newspaper in the United States including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Denver Post to learn about how they were evolving in their online channels.

After her time with Target, Hanson moved to Chicago to take a position MediaNews, one of the country’s largest newspaper firms, to work with major advertising agencies and national brands. Now part of the vibrant Chicago ad scene, she pivoted to work for location-based mobile ad tech company, Thinknear by Telenav, which was acquired by InMarket in 2019. Hanson led the team that offers sophisticated digital advertising products to local businesses through its GeoLink software platform.

She still dreamed of returning to the Rockies, though.

Hanson said after leaving the Vail Valley, she stayed connected with Bob Brown, the president and chief operating officer of Swift Communications. The Vail Daily is a part of Colorado Mountain News Media, a division of Swift Communications.

Brown called Hanson earlier this year to tell her about the newly-vacant position at the Vail Daily.

Hanson leapt at the opportunity. Noting there are no guarantees in life, Hanson said she decided “the rest of your life starts now.”

Hanson has already started working to streamline the Vail Daily’s approach to client media planning. She’s also focused on location-based programs, other multi-media efforts, improving customer service and enhancing clients’ return on their investment. She’s also part of the team working to build the Vail Daily’s first livestreaming show, “Vail Daily Live,” which is set to debut in late May.

Connecting in new ways

The idea, Hanson said, is to “demonstrate all the things — outdoor activities, incredible food, live entertainment and unique events — that make Vail the most spectacular community on earth. We want to give the audience a sense of our community, helping visitors to feel like locals, and locals to feel like visitors.” Using a livestream also allows users to connect directly with the show.

That’s part of the company’s drive to “be where the community is in the most technically advanced ways,” Hanson said.

Vail Daily Publisher Mark Wurzer said Hanson’s understanding of ways to use all the Vail Daily’s publishing platforms — including print, online and magazines — will help bring clients a better experience, with customers and the Vail Daily’s many publishing platforms.

Wurzer noted that Hanson was successful in her first stint in the Vail Valley, and has enhanced her skills in her time away.

“The timing was right based on her passion and experience to lead the advertising department here,” Wurzer said.

Wurzer said he and the team are excited about the possibilities that Vail Daily Live will offer to visitors, residents and clients. That’s one of many current and future initiatives, for readers and clients, Wurzer added.

Wurzer said he’s excited to have Hanson on the Vail Daily team.

“She brings a real passion for the Vail Valley,” Wurzer said. “She loves this place, and wants to raise her daughter here. Ever since she’s left, she’s wanted to find her way back.”

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