Scott Dahlhauser, account executive at Madison Media Partners, has been a resident of Madison for nearly 46 years. He grew up on the far east side, went to La Follette High School and attended UW-Whitewater, where he studied English and public relations. He has twin boys, aged 17, and now lives in Cottage Grove.
Beck Henreckson, Madison Media Partners digital marketing content producer, asked Scott some questions so you can better get to know him and his role on our team. You can connect with Scott on LinkedIn.
Tell us about some hobbies you enjoy.
My two boys graduated high school this year, so I spend a lot of time with them since they’ll be out of the house soon. As a family, we’re very into sports. They do football and track, so I spend a lot of time attending their games and events. And then I like to golf in my spare time with friends or with my boys.
What was the first job you ever held?
Actually, it’s kind of ironic — my first job ever, when I was 13, was doing a paper route, delivering the Wisconsin State Journal and the Cap Times. So obviously I grew up super familiar with those brands.
When I first met Ross [Madison Media Partners president] and talked with him about this job, the thing that interested me most in the opportunity was the way Capital Newspapers — now Madison Media Partners — has evolved. I feel like it’s something I can have in common with clients when they’re first introduced to us. The first impression might be, “oh, that’s just a newspaper,” but it is so much more than that. The direction we’re headed in and the vision Lee Enterprises has for the company was very appealing to me.
Tell us more about your history with Madison Media Partners and the path that led you here.
I started at Madison Media Partners in August 2021. I originally started my career in account management for nonprofits and fundraising work, and then transitioned to for-profit healthcare work. What I like about what I’m doing now is how varied it is; rather than focusing specifically on one category, we get to partner with so many different kinds of businesses and groups. Living in Madison my entire life, I didn’t even realize how many people I knew and how many connections I had. That has given me so many opportunities to assist different businesses throughout the area.
Describe your role and area of expertise at Madison Media Partners.
My title is account executive, but it’s important to me that I position myself and the company not as simply a vender, but as a partner and a strategic advisor. If we can provide that strategic assistance to our clients — supplying business intelligence that goes above and beyond the specific products we can provide — they ultimately can’t afford not to be in business with us.
What is unique about what Madison Media Partners has to offer our clients?
Part of what interests me about our company is that Lee Enterprises has such a wide variety of different assets. Not only do we come to the table with a rich history and background within the community, considering the prominence of our newspapers and value of those brands, but then you add on Amplified Digital and all the data insights we’re able to provide. Those insights are valuable to the client, and they also allow us to create more strategic marketing recommendations.
We’re not only helping the client get more dialed in to who they want to reach, but we make the strategies with which they do so more cost effective. And we can back that up with solid data and reporting to help evaluate how effective our strategies are and to optimize along the way.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of what you do here at MMP?
I’ve been fortunate in my job lifetime to work with a lot of really good organizations, and at the end of the day I have the confidence that what they’re doing — and what I get to help them do — is actually improving people’s lives. That, to me, is the coolest thing.
For example, I work with Special Olympics Wisconsin, and one of the things we do is get statewide sponsors for different events that raise funds for the organization. We always incorporate athletes in these events, and to see them interact with the sponsors and with us, and to see the satisfaction and joy they get from being able to compete — it’s a reminder that even on the worst day at work the effect we can have on the people we’re working for makes it all worth it.
What’s a piece of marketing wisdom that’s been shared with you recently?
The advice a past boss once shared that really stuck with me is simply to be responsive. The answer you give can’t always be yes, but the responsiveness itself demonstrates that you’re thinking about your clients’ needs, which they’ll appreciate. That one simple thing really helps establish credibility with both clients and the people you work alongside.
Where’s your favorite spot to get food or a drink in Madison?
One of my favorite places is Eagle Crest Bar on the east side. It’s got a really laid back atmosphere with really excellent bar food, but they take it a step further and even serve prime rib on Wednesday nights. Alchemy is another place I really like for their great drinks and great food.
It’s a Saturday afternoon in the summer — where in Madison can we find you?
Usually my boys have some type of sporting event going on, but if I’m not attending one of those I might be golfing or outside playing basketball, or just in the backyard grilling or playing bags. I’m also engaged to be married, so I’m likely spending time with my fiancée.
What is your favorite thing about Madison?
It’s definitely a great place to raise kids, and I do like the fact that it’s a small town — but not too small. There are lots of diverse cultural offerings. I love music, and they have some great venues here. I got to see one of my favorite artists, Band of Horses, play at the Orpheum years ago, which was a great show. And then the lakes are great, of course; I grew up on Lake Waubesa.
Ultimately, I feel that even having lived here 40-some years, I haven’t taken advantage of all the things Madison has to offer. You never really can get bored here. If you do, it’s your own fault.