PR Mavens We Love- Megan Custodio, Dittoe PR
Over the years, Megan worked with clients across numerous industries ranging from small start-ups to billion-dollar businesses. Megan started at Dittoe PR as an intern nearly 13 years ago and at just 26 years old, became Vice President and Partner, making her the youngest leader in the history of the company.
In her day-to-day role, Megan manages client strategy and success, but as VP, she is also tasked with cultivating a thriving company culture that attracts new talent and retains existing employees.
What's your career story?
My PR career basically started by accident. My senior year of college, I was assigned a project in my careers class to create a resume and cover letter for an internship I was interested in. I woke up in the middle of the night before the project was due in a panic, realizing I had forgotten to do it. I got online and started searching for an internship with a Midwest-based PR agency and stumbled upon a posting from Dittoe PR that sounded perfect.
I turned in the resume and cover letter for the assignment, and while I wasn’t required to officially apply for the position, I decided to go for it.
And here I am nearly 13 years later.
What do you love about what you do?
I love working with such a talented group of PR pros who all bring different skills and experiences to the table. We have team members who understand the ins and outs of every social media platform, others who are brilliant writers, some with amazing design abilities, several who can get national media attention in their sleep, and the list goes on.
Everyone, regardless of their time in the industry or at Dittoe PR specifically, has knowledge to share to help our team grow. I also value building relationships, both personally and professionally, with my clients. I want our clients to see Dittoe PR as an extension of their own team, not just an outsourced agency. I want them to trust me just like they would a friend. These personal relationships are what motivates me to do the best job possible for every client.
What are you #obsessed with right now?
This is a really PR geeky answer, but I love Critical Mention, the TV clipping tool we use. And Todoist is life-changing for task management. Slack is an amazing tool for communicating internally and with clients. In addition, I subscribe to several PR industry e-newsletters, including Bulldog Reporter and PR Daily News Feed.
What's a recent success story you're still smiling about?
From a company perspective, I’m proud of the small group meeting format we recently started. We received employee feedback that we should continue to look for ways to enable more collaboration amongst the entire team. Everyone on our team has knowledge and experiences to share, and we don’t want to limit opportunities for learning to just those we share accounts with. In 2019, Dittoe PR shifted from a one-to-one mentor format to small group meet-ups to make learning more collaborative.
It also makes me really proud whenever we get new business referrals from current clients, which happens all the time. It tells me that our company is doing something right if leaders from the companies we work with take the time to sing our praises and call us “the best PR firm around.”
What else is new at dittoe?
Recently, Dittoe PR invited Katara McCarty, an organizational coach, speaker and author, to lead us on a six-month journey toward building a stronger company culture through unified personal and professional development. We dove right in by creating a fresh set of core values that define who we are and the principles that direct the way we do business, as well as a vision statement that guides our internal decision-making. After crowdsourcing input from employees about Dittoe PR’s culture, the team collectively crafted four core values – or mantras – that we firmly believe in and practice daily to support each other, our clients and Dittoe PR as a system.
After we established the values and vision, we hired a local muralist to install a piece of art in our main conference room that visually represents our values and vision. The mural is made of wood and aluminum textures with pops of color and has truly become a conversation piece when hosting current clients, prospects and potential new hires. It’s something our entire team is proud to show off, and we love sharing who we are as an agency.
Share a bit more about the agency culture
We just hosted a Valentine’s Day pitch in with wine and snacks, and the entire team brought in apparel for a big clothing swap. All remaining clothes, more than 10 garbage bags full, were donated to a local women’s shelter. We also just wrapped up our first quarterly small group collaboration sessions. Each group went off site and shared insights and knowledge the rest of the team can benefit from.
We try to keep things light around the office whenever possible. We have a “Wheel of Celebration” that every employee gets to spin on their work anniversary, with the potential of winning up to $500. We also host Wine Wednesdays, Friday breakfasts, book club and more.