Building a Better Workplace: Dittoe PR’s New Guiding Values and Vision

Now more than ever, company culture is highlighted across all areas of business and is often a huge driver in new business, talent acquisition, company morale, employee retention and more. Dittoe Public Relations has always held company culture in high regard, constantly seeking new ways to evolve and improve perks, policies and day-to-day morale for its employees.

 

Recently, we 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 responses to a select set of questions 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.

 

Cultivate Happy

At no surprise to our team, “happy” was one of the most common words to describe our company culture. Thus, having it prominently in the name of this value was key. Being a part of Dittoe PR is a special kind of job in that it’s “not just a job” at all (another common description). We have fun, work with passion and purpose, and value work-life balance. Cultivating happy is and always will be a top priority.

 

We’ve Got Your Back

Descriptors like “support,” “encouragement,” “respect” and “teamwork” were common themes throughout our collaborative brainstorming session for core values. Grouped together, we created “We’ve Got Your Back,” because truthfully, we do. From personal and professional triumphs or hardships, our team is always there for each other. Similarly, this value speaks volumes to how we treat our clients, because we’ve got their backs too.

 

Here We Grow

Dittoe PR has always held personal and professional growth in high regard. We firmly believe that our premier PR agency can only grow if our people grow too. That’s why we’re always investing in our employees – through professional development opportunities, mentorship programs, new client opportunities and more. Together, we can go farther.

 

Exceed Expectations

Internally and on behalf of our clients, we’re all in. Our team doesn’t just aim to meet client expectations, we strive to exceed them in any way possible. This is one of our greatest strengths, in fact. We are efficient and agile in our day-to-day operations, and through results-driven and solutions-oriented work, we go above and beyond.

 

Once our core values were established, we created a fresh vision statement that speaks to what Dittoe PR strives to accomplish and achieve as a unit. Together, we chose a vision that reflects our goals and objectives for our clients and our business. In every scenario, our team acts as storytellers on behalf of our clients. With that top of mind, our vision is to “proactively shape narratives that influence behavior and invoke change” every single day. Through media relations, content creation, award and speaking opportunities, social media management and so much more, we are telling stories that influence change … with passion and purpose.

 

By collaborating at all levels and implementing meaningful, company-wide values and a vision statement, we are set up to sustain our already strong company culture.

 

Think you’d make a great addition to our team? Check out our careers page to learn more about positions and contact Greta Snell, Director of Accounts, at greta [at] dittoepr.com to inquire about open positions and submit your materials.

Five Life Skills Gained Through Public Relations

There’s no denying that my skillset has grown vastly since I began my career at Dittoe PR back in 2015. From starting as an intern to now leading our intern program, I have my all-star team of coworkers to thank for teaching me the ins and outs of public relations. I’ve learned how to be proactive, how to think like a journalist, how to navigate a PR crisis and several other areas of expertise that you can’t really learn in a classroom setting.

 

While there are several things that can be taught, other life skills that come naturally by trade. Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to gain (and grow) the following life skills through my time working in public relations:

 

Adaptability.

One of the first things I learned when I first started in the PR world is how to be f-l-e-x-i-b-l-e. Being able to adapt to other’s schedules or navigate a change of plans it imperative in our industry. I can recall on several occasions where I’ve sent something to a client for approval, only to be told that the core details have since changed. Being able to adapt quickly will not only help you grow in the fast-paced world of PR, but with our ever-changing lives.

 

Awareness.

I’ve learned how important it is to be aware of what’s going on in the world and around me. This stems back to my high school and college journalism classes, where we were required to take current events quizzes. While they were slightly annoying at the time (sorry Professor Bridge), I’ve realized how vital it is to know what’s going in our world. In our industry, I’m constantly following trends and reading up on current events, which can help with newsjacking efforts for clients.

 

Being up-to-date of current events is a life skill that you can carry throughout your life. It can expand your general knowledge and can help you make more informed decisions. Plus, knowing what’s going on in the world can help your general communication skills when it comes to networking events or chatting with your peers.

 

Confidence.

I had to grow pretty quickly in a small office setting. With a team of less than 20, I’ve been assigned tasks in the past that were new to me. I had to build my confidence and sometimes put on a “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” face. My first in-studio segment? I obviously had never been to one, let alone attended one by myself, but I had to muster up the courage and confidence and act like it was my twentieth time going in-studio with a client. I’ve been faced with several similar instances since and will likely continue to for the rest of my life, but being thrown into these situations has helped me gain the confidence I’d probably never have if I worked in a different office setting.

 

Persistence.

In the world of PR, you have to be persistent. Emails get buried in inboxes and often go unseen by the media. Don’t give up if you haven’t heard back, and don’t be shy following up or tweaking your pitch! Sometimes it can take several follow ups before a reporter agrees to do a story. While this is a more obvious skill for our industry, this is something that has translated into other areas of my life (planning a wedding, hearing back from a consultant, etc.). If you don’t hear from someone right away, don’t give up!

 

Time management.

Deadlines. We all love them. After joining the Dittoe PR team full time, it took me some time to figure out a good time management system. There are several tasks we must complete during the day, but it’s ultimately up to us on how we divvy that time up. Giving yourself and your team internal deadlines and setting expectations on how long a project should take will help when trying to figure out how to manage your 40-hour work week. This goes outside of the office, too – setting goals for yourself, like finishing a book once a month or working out three times a week, will help give you a better understanding of how to manage your time wisely.

 

While I can go on and on about all the life skills I’ve learned while working public relations, I feel like these skills have not only helped me grow professionally, but personally, too. If you’re a student interested in an internship at Dittoe PR (and gaining some of these skills), please send your resume with references, cover letter and three diverse writing samples to vanessa [at] dittoepr.com.

Dittoe PR client announces monumental acquisition

Plastic straws.

 

They’re small, convenient, inexpensive and seemingly harmless. Their use has been widespread amongst restaurants, retailers, consumers and businesses alike for several decades. However, this modern-day convenience also comes at a high price.

 

Plastic straws not only contribute to our rising plastic pollution crisis, but they’re unavoidably harmful to the environment, as they’re too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter. Shockingly enough, Americans use more than 500 million plastic straws each day.

 

Enter Aardvark Straws.

 

Introduced in 2007 in response to the growing anti-plastic movement, Aardvark Straws offer an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic straws with their durable, FDA-compliant, marine degradable paper straws. They’re produced in more than 200+ customizable designs, making Aardvark Straws ideal for a large range of uses, including restaurants, weddings, holidays and more.

 

However, as the anti-plastic movement grew, so did the anti-plastic straw movement. People became increasingly aware of the dangers of plastic straws. Following the hard work of many activists and organizational groups, others began to take notice. Cities began to ban plastic straws, then major corporations did, too. Some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Starbucks, American Airlines and Hilton, all pledged to remove plastic straws from their companies.

 

As the movement grew, so did Aardvark. As the sole U.S. producer of paper straws, Aardvark was soon selling billions of paper straws to restaurants and establishments all across the globe. Business accelerated quickly, which led Aardvark to start thinking about what was next for the company.

 

With plastic straw bans occurring worldwide and the paper straw market on the rise, Wisconsin-based Hoffmaster Group saw an opportunity to capitalize on the rapidly accelerating demand for alternatives to plastic. Hoffmaster acquired Aardvark in August 2018. They invested in the brand because they believe in paper straws as a product solution and saw Aardvark as a natural extension of Hoffmaster’s premium portfolio of environmentally responsible, disposable tabletop products. Through the acquisition, Hoffmaster hopes to protect the environment and marine life, as well as to ramp up production in order to supply top grade paper straws to the marketplace.

 

As a longstanding client, Dittoe PR jumped on the opportunity to lead media relations efforts for Aardvark’s exciting announcement. We shared the news with local, regional and national media, which resulted in media hits in several major media outlets including Fortune, USA Today, CNNMoney, MarketWatch, Inc. and live TV interviews on CNBC and Fox Business News.

 

In addition to careful research and personalized pitching that led to such great media results, we also assisted with the thorough development of messaging for the acquisition. From messaging documents to customer questions to media interview prep sheets, it’s important when making such a major announcement that all messaging is consistent and accurate.

 

Ultimately, Dittoe PR was able to generate 240 media hits garnering 167,100,363 media impressions and a total publicity value of $1,917,878! We were overjoyed with the outcome of this campaign and are looking forward to continuing to lead Aardvark’s PR initiatives in the future.