Making PR a better place is a central concern for Ditto PR CEO Trey Ditto.
Ditto says that he created his firm in reponse to the burnout he often felt in his PR career, which meant he "never really had an opportunity to go deeper with a client."
That led him to take a different approach to management and success. "The easiest way to succeed isn't about having good ideas, it's about having good teams," he says. Putting those teams together, he tells Doug Simon, requires rethinking the relationship between managers and the people who work for them.
The first step in that process is "hiring people that have really bought into a company's mission and values. I really try not to even use the phrase public relations when I talk to candidates, because it's really about coming to a company that you believe in and that you see where there's not only growth, but just a positive work experience."
Once an employee is on board, Ditto says that managers need to see part of their role as being educators. "It's hard to mentor people. It's easy to take care of the high performers. It takes time to either bring up underperformers or mid-level people that that that need a helping hand."
He stresses that "if you want to keep employees and you want them to stay and grow at your company, you have to understand that you have to teach them, and everybody learns differently. And so, whether that's audio, visual, experience, group setting, one on one, really thinking about all the different ways that I could teach this person how to do this job."
That focus on teaching and mentoring means people who are great at their jobs may not always be great managers. "You could be my best media relations person, and then when I ask you to manage a team, you've never really done that before," he tells Simon. He cautions against "making the assumption that the person you're giving work to knows how to do it, because they probably don't."
But putting an emphasis on mentorship can reap big rewards, he says. "If I spend more time than most people in the beginning, and I put more thought into how I can train this person, that is going to save me a ton of time in the long term."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]