The 2022 Agency Elite Top 100 is finally here! And, to celebrate the most innovative PR and communications firms in the business, we're bringing you Q&A's from the best and brightest. Next in our spotlight is EvolveMKD's Megan Driscoll.
PRNEWS: How do you describe your company?
Megan Driscoll, CEO + Founder, EvolveMKD: EvolveMKD is a public relations and digital communications agency that combines customized solutions with high-touch client service, operating out of New York City. Our capabilities extend past traditional public relations, touching on all key areas in digital marketing, influencer relations, measurement and analytics, digital and social media, and strategy and brand care-taking.
PRNEWS: What’s the big news at your shop that clients need to know about?
Driscoll: Earlier this year, EvolveMKD made its mark with the creation and development of our first owned research initiative, "The Evolution of Communications." The two-part survey, conducted in August 2020 and February 2021 and launched in May, explores the communication styles of men and women to better understand the effect on mental health. As a digital marketing and communications agency primarily representing clients geared toward women, understanding where women’s communication and mental health intertwine is key to our success. New research from the survey showed us that even with the vast modes of communication available to them before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, women have been reporting greater declines than men in their mental health over the past decade, despite the myth that women are “better communicators.”
With this survey and our findings, we believe we have an opportunity to spread awareness around the importance of communication on mental health – and as leaders in the communications industry, we take that responsibility seriously, and are committed to making it a core part of our mission. Highlights and key points in our research are spotlighted on our website.
PRNEWS: How have you changed your offerings over the last few years?
Driscoll: We’ve increased them. Over the course of the past year, we’ve grown our capabilities, adding to an already extensive portfolio of services. One of the most critical additions was the establishment of our in-house creative design team, elevating EvolveMKD’s wide range of offerings and allowing us to take on new challenges and roles for our clients’ needs. We want to maintain our status as a full-service agency so we can continue to design, develop, and execute the highest-quality work for brands and clients that have put their trust in us. New additions include digital media planning & buying, in-house creative strategy & design execution, a proprietary measurement framework, audience segmentation, and more. As EvolveMKD continues to grow, it is only natural that our services and capabilities grow with us in order to best service our clients.
PRNEWS: What are the top three changes you’ve seen in the business of PR?
Driscoll: Engaging digitally with clients, media, and customers but still emphasizing experiences. Pre-COVID-19, brands, and editors met in person to discuss new product launches. Overnight, we culturally transformed, making social distancing and digital interactions the new personal and considerate approach. To this end, our team held media desksides virtually, which allows journalists and editors to engage with a brand from the comfort of their own homes. We foresee this being a potential mainstay because of efficiency and an added bonus of saved travel time and fewer/zero expenses.
Staying in touch but in a meaningful way. Connecting with consumers is a priority, but you have to make it count. Provide helpful information and transparency. A lack of in-person connections can make us feel alone, so it’s important to integrate the human voice and experience into storytelling and brand campaigns. Messages need to be genuine and self-aware, but community-driven, acknowledging our collective experiences and geared toward wellness. For clients, agencies can create authentic, meaningful connections by checking in on them more and inviting them to virtual hangouts and celebrations like team happy hours.
Higher sensitivity to messaging, especially while acknowledging economic shifts. Content must reflect a level of mindfulness in what you’re posting and when you’re posting, and that has only increased in the past year. We’ve seen brands, influencers, and celebrities get “canceled” overnight as a result of ignorance. When leveraged properly, these entities can act as a familiar/authentic face and incorporate narrative storytelling that resonates with how consumers felt and continue to feel during these uncertain times.
PRNEWS: What do clients need to consider when hiring an agency like yours?
Driscoll: At EvolveMKD, every client relationship is a two-way street; we look for clients that align with our personal values and hope that clients are doing the same. We respect and revere our clients, but we’ve found that the best relationship needs to be an equal one. Before taking on a new agency, meet with them to determine if your values sync up and that everyone agrees on what is realistic, both in budget and results. Find a partner – someone who you can rely on in the hard times, and celebrate within the good times.