Mon, 6 March 2017
Megan Driscoll - Founder & CEO
Megan Driscoll graduated from the University of Chicago with the intention of starting in finance. She got wind of a paid internship with Edelman PR and applied for no other reason than she was in need of work. However, when she received formal offers from both Edelman and Merrill Lynch on the same day, Megan went with Edelman.
After completing the Edelman internship, Megan accepted positions of increasing responsibility with mid-size and large PR firms, gaining exposure and knowledge of the health care space. She grew from managing accounts to becoming a Senior Account Executive, working directly with clients to shape their corporate image and public messaging. She developed strong relationships with those clients, some of whom she still works with to this day. She had taken on a much bigger, hands-on role than she previously thought possible.
Megan learned how to serve clients, and how to develop and host events. She had a role in everything that went on. As her career in PR grew, Megan learned the skills of actually running a business, and she was part of the decision making process on staffing, billing, and other management decisions.
Megan was recruited to become president of Behrman Communications, a role in which she managed agency operations, mentored staff, recruited new business, and provided strategic advisement to clients. The responsibilities of the role gave her valuable experience, but Megan wanted to put her energies to work for her own shop. She left Behrman and started EvolveMKD.
Megan gave a lot of thought to how she wanted to craft her own agency. She looked around the industry and realized that no agency was offering the senior-level, hands-on, personalized attention in the health care and beauty space that she knew she could provide. Nor was there one that was owned, run, and staffed entirely by women. Megan seized this opportunity to try an experiment in both client service and employee retention, by focusing on senior level staff first, and combining that with a flexible and healthy working environment that is not a mainstay in the public relations world.
Coming up with the finances and access to credit to get started was a challenge. Megan needed operating capital to pay staff and cover the basic business functions until she could get some revenue coming in, but it was difficult to ascertain just how much and when. She and her husband poured their own savings into the venture. They also gave over half of their home as office space for Evolve HQ when it opened for business.
Under Megan’s leadership, Evolve has grown to 18 employees with a near-perfect retention rate. It finished 2015 with $3.4 million in revenue, and is currently serving 20 brands. Megan is looking to expand into the Asian and Hispanic markets, and her focus remains on brands, services, and products that impact women’s lives in a positive way, whether that be in the health care, beauty, or lifestyle space.
Megan worked hard to establish a company culture that encourages growth and communication. Evolve, by design, is an open office that encourages the free flow of communication among staff. Everyone, including senior staff, operates in a wide open bullpen, and all are encouraged to keep the lines of communication open. From a managerial perspective, Evolve’s policy is to encourage consistent and informal management-staff interaction to keep the lines of communication open and foster ideas and creativity.
Megan remains focused to growing Evolve and expanding its reach in the health and beauty space. Through the success of her company, she has been able to engage in helping women advance their careers. She likes to share her story and how she has overcome the challenges of being a female entrepreneur in order to help empower other women to pursue their goals. She has also made philanthropy and giving back to the community a cornerstone of Evolve’s business.
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