Get to Know Team Ditto: Liz Bagot
Read more about Liz Bagot. Liz has been working for Ditto for the past 8 months as a Associate Vice President.
Getting To Know You
Where are you from?
Arkansas City, Kansas (pronounced Ar-KANSAS, of course!).
Can you tell me a little about your background?
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a news anchor. I was a competitive public speaker in high school, and I dreamed of one day becoming the female equivalent of Jon Stewart. But I changed my mind in college — after taking a fascinating course on Soviet history, I decided I wanted to be an advisor to the White House on U.S.-Russia relations. (Or maybe I just have a face for radio — you decide.) So I moved to Moscow after graduation to become fluent in Russian, only to realize government work wasn’t my cup of tea. But the former Soviet Empire fascinated me, so I stayed in Moscow roughly five years longer than planned, working a variety of jobs in Russian media, ranging from translator at a leading newswire to radio personality at the country’s top expat station. Once, I even spent a whole day learning how to write propaganda for the Russian state-owned newspaper! After a few years, when news of the Russian-speaking American spread throughout Moscow, I was tapped by several Russian tech startups seeking an English-speaking communications pro who could help them market their products to the West. That’s how I ended up in PR.
Who is your spirit animal and why?
A squirrel — I’m high-strung, constantly moving, frenetic, cute (right?!), and I like to eat crunchy snacks.
What would your ideal Sunday entail?
I’d wake up around 8:30, brew my mornin, g coffee, curl up on the couch with my cat, and listen to the latest trashy pop hits, all while planning the logistics of my next international trip (I’m obsessed with traveling). Later in the day, I’d head over to a cafe and read my book for awhile (I’m currently on Moby Dick), then go for a short hike on the Bay Peninsula or a walk around the neighborhood. I’d round out the day by binging on House of Cards in my living room, accompanied by takeout and a glass of wine.
If you could have dinner with three people – dead or alive – who would you choose?
My high school self (boy, would I give her a talking to), Vladimir Putin, and Catherine the Great.
What’s your favorite curse word?
Fuck. Not creative, but very versatile and universal. You don’t have to be fluent in English to understand it.
How did you arrive in NYC/SF?
I ended up in San Francisco in a convoluted way. I came out to the Bay Area from Kansas for college, then moved to Moscow, Russia for six years immediately after graduating. I moved back to San Francisco about three years ago for a job opportunity, although I almost ended up in Denver, Colorado (my second-favorite city in the U.S.)
Last song you listened to on your phone?
I don’t listen to songs on my phone. I prefer to listen to music on my computer at home, then listen to podcasts or the jarring sounds of San Francisco on my commute to work. The last song I listened to was “Somebody to Love” by Queen.
If I wasn’t in PR, I’d be…
A news anchor. Liz Bagot, reporting live from the heartland of America.
About your work at Ditto
How would you describe working at Ditto?
Working at Ditto is challenging. We work very hard, but we get rewarded for it. We also know how to have fun — we love to go out for drinks and dinner together, laugh together, and bond together. Ditto is competitive, but not cutthroat. We take our jobs seriously, but we also know when to laugh at ourselves.
What makes Ditto different than your past jobs?
There’s no PR agency quite like Ditto. We operate on a different ethos: We’re honest (sometimes brutally so), we do our jobs with integrity, and we genuinely care about each other.
Do you have a moment this year you are particularly proud of?
Thanks to Ditto’s emphasis on thoroughly educating ourselves on our clients’ industries, I took the time to read up on the complexities of blockchain governance and become a mini-expert. As a result, a new business prospect — a company that focuses exclusively on blockchain governance — complimented me on my “deep understanding” of the topic and subsequently hired Ditto as its PR firm.
Bigger thoughts on life and career
How do you think the PR industry could improve?
PR professionals habitually view ourselves as service people executing the wishes of others. What if we stepped outside of that predetermined role and acted more as free agents — expressing strong opinions, pushing back on clients because they pay us to give good advice, and not being afraid of journalists? The PR industry needs to shake off the stereotype that we’re all “yes” men and women lurking in the shadows. We’re people too!
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a good boss?
Good bosses come in many forms, but the most important trait they all share is trusting their employees. Most good bosses guide by commander’s intent rather than micromanaging, ask their employees how they’re doing, aren’t afraid to get their own hands dirty with hard work, solve conflict head-on at the source, reward great work, don’t play or fall victim to office politics, display empathy and compassion, and are honest.
If you could go back in the time and give yourself advice before you walked into your very first job, what would you say?
Every job is a laboratory. Take this opportunity to explore, try new things, and learn about your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t waste time worrying about what other people think, and certainly don’t waste time worrying you’ll be fired.