Memo is named a Top 100 startup to work for. This is the team culture that made it possible.

This week, Memo was recognized as a Top 100 Early-Stage Company to work for in 2022 by Will Reed, a prestigious search firm specializing in go-to-market executives. 

The list was created to spotlight the startups that are transforming their industries while also setting a new bar for human-first culture. 

We are really proud of this acknowledgement and feel that it is an honest reflection of our culture, growth trajectory, and, most importantly, the employees who make these achievements (and everything else) possible. 

I’ll talk about Memo’s company culture by way of my own experience 

In describing our culture to Will Reed, I realized that for me, much of what makes Memo great started before I even walked through the (virtual) doors on my first day. So I want to share my culture experience as a candidate, an employee, and the Director of People, from my interviews to onboarding to getting selected for Will Reed’s Top 100.  

Memo’s product piqued my interest. The people sealed the deal.

When I was first approached by the company, Memo’s product immediately drew my interest. Creating content is cool, and understanding how your content is resonating with readers is even cooler – especially when this data is being made available for the first time.

So while the opportunity to introduce entirely new data to an industry was compelling, it was the people I met during the interview process that made me join.

You can have a great product, but without a psychologically safe work environment that promotes inclusion and belonging, and a leadership team who trusts its employees, it doesn’t impress me much (think Shania Twain). 

My interview process stood out from past experiences

I’m not just saying this because I now run recruiting at Memo: I truly enjoyed my interview process, from Memo’s first outreach message, sent by my now manager, to how they kept me updated on next steps. The informal chats with the leadership team helped me get to know them from both a professional and personal perspective.

Unlike some past interviews, I felt like the Memo team was trying to get to know me and my thought process for different scenarios versus searching for “the right” answer. In retrospect, I see now that this was a reflection of how the team approaches problem solving internally, where the best idea wins, regardless of whose idea it is. It wasn’t all serious either; I distinctly remember some tangents about TikTok algorithms and an interviewer’s recent wedding.

Now that I’m here, the culture and people and hands down the best part

I know, it sounds obvious and cliche, but hear me out. The foundation of good culture is putting people first, which starts with respecting each other as humans. Sure, we have disagreements, but we agree to disagree, commit, and still go out of our way to help each other. There are no politics, no one who says “that’s not my job.” 

Our culture extends beyond the employees already here: it’s how we treat candidates in the first outreach, how we communicate difficult decisions to the candidates we don’t hire, to onboarding new hires, to how we treat employees on their way out and onto their next adventure. 

Another big part of our culture is valuing remote over in-person. Other than our first five hires, everyone has been hired remotely. Our work culture is flexible, and we work across 3 time zones. We are meeting- and time-conscious, and putting in face time just for the sake of it is highly discouraged. 

Lastly, start-ups are a roller coaster; each win can feel like we’re conquering the world, and each loss can feel like there’s no tomorrow. We take a cue from our CEO Eddie – who has been through this multiple times – to stay even-keeled about it. We celebrate the wins and learn from our mistakes, staying grounded throughout.

While we’re dead serious about Memo’s mission, we make sure our work life has a decent dose of levity. Trending topics in Memo Slack this week include Real Housewives in #bravo, the tragic discontinuation of Klondike’s Choco Taco in #virtual-watercooler, and who’s going to win this evening’s virtual happy hour contest (the house favors Karlie 10-1). 

This is why I felt confident presenting our culture to Will Reed

When I was given an opportunity to outline our culture to Will Reed, I was comfortable doing so because – even with less than a year at the company – I feel the culture so strongly every day.

Culture continuously evolves, whether we actively work on it or not. We want employees to incorporate their own interests, experiences, communication styles, and personal values into our team culture. We are still in the process of defining our culture on paper and articulating our core values – and the whole team will embark on that journey together.

How we rebranded Memo to reflect the future of narrative + data

In the three years since Memo was founded, we’ve seen incredible traction: Fortune 10 brands adopting readership, premier publications coming on board, and category-defining investors joining in on our vision.

But our visual identity didn’t reflect this progress or the impact we still hoped to make. So we underwent a visual rebrand to better communicate Memo’s unique and growing role in the PR & Comms space. 

We started with the qualities Memo’s brand had to convey

We believe in the power of narrative to define our world, and the necessity of data to evaluate it.

As a company bringing entirely new data to the PR industry, Memo needed a modern visual identity that would speak to the modern Communicator, and a look and feel that was completely differentiated from the legacy solutions those customers were looking to move away from.

But the other side of Memo’s business – the publications we partner with for readership data – was rooted in a time-honored tradition that we also wanted to pay homage to.

The resulting visual identity therefore needed to be bold but reliable, and blend modernity with heritage.

We selected colors that emphasized Memo’s unique offering in the PR industry

Our color scheme had to achieve two goals: 1) reflect our brand values, and 2) set Memo apart from legacy PR measurement platforms.

Communicating both a trust for and the novelty of Memo’s data were key, so our primary colors are a dark blue – to signal that our platform is reliable, serious, and bold – and a bright turquoise, a freshness to establish Memo as different from the rest.

Secondary colors include a bright yellow, whose warmth introduces an approachability we aim to cultivate in how we present our data and work with customers, and a periwinkle purple, which transmits wisdom and intelligence.

Typography choices represent a modern solution grounded in a reverence for tradition

We wanted Memo’s primary typeface to be a serif, both to signal the dependability and sophistication of our data, and as an homage to the tradition of news publishing from which that data stems. We ultimately chose Skolar because it carries the connotations of a serif font while also including unique elements, like strokes that were less angular and more approachable.

To balance this with an element of modernity, we chose a sans serif for the secondary typeface, specifically Open Sans for its legibility and friendly appearance.

Introducing the accessibility of Open Sans to the traditionalism of Skolar mirrored Memo’s own mission to bring new clarity and insight to the practice of public relations. 

We designed a logo to echo how Memo is introducing a new era for PR measurement 

We paired a wordmark in Inknut Antiqua – a serif again as a nod to publishers but with a modern take – with an icon that tells Memo’s story.

The “M” of the icon is constructed out of geometric shapes, representing a narrative that gets constructed from new pieces of information. 

The container of the icon mimics a dog-eared page as a metaphor for marking important information. The lower right placement further signifies the turning of a page, much as Memo is moving PR measurement and strategy into the future. The bright blue further reinforces this fresh perspective.

Graphical elements are derived from Memo’s logo for a distinct look and feel

Geometric patterns derived from the logo icon’s square container and triangular corner get repeated in Memo’s brand colors, creating simple patterns throughout the website.

These patterns are incorporated into imagery that alludes to our product benefits without being overly literal, allowing the corresponding text to tell the story. Images are styled with corner cuts that also mimic the logo icon, reinforcing how Memo lifts the curtain with readership data.

This branding exercise, in addition to curating a distinct look and feed for Memo, helped us crystallize the values we care most about as a brand: creating a future that unlocks the tremendous value both publications and the PR industry deliver.