As a graduating senior in 2007, Megan Shroy didn’t have entrepreneurial ambitions of owning her own business.
“It just wasn’t something that was on my radar at the time,” she said.
Yet, that is exactly what the communications major (double minor in journalism and business management) did several years ago, following a successful career in the industry with Chicago-based Golin, one of the largest firms in the field, and Columbus, Ohio-based Paul Werth Associates. Today, Shroy serves as president and founder of Approach Marketing.
“In the thick of the recession, I watched as many of my big agency clients could no longer afford their five digit retainers or multi-million-dollar PR programs,” Shroy recalled. “I knew they still needed access to marketing services and was inspired to provide them with the work they wanted at a more accessible rate. It was a risk to set out on my own, but one I’m glad I took.”
Approach is a fully virtual agency made up of independent marketing, public relations and social media strategists. Approach consultants average 10+ years of experience at some of the nation’s leading agencies such as Golin, Weber Shandwick and Edelman. With its unique business model, Approach brings big agency talent to its primarily Midwestern-based clients.
“We operate 100 percent virtually, meaning we don't have a big, expensive office or huge benefit packages. This translates to very little overhead, and that savings is passed right along to our clients. It’s a model that’s allowed us to double in size every year since we’ve opened, garnering work from nationally recognized brands.”
Among the account teams Approach has managed are JP Morgan Chase, Tim Hortons Café and Bake Shop, and Make-A-Wish. Shroy, herself, has also publicized books for Jane Grote Abell, chair of the Board for Donatos Pizza; Tami Longaberger, CEO of the Longaberger Company; and Nancy O’Dell, Emmy Award-winning journalist and host of Entertainment Tonight. Approach has secured hundreds of media placements for their clients, including on The Today Show, FOX & Friends, CNN, Forbes, USA Today, Martha Stewart, Parents, The Wall Street Journal, US Weekly, Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press.
In 2016, Shory was named a “Forty Under 40” honoree by Columbus Business First and featured in People to Know in Advertising, PR and Media. Smart Business Magazine also recognized Shroy as a Progressive Entrepreneur honoree at the Smart Women Awards, and she was named by PR News to Top Women in PR. She has also been featured in Inc. Magazine, PR Week, PR News, Bulldog Reporter and several other media outlets.
“As I reflect on my career thus far, I’ve thought a lot about the influences that helped guide and land me where I am today,” Shroy said. “I’m often asked what compelled me to become an entrepreneur – particularly in my twenties – when many young professionals are still working to determine what they hope to make of their newfound careers. Despite the years that have passed, I often come back to my experience at Wittenberg University. So, when asked to share a turning point in my education and career preparedness from Wittenberg, it was easy to recall.
“During my senior year of undergrad, I got the opportunity to participate in Wittenberg’s Communication and Business Leadership (C.A.B.L.E) program. While I appreciated the program then, I’ve continued to benefit from my learnings years later. The pivotal moment for me at Wittenberg was a visit to Chicago with fellow C.A.B.L.E students, during which we participated in informational interviews with area businesses, experienced various roles within a company and toured Google’s office. I felt this visit set my expectations for the ‘real world’ and reminded me I was about to enter a competitive hunt for my first job. This trip truly motivated me to look for opportunity in every corner and find ways to demonstrate my capabilities as a potential employee and leader.”
Much of Shroy’s time is now spent on networking, business development and leading a growing team, but she still finds time to support her alma mater and inspire future generations. During Homecoming 2017, Sept. 14-17, Shroy will return to campus to share her journey and career with current students as part of Wittenberg’s Celebration of Lifelong Learning alumni panel.
“I’m frequently reminded of these same principles I took away from my time at Wittenberg and through C.A.B.L.E, and am so pleased to see this opportunity still available to students today,” she said. “I firmly believe that my participation in C.A.B.L.E gave me the tools to begin my career in a field I love right out of the gate.”