Public Relation is a way to connect an organization with its key audience through spreading information which is related to customer’s interest. PR agencies have the responsibility to maintain marketing, media, communication campaigns, and news of the organization to increase brand awareness and establish its reputation. The ever evolving industry causes PR agencies and PR pros to bring more initiatives to stay ahead in the course.
To build a comprehensive marketing strategy, PR executives have to be inquisitive, visionary, and willingness to invest in relationships. One such PR leader is Nicole Rodrigues, a marketing pro with extensive knowledge in PR, social media and digital marketing. She is the founder, and CEO of NRPR Group and bringing efficiency with her valuable ideas.
Below are highlights from the interview conducted between Nicole and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of your background and your role in NRPR Group.
I truly feel like I was born to be in PR and I’m living my purpose every day when I show up to work. I loved PR from the second I took PR 101 in college and declared PR as my major. I knew I wanted to own my own PR agency while I was in college and learning about all the ways PR helps companies. However, I did not want to make it happen until I was wellprepared and mastered every level as a PR professional, so I could be a good teacher to a team I’d eventually lead. My vision was to create an agency whose clients, media and employees would be confident that they were working with the best. The way I do that is I create relationships, build friendships, and foster them with a special human touch for the benefit of our clients and media. That’s why, when NRPR takes on a client, I’m personally involved with the account.
NRPR Group serves consumer, digital, and enterprise technology companies, working with them on public relations, digital marketing, social media, marcomms, events, thought leadership and more. We work closely with CEOs, executives, and internal marketing and PR teams to uncover the passion, vision, and differentiators within any given company, and share those stories with appropriate key audiences.
What are the strategies adapted by your company for publicity and digital media marketing excellence?
I have loved sports since childhood and was a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders, in addition to being part of their public relations department. I bring this cheerleading and coaching style to achieve success for the agency, clients and employees. I lead by example with the intention of satisfying clients and my agency team. When my employees are happy, they’re producing their best work, and their best work translates into great work for clients. Great work for clients translates into more business.
I have taught my team never to take the shortcut or lazy way to try to achieve goals for clients. Public relations is not issuing a press release and seeing which media outlets run it. I have learned to respect editors and know that without media, PR people wouldn’t have jobs. Respect entails taking the time to research their outlets, audience and coverage before pitching with the goal of starting a genuine relationship with them, and pitching them with enough embargo time for them to actually write. Working closely with clients, my team and I find creative ways to tell clients’ stories. Public relations is proactively seeking opportunities for coverage before the client asks. It is part of the integrated marketing plan of a company and cannot be silo’d away. Most of all, public relations ranges from strategic messaging and press release development to determining timing of announcements, strategies for outreach, campaign building, and so much more.
What are the various services provided by NRPR Group?
The agency offers public relations, marketing communications, social media marketing, events, influencer relations, executive thought leadership building, and digital marketing services. Like most agencies, we offer traditional services on a monthly retainer basis.
However, we specialize in helping businesses of all sizes to reach their business goals with tailored plans that map back to results. The NRPR team shares client stories with appropriate key audiences, and educating them on what public relations can and cannot do and how it works. With clear planning and cohesive messaging, NRPR strategically leads clients, helping them to hit identified business goals. The team are experts in building the media relationships needed to gain client trust and deliver what they need with the end result of benefitting both clients and media through meaningful coverage.
How NRPR Group helps in creating the best content all across social media and various internet platforms?
The first lesson for clients is that your reputation follows you everywhere. It’s important for individuals and companies to understand how you’re portraying yourself online. NRPR works with clients to monitor digital reputation as closely as we do for physical ones. We work with clients to help them develop an online persona and how to leverage various social media channels to the best benefit. Each social network has its own personality and audience and messages posted must cater to both. It is also important to keep a mix of serious and fun topics that represent one’s industry, products and company culture or personality.
What were the past experiences, achievements or lessons that shaped your journey?
I have worked hard throughout my life and have tried to learn from experience along the way.
Personally, I am the oldest of nine children, born to working-class parents. My mother always told me that I could do or have anything I wanted as long as I was willing to work for it. I was the first in the family to graduate college and worked hard in high school to earn scholarships. I held three jobs during college to pay for my education. You need to create one’s own path in life regardless of the circumstances into which one is thrown. I have turned this viewpoint into a dedication to mentoring both my staff and through my Young Dreamers Foundation. Young Dreamers is an ongoing program through which mentors speak with students about setting goals, building personal brands, and persevering through life’s downturns. I am also the mother of an 18-year-old daughter whom I am teaching to be self-confident and independent.
Professionally, my time at MOBITV is one of my biggest successes based on what I learned and accomplished working with media, strategy and timing to assure that MOBITV was included in significant media outlets. NRPR Group now serves as MOBITV agency of record in recognition of the diligence and persistence I displayed when working there. With PR as the strongest marketing arm, MOBITV has gone from zero pay-TV customers, to more than 90 in just three years since we brought them on as a full-time client. The CEO has vowed that MOBITV won’t do PR without NRPR, which is high praise.
According to you, what is the importance of the ability to develop comprehensive strategies in the role of entrepreneur?
To put it simply, as the saying goes, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Strategic planning requires developing goals, evaluating those goals in terms of feasibility, timeline to accomplish and measures of success once theave worked hard throughout my life associated tasks are completed. I have developed goals for NRPR regarding geographic growth, staffing, client acquisition in addition to the goals we create in conjunction with clients to aid them in reaching their business and revenue goals. Public Relations and media coverage are elements of a company’s total sales and marketing endeavors and bottom-line growth.
What were some of the primal challenges and roadblocks that you faced during the initial phase of your journey?
Early in my career I was criticized for being an upbeat woman who also dresses well and takes care of herself. The criticism came mostly from women, and it’s a shame. Also, from men who would not take me seriously, early in my career, because I was told I was “too pretty to be smart.” I felt like I could not win. I didn’t want to dress down, so what did I do? I stepped it up. In boardrooms and meetings. I brought my A-game because I wanted to be taken seriously, whether any negative women, or sexist men thought I could or not. I’ve never stopped that and now I have earned the respect of established men in multiple industries who listen to what I have to say and respect my expertise. As for women, sad to say, I wish more of them would be kind and supportive of each other. I make it a point to be kind and also make it a point to stay away from women who just can’t get out of their own negative ways of thinking.
Where NRPR Group sees itself in the near future and how will you catalyze the change?
In 2019, NRPR Group is celebrating our fifth anniversary, which is a terrific accomplishment when the majority of businesses fail early on. In the near future, NRPR will continue to expand and find new, innovative ways to serve its clients. In line with its vision, NRPR is increasing its presence across the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York.
What is your advice for the emerging entrepreneurs?
I have several piece of advice. First: do not give into societal stigmas to stop you from diving into what you want. Don’t let anyone tell you that something is not appropriate for a woman.
Second, if you want to be taken more seriously, don’t bring emotion and outside “stuff” to work with you. Your bosses, I’ve found, especially men, don’t respect that. Focus on work when in the office and leave your personal issues at home.
Third, it is OK to for women to chase your dreams as men do and still be nurturing to your children. Your kids will understand, and they will look up to you and admire you for the hard work and hustle you put into your work. I want to encourage working mothers and future working mothers to take pride in the fact that women in power, who are great at work are great at life.