Nicole Rodrigues: Leading the PR Agency of the Future

Nicole Rodrigues

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Entrepreneurs have been greatly affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All businesses have faced some sort of disruption and have been forced to adapt to these rapid changes to remain strong against their competition. Times like this are stressful and may be filled with negativity. However, Nicole Rodrigues (Founder and CEO of NRPR Group) is an exception among leaders. Sudden changes have always been disliked by all. Nicole was also astounded by the unanticipated lockdown and wondered about the impact on her business. However, she approached the change valiantly and affirmatively stated, “I have always been a warrior and will continue to be one during and once we are beyond this pandemic.”

Nicole views the current crisis from a different perspective. While other leaders have been calculating the mishaps and hazards on the industry, Nicole is anticipating the opportunities emerging in the long term. She is an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience as a seasoned publicist and social marketing pro.

Pursuing Her Dream

Nicole has been handling the role of a leader since high school. She was the first female student body president and also served as president of DECA—an organization that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. She also participated in and won various marketing competitions. In college, she opted to pursue a degree in Public Relations, through which she discovered her zeal and love for PR.

Nicole’s first job was at a software company; later on, she left the tech industry to pursue her dream career in the PR industry. Since then she has developed and executed strategic campaigns for some of the biggest names in the business such as Yahoo!, Dolby, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony PlayStation, Hulu, M-GO, Toon Hero, Demand Media, MOBITV, and the Oakland Raiders. Her experience in the aforementioned companies assisted her in establishing NRPR.

NRPR Group excels in Public Relations, Marketing Communications (Marcomms), Social Media Marketing, Events, Influencer Relations, Executive Thought Leadership Building, Video Creation/Distribution, and Digital Marketing. She established NRPR intending to revolutionize the PR industry. “I wanted to be sure my agency set a prime example for how an ‘agency of the future’ looked and operated. No email blasts and lazy pitching. Legwork and relationship-building are at our core,” she said.

Distinguished PR Agency

NRPR has distinguished itself from the other agencies by delivering extraordinary results through passionate execution of big ideas, close client partnerships, and exceptional service. It caters to almost every industry and works closely with CEOs, CMOs, and other C-level and VP-level executives, internal marketing and PR teams. The NRPR team further aesthetically communicates their brand stories to the relevant audience to build visibility for products, executives, and the organization. “We are committed to creating relationships and building friendships with media professionals to deliver results for clients while helping media to meet their goals,” affirms Nicole.

Since the day NRPR commenced its journey, the team has been instrumental in delivering the best to the clients. Every email pitch has been personalized and reviewed by the in-house editor as opposed to sending out a mass email. Through this curated response, NRPR demonstrates to the media that their time and outlet are respected. The NRPR team demonstrates a passion that leads to positive outcomes for clients.  This is in opposition to a laidback, almost entitled way of doing PR that other agencies may pursue.

Challenges due to the Pandemic

NRPR has been facing similar challenges as have other companies but is adapting to the new circumstances of being dispersed and dealing with anxiety and uncertainty. As a CEO, Nicole is helping the team to remain confident and hopeful about the future. Especially in the current times, this type of leadership helps the team to remain energetic, productive, and open to making any pivots or changes needed to adapt to the new reality brought on by COVID-19.

The NRPR team was able to shift to remote working easily. NRPR Group has always had in-office employees and remote employees. Besides, the employees who worked in the office worked from home once a week in the past. Thus, the team was prepared with laptops, Google G Suite, texting, and messaging apps during this difficult time. However, the team underwent a few changes in their daily work routine, such as the team members have added a Daily Fire Up video chat to say good morning, chat informally, and discuss priorities for the day.

Apart from the internal adjustments, the team is also animated in meeting client expectations. The team is continuously striving to help the clients adapt their messaging to meet the current circumstances. While some companies are cutting marketing and decreasing visibility, NRPR is working with the clients to showcase the importance of marketing in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The team is highlighting their clients’ presence through COVID-19 focused products and services such as masks, testing, and products to ease the return to work process, and also the ability to work remotely. Nicole added, “We are integrating strategies that will further solidify our clients’ roles and place them as market leaders.”

Crisis Communication is Vital

Being a PR veteran, Nicole believes that a situation like the pandemic demands a better marketing approach rather than eliminating marketing. Now is the best time to analyze the changes and outline measures necessary to meet the changing circumstance brought on by the pandemic. When eliminating marketing and communication, executives will also lose connection to their customers, partners, and employees. Nicole further adds, “If you continue to keep the lines of communication open, you will have the opportunity to shine in the press and marketplace and build your credibility and reputation.

As a PR professional, one must be fluent in crisis communications such as knowing how to react, when to respond, and how to approach a crisis like COVID-19. Rather than avoiding the situation and hoping the problem will resolve on its own, Nicole advises using this opportunity as a chance to grow. The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the importance of crisis communications and PR professionals are constantly finding new ways to tackle the challenges put forth by the pandemic.

Assisting Businesses to Communicate

As aforesaid, through an integrated communications program, NRPR is helping businesses build their marketing potential amid the pandemic. Currently, the company is focused on giving back to the cities where its offices are located, namely Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The pandemic has economically disrupted almost every business. Thus, when the market reopens it becomes of utmost importance for the clients to be transparent about the alterations they made during the current crisis and how their company is adapting to meet the demands of the changing circumstances. Further, NRPR assists its clients in framing their messages, garnering coverage and making the most of their marketing potential. In the near future, the agency aims to continue to work with clients to extend their visibility and bring their stories to life.

Recently, in February 2020, NRPR Group opened its newest division, NRPR Productions. It is a full-service production company aimed towards providing branded content, commercials, corporate videos, and YouTube series. Last year, NRPR Group launched the Beverly Hills Boss brand, which comprises the first of a series of books, a YouTube channel, website, a social community, and more. NRPR has always kept clients at the center of its services and will continually strive to stay ahead of the curve and find the best ways to serve clients while maintaining employee satisfaction.

Nicole has also been working on her second book. To enhance her skills, she is also pursuing an MBA at UCLA, which she will complete in 2022. Nicole concludes by saying, “As I continue to build my skills, I will transfer my new knowledge to bringing the best strategy to my team and NRPR clients.”

Future of PR Employment

Although many industries are at a halt, soon industries—especially the companies in travel, hospitality, and retail industries— that have suffered the most will be investing in rebuilding their business model and thus also pump up their public relations budgets. Nicole anticipates that companies may be holding off their product launches but as the crisis subsides there will be myriad launches of products. Apart from this, new companies will emerge to meet the demands of the new normal and will seek guidance from the public relations professionals. Consequently, this will increase the hiring of PR agencies.

While the economic structure may change in a post-pandemic world, PR, as an industry is likely to emerge in a stronger position as companies, will continue to need visibility,” concludes Nicole.

Message for the Readers:

Nicole is highly inspired by the movie character Rocky Balboa quote: “It ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” She believes that in the current pandemic world, this quote resonates even more. “Life will always be filled with challenges and obstacles, some like the pandemic, greater than others. The key is to remain calm, evaluate your options and keep moving forward,” Nicole further asserts.

NRPR Group

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