In the current business landscape, women are thriving in executive positions, demonstrating power and excellence through empathetic leadership, impeccably high standards and thoughtful business strategies. One prime example of influential, inspirational leadership is Nicole Rodrigues (CEO and Founder), who has positioned NRPR Group for standout, standard-setting success in the PR industry from the day she first opened the agency’s doors.
Having built and launched NRPR based on a best practice playbook that she personally developed and refined throughout her impressive tenure in marquee agency roles, Nicole remains committed to keeping her company at the cutting-edge of innovation, impact and social evolution. She is determined to deliver the best possible results and experience for clients while elevating the industry as a whole, especially regarding the way in which PR professionals currently interact with members of the media.
Nicole’s passion for leadership stems from her knowledge that young people across cultures need as many examples of success to look up to and strive for as possible. As a self-funded female founder of Puerto Rican descent, Nicole realizes the weight of proper representation in leadership and has been committed to being that example, assembling diverse talent, empowering individual skill sets and helping others push themselves to exceed even their own expectations.
She also strives to be a role model for her team while helping each staff member cultivate and activate his or her own leadership potential. As such, NRPR’s mantra, “the agency of the future,” not only refers to continuously adopting emerging technologies and setting industry best practices – it highlights the future impact of developing talent today that will continue stewarding industry change and excellence in future generations.
During a recent conversation with Mirror Review, Nicole briefed us on her leadership journey and spoke to the range of services offered by her agency, along with the latest trends in the PR industry. Here are a few highlights from the profound conversation.
What are the services offered by NRPR? What are its exclusivities?
NRPR Group goes beyond traditional public relations and offers best-in-class business and brand positioning to clients and media in terms of strategic messaging, content creation, and more. We expanded our service portfolio in 2020 to include NRPR Productions — a full-service production company — and NRPR Business Pro (Biz Pro™) — a first-of-its-kind offering in the industry, which guides startups through the process of structuring and launching the business. Our team also understands the complexities of marketing, media, and corporate ecosystems, so we tailor every single effort accordingly for maximum efficiency, reach and results. We are bullish about building lasting, meaningful relationships with media personnel and offering value within every interaction, based on our deep respect for their craft and researched knowledge of their beats/audiences.
Can you give us an insight into your unique leadership skills?
As the oldest of 9 children, my leadership skills were initially cultivated during my childhood. In my career, I have learned that the strongest leaders understand the intricacies and challenges faced by all roles within the teams and companies they lead. They are willing to roll up their own sleeves and get the job done. They not only support the individuals working under them but also coach them to grow beyond their existing roles. These are leadership skills I keep at the center of all my activities at NRPR, and beyond. I also launched the Young Dreamers Foundation — NRPR’s non-profit social impact organization — to continue stewarding the next generation of future business leaders.
With digitization being the new normal, how have you included its latest aspects into your business methodologies?
Emerging technologies power every part of NRPR, from our clients’ cutting-edge solutions to the best new business tools we leverage internally. One of the top digital platforms to emerge from the pandemic is the audio-only social networking platform, Clubhouse, which has been filling the in-person interaction gap by offering new modes of socialization and collaboration. As a member of Clubhouse, I encourage my clients to join and host rooms on the app whenever possible. I set appointments with clients to go online and visit rooms together, and I invite them to speak whenever I can. It has also granted us another avenue to pitch and increase their brand awareness.
How would you like to remark on the changes towards gender disparity in the business sector?
Having worked within the technology space throughout my career, I’ve seen the impacts of women in leadership and executive roles firsthand. Like men, we earn our seats at the head of the table through hard work and ingenuity. That said, women bring uniquely feminine traits to their roles, which (contrary to false historical perceptions) make us even more capable as business leaders. We bring powerful qualities such as empathy, organization, multi-tasking, and the ability to thrive under pressure – all of which foster collaboration, positive corporate culture and optimal results in such a way that I predict, soon enough, more men will begin leaning into and adopting.
Being at the forefront of your company, what changes would you like to bring about to the PR industry?
As someone who truly loves the industry I work in, I aim to help elevate our craft and the practice of it within my sphere of influence, and beyond. As a leader, I’m working to redefine our industry’s best practices and eliminate the following outdated, counterproductive (and, quite frankly, frustrating) approaches that no longer have space in the modern era:
- Don’t mass pitch: Every pitch from a PR pro should be researched, personalized and reviewed closely before being sent to the media, as mass pitching is both ineffective and irritating to most recipients. Media members expect us to understand their work, as well as the story being pitched and the targeted audiences. Anything less is disrespectful to both media and the client. At NRPR, we uphold this standard as a core value.
- Don’t harass or burden media: Simply put, without media personnel, PR pros wouldn’t be in business. It’s important for us to remember this and offer members of the media the respect, support and thoughtful collaboration that they deserve. PR pros should steward solutions and build real relationships with the media by ensuring every single touchpoint is intentional, provides value and considers their target’s priorities alongside their own.
- Don’t forget to delegate: One person cannot juggle the needs of multiple clients —physically, mentally or emotionally — no matter how talented or tenacious he or she is. In my experience, the best leaders are those willing to delegate responsibly while mentoring and empowering team members with the sharpest tricks of the trade throughout the way.
What would you like to convey to the women readers?
To women pursuing their passion and/or career paths, I’d say: Don’t allow gender-role stereotypes to stop you from diving into what you really want to do with this life. Don’t let anyone tell you that something isn’t right, good or appropriate for a woman. Remember that men are never asked to choose between family and career, and neither should women. And remember that our divine femininity does, indeed, make us uniquely suited for success. As my mother would say, we can do absolutely anything we set our minds to, so long as we are willing to work hard to achieve it.
Read Full Magazine: The 10 Most Admired Business Women, 2021.