“Entrepreneurship requires self-discipline. Starting a business from scratch is one of the hardest things to do, and there’s a reason why most businesses fail. There will be hard days and obstacles that can derail you from what you set out to accomplish. You will have deadlines to meet, fires to put out, and multiple people to satisfy. You must compartmentalize your emotions in order to properly manage clients and your entire team while running your company efficiently” – Nicole Rodrigues
THE ORIGINS AND PURPOSE OF NRPR GROUP’S PREMIER AGENCY MODEL
NRPR Group is one of the leading independent public relations and creative marketing agencies in the United States, rooted in its mission to reshape and elevate the PR industry on a global scale. They serve marquee businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies, Fortune 50 CEOs, and innovators across the FinTech, HealthTech, sports, entertainment, technology, and consumer products spaces (to name a few). NRPR is headquartered in Beverly Hills with top-tier talent working across the country to support their growing local and international client base. The NRPR team reflects their agency’s core values: purpose, passion, integrity, inclusion, representation, results, and commitment to excellence.
The clients and media personnel know that they can expect to collaborate with mission-minded listeners, partners, and master communicators — who are as passionate about the brands and businesses. NRPR is intentionally setting the standard for the future agency model, understanding that it requires storytellers, editors, publicists, and marketing minds to work together, seamlessly in tandem, to capture the true essence and soul of brands and share those powerful stories with the audiences who need to hear them most. NRPR and all of their subsidiary/ affiliate brands (including Beverly Hills Boss and Perfect Pitch Podcast) were ultimately created for and for the needs of those they serve — namely: their clients, the media, and aspiring leaders of tomorrow.
In addition to the best-in-class, multi-channel public relations services the firm offers (including strategic narrative development, brand positioning, marketing communications, content creation services, digital and social media marketing, influencer/media relations and executive thought leadership management), NRPR is also the only PR agency in the industry to offer cutting-edge, multimedia content creation services through NRPR Productions and end-to-end, pre-launch business development strategy and support through NRPR BizPro™.
Nicole Rodrigues is the founder and CEO of this industry-defining agency. She is superbly proud to be able to say that everything she has, she built from scratch out of her long-standing vision to positively elevate the way in which PR is done in the modern era. Not just that, but she managed to do so without any investors or outside partners. She has been working in public relations for 22+ years, developing and successfully executing strategic campaigns for some of the biggest names in business, including Yahoo!, Dolby, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony PlayStation, Hulu, M-GO, Toon Hero, Demand Media, Heal, MobiTV, and the Oakland (now Las Vegas) Raiders. Throughout that journey, Nicole knew that PR practices, agencies, and personnel needed to evolve alongside the markets, disruptors, and audiences they serve and that was the only way to do so.
Nicole founded NRPR Group in 2014 to better serve visionary clients, to thoughtfully partner with and support members of the media, and to increase the standard of excellence in this industry she loves. Now, more than 8 years later, NRPR is the award-winning, industry-leading agency she always dreamed of. Nicole is extremely proud of how far the company has come in that time, and of how closely they’ve held to their core values at every step along the way.
The self-funded female founder has recently completed her MBA with a concentration on entrepreneurship at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management (graduating in the top 15%) while she continued to lead the agency full-time. This was easily one of the biggest challenges she has ever taken on, but one of the best for her business and one that Rodrigues is so grateful to have made it through better than she started. Another would be having made it through the pandemic without taking on any outside funding and without layoffs.
HOW NRPR ADAPTS & OVERCOMES INDUSTRY-WIDE CHALLENGES
NRPR serves major brands, businesses, and thought leaders from startups to Fortune 500 companies across the globe and has really stood out as an agency that uplifts innovators in web3, NFTs, cybersecurity, health tech, MedTech, entertainment, and philanthropy. Throughout 2020, their clients were facing new and unprecedented challenges in their businesses from the pressures of the pandemic, prompting them to reconsider how to best approach their communications strategies. In response to that demonstrated need, NRPR expanded its core offerings portfolio by launching its newest divisions, NRPR Productions and NRPR Business Pro (Biz Pro™), which allows them to support nascent clients with pre-launch logistics ranging from legal entity creation to brand identity and design.
Nicole has been leveraging her unmatched expertise in PR and digital marketing for more than two decades, helping clients at various funding stages get to the next level. However, she’s unnerved to see that many communications professionals are being taught to employ cold, impersonal practices that are weakening the art of public relations and assigning a sales-like quality to their industry. Mass pitching. Blind pitching. Disjointed campaigns. Nicole and her team truly believe in the magic of what they do, which is why she built an agency model that leverages the talents of storytellers, writers, and publicists who can connect with key journalists and influencers in an authentic, tailored, and productive manner.
Nicole believes in doing PR the right way and fostering an organic synergy between clients, the media, and their target audiences. As a woman of Hispanic and Middle Eastern descent in an industry where 90% of the female labor force is white, it’s absolutely necessary for her to stand out and differentiate NRPR’s services through a value-based business model that is carrying them and the PR industry as a whole into the future.
PROBLEMS AND OBSTACLES FACED DURING THE PANDEMIC
Like countless business owners and leaders, the pandemic posed an ongoing series of make-or-break-it challenges that NRPR’s team also had to navigate over the last several years. They had to reimagine their internal processes and client relations as they moved to 100% virtual operations, while the fundamental landscape of their industry was also undergoing a massive transformation. Many of their clients had to pivot or pause their business operations, though NRPR was able to help many of them identify net-new value ads and opportunities to innovate within that time of uncertainty.
Nicole Rodrigues is so proud of the fact that NRPR managed to make it through intact without having to take on any outside funding or resort to staff layoffs, but it took almost every ounce of her energy and capacity as a human being to see her team and clients through that season. Not only that, 2022 was an extremely tumultuous time in Nicole’s personal life, she lost 12 family members in less than 12 months, making it by far one of the most difficult years of her life. She had to remain strong and optimistic as her team’s leader, even on days when that felt impossible to do. Still, those challenging times only reinforced the values and principles that have carried Nicole this far into her career.
THE FUTURE OF NRPR
NRPR’s evolution has been (and will continue to be) largely dictated by the needs, goals, and interests of the clients they serve. NRPR is continuing to grow their client base, reputation, reach, revenue, team, and offerings portfolio. In addition to their seasoned account assistants, coordinators, and executives, NRPR also has dedicated Writing, Operations, Editing, and MarComms departments. Each department plays a role in the overall ecosystem to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients. In the coming years, Nicole hopes to have helped usher in a new era of public relations, one in which publicists and members of the media work together, seamlessly and symbiotically, for the best possible coverage and impact by continuing on their mission and upholding their proven PR playbook.
MAPPING THE CONSUMER’S DIGITAL EXPERIENCE
Entrepreneurs must be keenly aware of their business’s digital discovery process in order to identify which specific points of contact and campaigns are attracting new customers. It’s no secret that more consumers are using digital mediums to find brands or businesses that match their needs, so tightening up that approach and staying in tune with the brand’s digital experience is crucial. Nicole further added that “If you can clearly map out the full digital consumer journey, you’ll be able to track, monitor, and act upon the traffic on each of your channels. From there, you can strategize how to better capture new clients and build your funnel around those inflection points, whether through referrals, social media, SEO, or earned media.”
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR BUSINESSES AND NRPR GROUP
Nicole Rodrigues says “It’s important to understand that we’re still in the early phases of immersive technology innovation and development. Web3 and the metaverse are going to unlock so many opportunities for digital marketing and consumer engagement, but brands and businesses are still experimenting with the various virtual technologies that will enhance their customer experience. The brands that are successful in capturing new customers through immersive technologies will set the standards for what will become the new normal in 10-20 years. For NRPR, in particular, it’s less about utilizing these new technologies ourselves and more about developing a deeply nuanced understanding of them, how they will evolve, and how they will impact our clients and their industries”.
NRPR has built an incredibly efficient and talented team over the last few years, and Nicole is looking forward to leveraging the strength of their foundations to pursue some of their biggest goals yet. The brands they’ve served up to this point have given NRPR a great understanding of where they excel, and they are now in a place where they can start being very deliberate with the clients they take on. Nicole wants the team to get more involved with the direction of the company moving forward, and in 2023 they are perfectly positioned to manifest their ideal client roster.
HOW NICOLE DEFINES SUCCESS
In Nicole’s experience, “success” is a fairly transitive concept and really depends on where you’re at in your journey to determine. When she was just starting out in her career, for example, success looked like doing her job well and performing at the highest level possible. As Nicole gained more ambition she never attached success to a fixed point in time or accomplishment. She just always knew in her gut that the small steps she was taking to establish herself in the industry would lead to bigger things for her and the impact that she wanted to make on the world. That’s what the journey’s all about. For Nicole, true success has also been determined by the success of those around her from NRPR’s team to their clients, media partners, industry, and communities. As a mentor, a teacher, and a mother, it fills her with inexplicable joy to see others succeed and blossom in their own right and in their own lanes.
ADVICE AND GUIDANCE FOR ENTREPRENEURS
First, organization goes a long way. Entrepreneurs must put scalable, sustainable systems in place from the jump because they’ll need them when their business really starts to succeed. Nicole further added, “You won’t have time to reinvent the wheel, and you’ll have to rely on a solid structure to keep track of everything happening all at once. A solid organization helps you prioritize your tasks and focus without losing sight of the big picture. For example, I “zero out” my inbox daily and have my team manage their inboxes, as well, so we can start each new day with a fresh slate.
It’s important to try to keep personal problems separate from your business endeavors, but you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your health. Sometimes self-discipline entails stepping away to prioritize your self-care. That said, as a leader, you should strive to always maintain a level head, inspire good energy, and keep your mind on work when in the office.”