Nicole Rodrigues, Founder & CEO, NRPR Group
Nicole Rodrigues of NRPR Group won the Gold Award in the “PR Professional Who Makes a Difference” in the 2018 Bulldog Stars of PR Awards.
Your most memorable campaign: Our work on the launch of Modius, a wearable headset which helps people to lose and manage weight through neuroscience, is a very memorable and successful one in my agency’s history.
Working together with Neurovalens’ PR agency in the UK, Team NRPR ensured all worldwide publicity and marketing efforts were executed jointly from day one. To showcase this highly innovative piece of technology fully, Team NRPR drafted a global announcement and pre-pitched the news to national and industry-specific media, under embargo, to plant seeds for stories on the August 8, 2017 Indiegogo campaign launch day.
NRPR arranged strategic partnerships with brand ambassadors, including fitness expert and TV personality, Craig Ramsay.
NRPR Group also developed a live POWER panel of respected experts from the health, fitness, and wellness industries. Participants included Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Heal, Dr. Renee Dua; CEO and Co-Founder of Impact Theory, Tom Bilyeu; celebrity doctor and well-known personality, Dr. Drew; celebrity trainer and fitness expert, Craig Ramsay; and Dr. Jason McKeown. This panel was streamed on Facebook Live on launch day. Team NRPR drafted a media alert and shared it with media and influencers within the health, fitness and wellness spaces. Because the panel discussion was hosted by Tom Bilyeu, at his home studio, invitations to the event were limited to a select list of media and influencers. The panel discussion, titled "Weighing in on Weight Loss: How Technology is Solving the Problem," took place the evening of the Modius launch. The live stream generated more than 20,000 views and 77 shares.
With a combined goal of promoting the launch of Modius’ Indiegogo fundraiser page and generating positive media attention for the device introduction, NRPR Group reported more than 250 press hits globally, with more than 40 in the United States, within the first two weeks of the launch, and 10 additional articles covering the results announcement on October 17, 2017. The product launch was covered by outlets including Men’s Health, Inc., International Business Times and Wellness Force Radio. Overall, the two-month Indiegogo fundraiser campaign, with an initial goal of raising $50,000, thanks to strategic PR and creative social media marketing, Neruovalens surpassed their initial goal by 3,099%, raising close to $2M with the help of over 4,000 backers from 80 countries! Upon the conclusion of the campaign, the, team continued their hard work pitching to secure a two-part feature for Neurovalens’ CEO, Jason McKeown, on the well-known TV show The Doctors,which reaped another $100,000 in sales.
Team NRPR continued the campaign through CES 2018, and organized Modius presence at Pepcom, prepared a press announcement timed to CES, and designed visual materials. The team generated a total of 154 total media hits went live covering Modius from top-tier outlets such as CNET, Yahoo! News, Barron's, and more, which is as much coverage as was generated between the Modius launch in August 2017 and the end of 2017 Team NRPR accompanied Modius and helped staff a hosted event for press at Alto Bar that was attended by media from Wired, Newsweek, Forbes, and other outlets. Team NRPR followed up with all media Modius connected throughout CES and Pepcom and added them to our media lists to maintain relationships and give updates on future news. With CES giving Neurovalens great exposure, NRPR fielded and vetted inbound requests from NewsWatch, Lifetime TV Network, and other outlets, and also secured podcast opportunities for The Motus Show, ManTalks, and The Neuro Life. As a result of the CES coverage, Neurovalense raised an additional $500,000 in sales.
NRPR secured a speaking slot for Jason McKeown at CES on Stepping Out: The Next Wave In FitnessTech, and NRPR secured an Honoree designation for Modius in the CES Innovation Awards,. NRPR worked closely with Neurovalens to promote participation in awards programs and Modius finished third in the online vote for Last Gadget Standing and fourth in the 'clap-o-meter' live test at the event. Team NRPR leveraged social media with a selfie contest tied to CES. Visitors took a selfie in front of the Modius stall at CES, tagged Modius and CES in a post. Non-attendees could also send a selfie with the same information. The winner received a Modius headset, cable, and three months’ supply of pads and wipes to the value of $499 USD.
Favorite journalist to work with: So many… this is just a start
- Lori Corbin
- Dean Takahashi
- Jefferson Graham
- Kym McNicholas
- Jon Swartz
- Don Clark
- Leticia Barr (AKA Tech Savvy Mama)
Biggest complaint about social media: It PAINS me to see so many brands throw money at social media influencers without vetting them or checking to see if their numbers are real or fake. Brands may be taken advantage of while "influencers" build false sense of "celebrity" without treating themselves as true business entities - where there needs to be ROI wrapped around results. Influencers do have some impact, but they need to be the right one for your brand and they need to act professionally.
Best thing about working at your agency: When I started NRPR Group, I wanted it be seen as the public relations agency of the future, serving consumer, digital, and enterprise technology companies, with the outcome of keeping clients, media, and employees happy. I love public relations and helping clients and I teach my team to have this same passion. 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 and satisfaction all around.
I have taught my team of dedicated professionals to focus on building the media relationships needed to gain the client’s trust and deliver what they need with the end result of benefitting both clients and media. I love watching my staff grow skills and become leaders in their own right. We work closely with CEOs, executives, and internal PR/marketing teams to uncover specific passion, vision, and differentiators, and share those stories with appropriate key audiences, and educating them on what public relations can and cannot do and how it works.
Most misunderstood thing about PR: To many people, public relations is about issuing a press release, sending that release to as many media professionals you can and seeing how many actually cover the story. This is lazy public relations and not very effective, which is why I call it ‘spray and pray.’ 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. To help clients succeed, remain on journalists’ radar and gain coverage, great public relations professionals do not wait for an announcement, but instead 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 runs the gamut from strategic messaging and press release development to determining timing of announcements, strategies for outreach, campaign building, and so much more. PR can ignite buzz to keep every possible factor in marketing working together.
What got you interested in a PR career? I believe I was meant to be in this career; public relations was tailor-made for me. In junior high and high school, I ran for and held leadership offices and participated in and won marketing competitions. The high school activities director showed all of us in leadership how to be great leaders, how to lead with purpose and helped us unlock our potential, while creating the best, healthy, and fun environment to do so. I wanted to find a career that involved public perception development, writing, event planning, and more. Thankfully, my college journalism professor saw the same thing and encouraged me to check out Public Relations courses. The minute I did I was hooked. I declared my major right away and almost 20 years after doing so, have never looked back.
Most interesting thing about your job: I love everything about my job, from having an office where I walk through the door and “my” logo is up on the wall. My team is happy; my clients are happy. I have a great team of hard workers and I want to see them grow in their careers. I love working closely with clients to help them succeed. There is the challenge of developing the client’s story, which is a bit like being a detective uncovering the founder’s history, vision, how the product solves a problem, based There are so many different types of stories to uncover for any particular company. We also have new digital tools to use to share the story and new data tools to confirm the effectiveness of the PR strategy. .
Best advice to a PR student: No one is going to hand you success. In my eyes, success is when you know you have worked very hard for something and then someone or something shows you that hard work has touched someone’s life. So when you wake up in the morning you have to be ready to tackle your daily tasks at the same level of intensity every day. Even in an entry-level position, there are so many people that begin with the wrong mindset thinking they are working for someone else. Every time I walked into a job, I not only wanted to do my best for the company but for myself as well. I understood that if I did a good job, not only would my employer be happy, but it would help me to get better. You’re not going to get that promotion because you show up and are breathing. You attain success and earn those promotions quicker when you work hard, and others see it.
What do you read daily? Recode, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, Bulldog, LA Times, and Wall Street Journal
Favorite way to de-stress: Sleep! I like to relax by being alone, reflecting, and just doing very simple things at home. When I can, I try to get out to the movies to just zone out and relax. Travel is also a BIG relaxation activity for me too. Whether I’m traveling a few hours from home or somewhere International, it’s a great way for me to get out of my work routine and recharge. I also enjoy golfing. I love that it takes me outdoors and it’s also an amazing networking opportunity.
Brand that does the best PR: Nike. I have been a loyal Nike customer for a long time and admire how it does marketing and PR. Its 2018 Colin Kaepernick campaign focused on a step beyond its usual Just Do It branding to thinking big and what one can achieve. While Kaepernick can be polarizing, Nike chose to focus on achievement and while those opposed to the NFL player did boycott Nike, supporters increased purchases of Nike products as a statement of support for the causes Kaepernick represents.
Brand most in need of better PR: Facebook and Snapchat need to work on their PR. In 2018, Facebook did not engage in transparency regarding the improper access of user data by Cambridge Analytica. Facebook should have disclosed what it knew as soon as the problem occurred and then followed up with how it planned to protect user privacy. The company has also been the subject of negative stories about infighting between top executives and unethical tactics by its PR firm. Snapchat is not proactive enough in positive storytelling, nor is their CEO vocal about his vision. It’s a shame because the lack of PR has lead to a lack in faith in the platform. More proactive, creative PR could really help Snapchat and its stock price, by building people’s confidence in the platform and its leaders.
Favorite non-work hobby: Golf
Cocktail of choice: Casamigos, Pineapple and Orange
Your first “real” job: In high school, I babysat for the Dort family. Christina Dort, who was the director of corporate communications for Cisco Systems at the time, became like a second mom to me. She later brought me into the Silicon Valley tech world when I was a junior in college. At Portal Software she taught me that if you can make “enterprise software sexy” you can basically PR anything. SHE WAS RIGHT!
Childhood “dream job”: Cheering for the Raiders as a Raiderette (got that job!)
Your ideal Saturday: Talking to zero people early in the morning and just walking my dog, then golfing in the afternoon, followed by an awesome dinner and drinks.