NutsPR Spotlight: Nicole Rodrigues

Welcome to NutsPR Spotlight August edition.

This month’s guest is someone I admire for her drive, work ethic and dedication to the PR industry. I love that she teaches her team everything that she knows and helps them grow into PR pros.

You already know her. You read her posts, here on NutsPR and I am sure you learned a thing or two from them.

She was very kind to share her story with us.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please welcome: Nicole Rodrigues.

When did you know PR is what you wanted to do?

It was my sophomore year of college and my journalism professor suggested that I take a personality test. I was considering majoring in broadcast journalism, but he saw something in me that I didn’t know I had in terms of my capabilities and personality. I took this personality test on a Tuesday, came back on a Thursday and got my results. My journalism professor told me that I needed to take PR 101 and, if after taking the class I decided I still wanted to major in broadcast journalism, then that was okay, but he really thought PR was for me.

So I took PR 101 with Kathleen Martinelli — I’ll never forget — I fell in love and that was it. I found the industry that I wanted to be in and I’ve never looked back or regretted it.

How does teaching your team helps you learn? How do you like to learn?

Teaching my team reinforces my learning. I have to go through the steps I’ve learned over again. I have to think strategically and logically about how to line something up so that they understand from front to back why doing something a certain way in PR makes the most sense. It also helps show why taking certain steps and sometimes going the long way works. It reinforces my memory since I have to go back and backtrack to a time where I did something right. I remember that, and apply that method.

That’s also why we’ve created a really awesome playbook for NRPR. For me, there have been a couple of things that I’ve done over and over and over again that have been super successful. I want my team to learn those things. I’m not going to hold back on teaching them those things. If I’ve learned something that works, until it doesn’t work, we’ll use that.

I like to learn by doing things hands on. If someone explains something to me once and then I can dive in and give it a shot, even if I fail the first time and I recognize how and where I’ve failed, I’ll go back and try it again. At that time, you reinforce that strength and you get better and better. I’m definitely very much a tactile learner.

What piece of advice do you have for anyone heading into the reality of PR?

If you don’t have a strong work ethic, do not enter into PR. Don’t do it if you are not dedicated to working on someone else’s timeline. Whether it’s a client or a journalist, your job is to be there to be that glue. It’s your job to make media’s lives easier by providing them with great ideas through resources such as your clients.

Also, you have to be there to advise clients on the right things to do. That means sometimes you’re going to have to do research outside of your daily reading. That means sometimes you’re going to have to think outside of the box. Sometimes you’re going to have to work at a time that media is available and you were hoping to clock out of work. It just doesn’t work that way. You are answering to two very strong entities that you’re trying to match make for, essentially.

I’ve met a lot of really great PR professionals, and those great PR pros all have integrity, strong work ethic, and a dedication to really helping their clients get things done.

What would you like to change in the PR industry and think can be accomplished this year?

I would like there to be more awareness about the fact that we cannot do brainless work. We cannot write a press release and pitch it to a list that we ran through some database that no one did background checking on. We cannot send effortless pitches to media that are lacking story ideas and expect them to stop calling PR people mindless hacks. That’s not the case and it shouldn’t be the case.

If we are doing things by taking a step back, doing our due diligence and research on behalf of our clients and ourselves, then we’re actually creating a value to media so that they’ll work with us more. That’s something that if every PR person actually took a stance and said, “I will never send a blind pitch,” we would actually be doing more for the media by sending 20 strong pitches rather than 200 press release blasts that mean nothing.

I think that’s little by little what I’m trying to do and why here at NRPR we’ve never sent blasts. It’s not our thing. That’s why we’ve been able to be successful, so I’m trying to teach that to anybody else that I know. It might feel like it’s the longer way to go, but it’s actually the better and shorter way to go in the long run. Some people get into PR because they think it’s going to be their one-way ticket into parties. It’s really sad, but then there’s strong, strategic PR people who bring killer value to companies. That’s what we should be striving to do.

What’s next for Nicole Rodrigues?

I’m working on finishing my first book and doing more in education. I want to do anything that will educate people, not only to be motivated, but to do things in life with more positivity. I think that’s how I’m going to leave my mark on the world. I want to try and do something different. My book isn’t necessarily about PR per say; it’s about being a really good person and a really good professional. It will help take people to the next level in their lives and in their careers. I hope to share that with a lot of PR pros to get them to build up that integrity around their personal and professional career. That’s definitely a life goal. I’m trying to finish this up so that of course it’ll put NRPR Group on the map in its own way, but I feel like this is part of me living my purpose. Every single day I do something that’s purposeful.

You can find Nicole on NRPR Group, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn