A GOOD LEADER...Collaborates Effectively — By Lynda Starr

Google completed 10 years of research on what makes a good manager at a company. These 10 traits resonated with team NRPR, as they reminded us of our own CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. Over the next 10 days, we are running a special series on this blog with our reactions to the list and what it means to be a good leader. This is post 7 of 10

“No man is an island” and “teamwork makes the dream work” are two popular sayings that remind us that neither CEOs nor employees can do everything on one’s own. Each business has assigned roles ranging from entry-level to senior positions, each with specific tasks. A good leader has a collaborative style with a willingness to provide help to team members, while respecting everyone’s role, and giving staff a chance to develop skills and grow professionally.

The key to successful collaboration is giving each team member a chance to contribute to the overall goal. Regardless of their position on the organizational chart, each person has unique personal preferences and skills that can add to the success of a task. Each person may bring new ideas and new ways of doing things and task assignments can be adjusted, accordingly. The key is for leaders to be willing to listen to ideas, delegate tasks, and allow team members to spread their wings.

Many leaders do not feel comfortable delegating, feeling that they can do it better or more quickly themselves. The problem with that tactic is that you cannot work 24/7 and if you do not delegate tasks to other team members, they will not build their own capabilities. At NRPR, CEO Nicole Rodrigues has a coach mentality, rather than a commanding, authoritative approach, and guides staff toward the best solution. In this way, she can help staff to buy into a project and to understand why tasks need to be done.

Employees are inspired by a sense of independence and autonomy, backed by support and appreciation from their leader, which Nicole provides. Conversely, employee motivation declines with perceived micromanagement, public embarrassment and reprimand. A sense of accomplishment can motivate one to work harder to achieve more, which is what Nicole attempts to do when working to draw the genius out of her staff, making her a good leader.

Lynda Starr is Marcomms Director at NRPR Group.

A GOOD LEADER...Has Key Technical Skills to Help Advise the Team — By Jessica Gilbert

Google completed 10 years of research on what makes a good manager at a company. These 10 traits resonated with Team NRPR, as they reminded us of our own CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. Over the next 10 days, we are running a special series on this blog with our reactions to the list and what it means to be a good leader, written by individual NRPR staff members. This is post 6 of 10 in the series.

A NRPR Group, we have an unofficial slogan “teamwork makes the dream work.” While this saying is not unique to our team, it truly does mean something to us. At NRPR, Nicole Rodrigues, CEO embodies this sentiment as there is no job too big or too small that she will not do to help the team out. Prior to founding NRPR Group Nicole had 14 years of experience in the public relations and marketing industry, so it is no surprise that she can easily guide us to becoming PR pros just like her.

Nicole is one of the best leaders and I see it every day at NRPR. She leads by example, taking extra time to explain a concept, help an employee rewrite a pitch or just whatever it might be at the moment, and to her it may not seem like a big deal, but to us it means everything. Nicole works tirelessly to ensure her clients are happy, her staff is happy and never complains and that is what makes her a good leader.

Finally, Nicole gives each employee room to grow within the company. This may not look the same for everyone but Nicole only gives an employee a task when they’re ready for it, because she knows what it takes, even if the employee doesn’t think so, for example, I have been assigned to write my first fire up pitch. A fire up pitch is a template of a pitch that is used by the team to pitch an event, an individual, a launch, etc. This is a really big deal and I’m very excited that Nicole thinks I’m ready even if I’m not so sure myself. In my short time at NRPR I have experienced so much growth, teamwork and leadership that I didn’t even know existed. I am so grateful to work for a boss and a company that encourages and exemplifies excellent leadership every day.

Jessica Gilbert is an Assistant Account Executive at NRPR Group.

A GOOD LEADER... Supports Career Development and Discusses Performance — By Alina Ambrosino

Google completed 10 years of research on what makes a good manager at a company. These 10 traits resonated with team NRPR, as they reminded us of our own CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. Over the next 10 days, we are running a special series on this blog with our reactions to the list and what it means to be a good leader. This is post 5 of 10.

Opportunities for career development are one of the most sought-after company traits among job seekers, but many employers do not offer their employees a clear path for growth.

I earned two raises in my first four months at NRPR Group as a direct result of my strong performance, which I was able to achieve thanks to good internal communication. Having clear expectations for my role allowed me to understand how to perform above them, giving me the opportunity to strongly contribute to my team and grow into more responsibility within the company.

NRPR Group maintains several best practices in pursuit of a performance-driven and growth-oriented culture in order to create new leaders:

Clear Expectations For Success. Every role at NRPR Group has specific objectives with key performance indicators and clear responsibilities. Knowing exactly how many press hits one is expected to secure on a regular basis, and exactly what skill sets one needs to develop in order to move from one role to the next, allows the whole team to understand how they should manage their individual growth with a clear path to ongoing success.

Monthly Company-wide Feedback. All of NRPR provides each other with written feedback on a monthly basis. Having a formalized cadence for feedback empowers everyone in the company to voice concerns and share areas for growth across the entire team. Feedback is not restricted to a top-to-bottom format; anyone of any level can give feedback to any ‘NeRPR’, so that all voices can be heard.

Real-time Feedback. The NRPR team also shares feedback in real time, allowing everyone to see exactly how feedback can be incorporated into their day-to-day work. While the monthly feedback allows the team all to look at the bigger picture of their performance, real-time feedback typically gives a clear understanding of what exactly each person could be doing better on a tactical level.

Regular Performance Reports. Every NRPR-er is responsible for reporting their own success via monthly reports to NRPR’s CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. These reports allow for accountability, requiring all team members to quantify their monthly results and provide written context for their delivery in a given month. These reports help the entire team demonstrate their performance and serve as proof of growth over time, allowing every employee to show when they have achieved the performance required for a promotion to their next role.

A performance appraisal process offers a path to success for team members. As NRPR’s CEO, Nicole Rodrigues gives staff the opportunity to incorporate feedback into their own tasks as they build skills and progress on their career paths.

Alina Ambrosino is a PR & Digital Marketing Assistant Account Executive at NRPR Group.

A GOOD LEADER... Is Productive and Results-oriented — By Alina Ambrosino

Google completed 10 years of research on what makes a good manager at a company. These 10 traits resonated with Team NRPR, as they reminded us of our own CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. Over the next 10 days, we are running a special series on this blog with our reactions to the list and what it means to be a good leader. This is post 4 of 10.

If you check any job board, company description, or resume, you’ll likely see the word “results-oriented.”.Being results-oriented has become cliché because it’s an appealing concept – who doesn’t want to work with someone who cares about the final outcome of their work?

But being resulted-oriented is more complicated than achieving desired outcomes. It’s about smart, tactical decisions to achieve results thoughtfully and efficiently

A productive working style is key to supporting a results-oriented culture, but productivity is yet another often-oversimplified state. The way one does things is just as important as what they’re doing -if the work you’re completing is done shoddily, you’re not really producing strong results.

NRPR Group maintains several best practices in pursuit of a productive and results-oriented culture:

Strategic Allocation of Work. Work is always allocated with an eye for the company’s total capacity, so that every single team member can maintain a manageable workload with achievable deadlines and appropriate prioritization.

Constant Written Communication. Team NRPR is spread across the country, with NRPR-ers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New Jersey. Despite working across time zones, the team is kept abreast of our overlapping projects through constant written communication via email, Slack, and texting, allowing us to keep tabs on projects’ status and stay supportive of each other as a team.

Client-Facing Reports that Quantify Results. NRPR Group keeps our clients informed of our work through regular reports that highlight the final results of our work – finalized press hits, speaking engagements, and awards won. Still, we don’t miss the forest for the trees – ongoing projects are shown within reports with hours logged and their current status so our clients can understand the effort and high levels of productivity going into their deliverables.

Smart Usage of Meeting Time. That meeting could have been an email – so it was. Too many companies use meetings to accomplish work that could’ve been done more efficiently online. NRPR Group has regular meetings to ensure all projects remain on track, but work is always done via email whenever possible, allowing everyone to maintain a productive schedule.

All of us at NRPR are considered leaders in our own right, as our CEO, Nicole Rodrigues, insists all of us, including herself, remain focused, productive and always working towards great results.

A GOOD LEADER…Creates an Inclusive Team Environment, Showing Concern for Success And Well-being —By Shantel Carvalho

Google completed 10 years of research on what makes a good manager at a company. These 10 traits resonated with Team NRPR, as they reminded us of our own CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. Over the next 10 days, we are running a special series on this blog with our reactions to the list and what it means to be a good leader, written by individual NRPR staff members. This is post 3 of 10 in the series.

Successful people are often sought after to become leaders. Why? Because people want to learn what they did to get to where they are now and helping others to succeed is one of the most important skills to master as a leader. And, you know what they say, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Leaders need to have a strong sense of self that creates an inclusive team environment incorporating an expressed interest, concern for success and the personal well-being of their team members. Strong coaching skills creates an empowering approach that points your team towards the tools they will need to succeed in strengthening their own resourcefulness and insight through genuine respect that ultimately contributes to your business’s value overall.

Leaders understand that success is a process and happens over time with daily commitments, daily grinds, that are aligned with your life’s purpose. Highly successful leaders must create good habits that back your good reputation and set a course that helps your employees to achieve their own values as employees. The energy of the business will begin with the leader and it’s your job to coach your team to greatness because they see what is possible through the actions of a leader. The environment at NRPR encourages a collaboration of innovation, uniqueness, creativity, positive involvement and new discoveries. A great coach leads by example and provides an atmosphere that genuinely promotes a belief in one another to be the best version of themselves and that inspires you to work even harder because you truly enjoy what you do.  At NRPR you’re addicted to becoming successful, addicted to achieving every goal that is set and addicted to continuously growing for the better to one day become a strong leader.

Shantel Carvalho is an Account Coordinator at NRPR Group.

A GOOD LEADER... Empowers the Team and Does Not Micromanage — By Jessica Gilbert

Google completed 10 years of research on what makes a good manager at a company. These 10 traits resonated with Team NRPR, as they reminded us of our own CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. Over the next 10 days, we are running a special series on this blog with our reactions to the list and what it means to be a good leader, written by individual NRPR staff members. This is post 2 of 10 in the series.

I think one of the biggest mistakes bosses and managers make in the workplace is micromanaging their employees. In my experience, this type of behavior not only demotivates the employee, but it takes away their self-confidence and prevents any feeling of empowerment. How can an employee feel they matter if they are never allowed to think for themselves?

Empowerment can look very different to everyone. To me, empowerment means being allowed to make my own mistakes, and having the support to learn from them while always being encouraged to grow and learn throughout the process.

I am lucky to work for an amazing boss who fosters each and every employee to feel empowered by speaking positively and celebrating our successes at every turn. Nicole Rodrigues, NRPR CEO, is always there to answer any and all questions, but she also allows us space to make mistakes, learn, and grow from the experience.

Thankfully, I can say I have not experienced any micromanagement at NRPR as I am encouraged to learn and explore yet I have provided clear and defined parameters. At NRPR, I am free to make my own decisions, which doesn’t mean they are always right BUT I am always encouraged to spread my wings and keep growing.

Nicole always encourages me to have my own thoughts and encourages me to share them with the rest of the team. Having the opportunity to work at a job that offers and provides empowerment is life changing. I can honestly say I look forward to going to work every day because I am lucky enough to work in an environment that allows me to feel safe, empowered and valued without being micromanaged.

Jessica Gilbert is an Assistant Account Executive at NRPR Group.

A GOOD LEADER...is a good coach — By Lynda Starr

Google completed 10 years of research on what makes a good manager at a company. These 10 traits resonated with Team NRPR, as they reminded us of our own CEO, Nicole Rodrigues. Over the next 10 days, we are running a special series on this blog with our reactions to the list and what it means to be a good leader, written by individual NRPR staff members. This is post 1 of 10 in the series.

A leader is one who helps others to build their own leadership skills whether as leader of a project, department, or just leader of own’s destiny. A coach may be the leader of a sports team or the person who helps to train individual athletes with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen field. Leaders push others to push themselves to achieve success and provide encouragement when things go wrong or the person needs a confidence boost. They may see potential in a person that the person does not see in herself. Leaders also help the team to focus on the bigger picture and to understand the goals of the organization. Yes, it is fun and rewarding to win a game or to score the big account, but no one wins every time. In those situations, leaders need to look at the bigger picture and what could have been done differently in terms of preparation and play or completing a project on time and under budget. Feedback is critical to helping staff/players to learn and grow.

Nicole Rodrigues, NRPR Group’s CEO is a leader who exemplifies this coaching mentality. She was once a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders and then became a coach for her staff. We even call her Coach NRod. She gives people the ability to own projects and to figure out how to accomplish tasks all the while, keeping a watchful eye on what we’re doing, checking emails and deliverables before they go to clients. If we get into a tight spot, Nicole will help us to find out bearings and determine next steps. If a person drops the ball or requires a reprimand, Coach Nicole will deliver a stern warning and a note to shape up and some guidance on how to do so. Once a project is complete, she is there with a Thank you and Appreciate You, which provides a warm, fuzzing feeling.

Nicole is a terrific coach and leader, exemplifying one of the 10 traits of a 'perfect' boss.

Lynda Starr is Marcomms Director at NRPR Group.

NRPR Productions and Beverly Hills Boss, the Book & YouTube Channel, Set the Stage for Award-Winning PR Firm to Make 2020 its Best Year Yet

Congratulations to Nicole Rodrigues, NRPR’s fearless CEO, on her new book Beverly Hills Boss, and to the full agency on recent agency growth and awards and the launch of NRPR Productions, which will increase the agency’s capabilities to include a full service production company, specializing in branded content, commercials, corporate videos, and YouTube series.

In Beverly Hills Boss, which is officially available today on Amazon and at https://www.beverlyhillsboss.com/book, Nicole explains how you can become the boss of your life, journey, and destiny by sharing her story of how a young girl with a dream and the odds against her made dreams happen, and how you can too. With perseverance and dedication, Nicole learned to never give up on her dreams and to believe in herself. Rather than dwelling on the past, the “what ifs,” and “what could have been,” she focuses on the right now and to-dos. Whether you are a student, a young professional, an entrepreneur who runs or wants to start a business, a PR boss or boss of your own destiny, Beverly Hills Boss provides tips and other resources to develop necessary leadership and life skills.

In support of the company’s new NRPR Productions division, the team built a production studio, located at NRPR’s headquarters in Beverly Hills, California. Additionally, the team has added creative director and producer, Julin Jean, as well as award-winning cinematographer, Chris Pilarski, to the team’s ever-growing dream team. Both Chris and Julin are the masterminds behind NRPR Group’s new YouTube series and channel, inspired by Beverly Hills Boss.

“NRPR continues to set the example for what PR agencies of the future should and can be,” said Nicole Rodrigues, CEO and founder at NRPR Group and author of newly released, Beverly Hills Boss. “It has always been my dream to make NRPR Group the example of what a forward-thinking agency should be able to offer its clients. We have always understood that PR, social media marketing, digital marketing, and video marketing all need to work together in order for brands to maximize their marketing potential. We’re making that dream a reality and I couldn’t be more thankful for our newest additions, Chris and Julin, who bring so much experience to the team and have already made Beverly Hills Boss an exciting YouTube series in just a few short months.”

Winning industry awards reinforces the agency’s success and is indicative of the agency’s expertise and innovation. In 2019, Nicole Rodrigues and the NRPR team were recognized by Insights Success as one of The 30 Most Innovative Companies to Watch 2019, ACQ's Gamechanger of the Year, ACQ5’s US - Strategic Communications Consultancy Firm of the Year, and by Bulldog with a Silver Award for Best Use of Personality/Celebrity - "Celebrities as Influencers." In addition, Nicole Rodrigues also received a Bronze Stevie Award for PR Executive of the Year, PR Daily's ACE Award for PR Professional Achieving Excellence, Bulldog Stars of PR - PR Professional of the Year - Silver, L.A. Biz Women of Influence, and CV Magazine 's Corporate Excellence Award for Most Influential Leader in PR & Social Media Marketing 2020 - USA. Nicole was featured on the cover of Insights Success Magazine’ s "The 30 Most Innovative Companies to Watch 2019," the third edition to honor NRPR Group and Nicole as one of the 30 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs of 2019.

“I am very proud of my team and all that we accomplished in 2019 and look forward to 2020 being an even better year,” continued Rodrigues. “Our success is based on hard work and not taking the easy way out. We will continue to look for new ways to bring our clients’ stories to life and to develop new tools that will keep us ahead of the curve. This includes building YouTube series, helping clients garner book deals, and tracking success with state-of-the-art reporting tools.”

In 2019, Nicole and NRPR quietly launched the new Beverly Hills Boss brand, which encompasses the first of many books, a YouTube channel, website, social engagement events, a social community and more. As a launch gift, supporters received “Top 10 Mistakes that Prevent You from Becoming a Boss,” Nicole’s report explaining traps people fall into on their road to becoming leaders. The Beverly Hills Boss YouTube channel is home to tips and tricks Nicole has learned as a seasoned PR and marketing professional and highlights the ups and downs along her journey to CEO.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

The Super Bowl is the largest television event of the year. It’s the ultimate in marketing, with over 100 million viewers and the average 30-second ad costing $5 million. It is also a community-enhanced conversation point, and a chance for a wider audience to connect with brands. Super Bowl Sunday has become a quasi-national holiday with food consumption rivaling Thanksgiving and spending higher for decorations and supplies than Halloween. By the way, there is also a football championship at stake. While not every business has the big bucks to buy Super Bowl ads, we can still learn valuable marketing lessons from the advertising, pre-game and halftime shows, even the game itself.

Quality Counts

All ads at the Super Bowl are meant to be top-notch and beyond the usual. Doesn’t always happen that way, but that’s the aim for brands. When you create any promotional material, website or social media content, it needs to be of the highest quality, be attention-grabbing and be memorable. In order to reach quality, you need to determine what goals you are trying to achieve. For the teams playing, their goal is to bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy and they are focused on winning and obviously both teams are of high quality and talented. The same should be true about your team. Are they at the top of their game? When hiring, we all need to do our best to find good talent and to keep them happy. A happy team is a motivated team and inspiration can be contagious. Leaders lead by example and team members will follow their motivation if they feel connected to the team and task.

You also need to know your audience and how to connect with it, both in terms of the message, which can include emotion, humor, and how the product adds value, the medium being used and if multiple channels are needed as part of an integrated communications plan. The message needs to be appropriate to the occasion. Super Bowl Sunday is a fun day and the message can be humorous and heartwarming. This ambience can be quite different than when selling a medical product. Creativity is also a component of quality. From Steve Carell, Lil Jon and Cardi B in a Pepsi ad to Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller ad, Super Bowl ads spark conversation based on their creativity It is also time to put on your thinking cap and come up with new ways to gain attention for your company and its vision even if it requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Even with a serious product, there can still be emotion and a story of how the product has solved a problem for people in a certain situation and how the product adds value. All advertising, collateral and publicly available documents need to provide a consistent message that is reinforced and reiterated with each encounter.

Preparation Counts

NFL teams do not reach the Super Bowl by luck alone. Organizations of all types need to look at their strengths, see where improvements are needed, and focus on how to gain a needed edge. We’ve all heard the expression, “measure twice, cut once,” which connotes the importance of preparation and attention to details. Have a fresh set of eyes proofread material and follow tricks such as reading aloud or from the bottom up. It is also important to be prepared for the unexpected such as failed technology or a lost shipment and leave extra time for troubleshooting. When the Patriots played the Falcons in the Super Bowl, it seemed as the game progressed that the New England team would be defeated. They ended up with a big comeback and defeated Atlanta, exemplifying that even in the throes of defeat, there is always a chance for victory. Underdogs can become winners with persistence and keeping their eyes on the prize.

Every organization has its “Super Bowl” moments, whether it is a major industry conference, sales launch or shareholder meeting. The key to success is preparation, being in top form, and to mix sports analogies, to make sure all bases are covered. That’s why our CEO likes to be called coach. She has a football coach mentality, naturally, having grown up watching the sport and even doing PR for her favorite team, the Oakland (recently renamed Las Vegas) Raiders.

This is an updated version of a blog originally posted on February 6, 2019.

Helping Fellow Coworkers is Part of the Job

Face it, we work eight-to-10 hours a day and generally work with other people at some point. Whether we call it collaboration, teamwork, cooperation, compassion, or by another term, it is important for coworkers to have positive interaction with one another in order to increase productivity and worker satisfaction, and to reduce employee stress.  As author and coach John Maxwell titled his leadership book, “teamwork makes the dream work” because according to Maxwell, “a team makes you better than you are and allows you to help others do their best.” In an office, teamwork enables us to leverage the skills and experience of each individual on the team to achieve success. The key is that everyone works together and is willing to help one another.

Why Do We Help Others?

While leaders should encourage cooperation, people offer support to their coworkers for various reasons, some more altruistic than others. People who help a coworker who has asked for help, receive more appreciation and feel better about their interaction. Others who offer unsolicited assistance may face resistance and the recipient may feel that the helper is stepping into their space. It is preferable to ask, “how can I help you,” or to help the person to come up with a solution to a problem than to jump in and take over for the person initially responsible for the task.  If you are the person’s boss and you jump in to help too soon, the person may feel micromanaged or that the boss does not trust the person to complete the task or to make the right decision.

A person may decide to help another person in an effort to portray oneself as helpful, although the true motives here are self-serving. A better approach is to help others as a way to contribute to the success of the overall team or organization rather than only helping when it makes us look good. When we work together, everyone should feel more connected to one another and to the organization.

What Constitutes Helping?

Helping a coworker does not mean doing their work for them, and this practice can actually build resentment. Helping is an offshoot of team spirit and the idea that we are all working together to achieve a goal and we are all “in it together.” Helping begins on a new hire’s first day when we introduce the person to everyone and to the office (e.g. how to use the coffee maker). It means teaching fellow team members how to do something new such as sharing the discovery of a new app. It means it’s all hands on deck when there is a presentation later in the day and the copier that collates died and we have to do it manually. Most of all, helping means lending a hand or ear when the person needs it the most.

Creating an Environment of Cooperation

As leaders, we have the responsibility to create a culture in which helping one another is a core value. There is nothing wrong with friendly competition as in who can close the most targets this month, but if the culture is one of “eat or be eaten,” or “every person for themselves,” this situation can build unhealthy competition and in a worst-case scenario, a backstabbing, toxic environment. Let’s focus on the positive instead. Managers need to provide teams with a workspace that encourages cooperation. A remote workforce can still be a unified one through phone, email, Slack, and communication among all members and management needs to make sure all staff, regardless of location, feel involved and appreciated.

There is an expression “disposition, not position,” which refers to the fact that we each have our skill sets and interests.  For example, a strong writer can help team members to figure out how to phrase something. If one person is great with graphics, then she can create a graphic for another team member quickly, rather than having one person struggle and waste time trying to do it on his own.

When employees feel involved, understood, and personally helped by their coworkers, their stress levels fall and job satisfaction improves, which leads to greater productivity and retention. People who help others are better liked and have more positive interaction with other employees, improving their satisfaction and longevity with the organization. Sounds like a win-win.