Tell us about you, your career, how you founded NINICO
Nicholas Adams: I founded NINICO Communications in 2011 after working at two Silicon Valley marketing and advertising agencies. The job market was just recovering from the most severe downturn since the Great Depression, so it was an interesting time to launch a company. Next year, we will celebrate our tenth anniversary, having created campaigns, developed messaging, and served as a publicist to some of California’s most storied brands and business leaders. Starting a business – and sustaining its success for a near-decade – has been the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. But it has also been a ton of fun.
How does NINICO innovate?
Nicholas Adams: Innovation takes many forms. It’s really a state of mind, a creative way of thinking. While we serve our clients with strong and strategic public relations and advertising initiatives, we are industry agnostic. Sometimes something that works for a retail or lifestyle brand can work for a real estate or tech brand. Our agency was founded as a company that believes in the power of partnership, so innovation for our team comes from the unique and meaningful relationships we cultivate on behalf of our own brand and for our clients. Everything from civic and service clubs to chambers of commerce adds value to the conversation and help shape new ideas for product launches, press conferences, and ad campaign rollouts.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Nicholas Adams: We have offices in Los Angeles and San Jose – respectively, the largest and third-largest cities in California – so we see the negative way the pandemic has created challenges for dense, urban regions. As COVID-19 pushes businesses to navigate unprecedented changes and develop creative pivots, public relations and advertising agencies find themselves in high demand. I think decision-makers learned from their mistakes in the Great Recession when they dropped their agencies when they needed them the most. That’s not happening right now for boutique firms. We’re growing – business leaders understand that strategy and messaging have never been more important.
What are the pandemic era lessons learned?
Nicholas Adams: No matter your industry or region, you must understand dynamic cultures and be able to create and connect quickly on behalf of clients. Businesses of any size want and deserve that special attention, especially in challenging economic times.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, and how do you project yourself and NINICO in the future?
Nicholas Adams: I always feel better when I make healthy eating choices, have some regular exercise, and ensure I have plenty of natural light in my home and office. It’s amazing what lots of windows or a skylight can do to brighten your day. I also love to play golf. It’s a nice balance for me of movement, fresh air, and camaraderie. Our agency’s future is bright.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nicholas Adams: We compete with all the major PR and ad agencies in Los Angeles and San Jose. Competition is great for business, and it’s awesome for the economy. Both the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles Business Journals have named NINICO Communications a top public relations agency throughout the regions – it’s something we are very proud of, and it’s all about partnership. Industry associations’ participation, civic engagement, and more. We are about creativity, connectivity, and collaboration.
Your final thoughts?
Nicholas Adams: Public relation is a process, not a tactic. The reality is, what you do during this COVID-19 crisis will make or break your brand. People are watching to see what your company does and will act accordingly when things move forward again. The key is adapting and leading at this moment in time. My not-so-secret sauce: surrounding myself with people smarter than I am.