Nicholas E. Adams on the Power of Partnership

March 2022
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Name: Nicholas E. Adams

Job title: President & CEO, NINICO Communications

Location: San Jose & Los Angeles (split time)

Career highlights: Signing NINICO’s first Fortune 50 client, opening our second office and being named a top agency in both our regions annually

Downtime activities: Golf, travel, wine tasting and driving the weekend toy
(1985 Alfa Romeo Spider)

Any three dinner guests: Bob Iger, Betty White, President Obama

Books recently enjoyed: “Smart Tribes,” “The Culture Solution” and “The Ride of a Lifetime”

Favorite words of wisdom: From mom: “It’s not always what you say — it’s how you
say it.” 

Nicholas Adams - formal full length

At what point did you know that a career in PR/communications was for you? 

In my earlier days, I worked at a newspaper and an events production company. But, it wasn’t until I experienced time in the trenches at agencies that I knew I was all-in with public relations. I love having my hands in 40 cookie jars every week. There’s certainly never a normal — or boring — day in public relations. 

You champion the motto “The Power of Partnership.” How did this come about, and what does this mean to you?

From engagement with associations and nonprofits to community groups and civic clubs, partnerships drive business development opportunities and create meaningful stories. Power of Partnership® is much more than a trademark our agency owns, it’s the core of our ethos, the foundation upon which our publicists, strategists and creators build success for clients. 

NINICO Communications turned 10 years old in 2021. What are some of the more profound ways that you’ve seen the PR business evolve during that time?

In today’s fast-moving news cycle and at a time when everyone with a social media account is a self-deputized journalist, the role of the press providing credible information is more important than ever — and that means the role of a PR professional is too. We all see the changes that have occurred with social media and now the pandemic. 

Evolution of industry is good — even healthy, but we must remain focused on holding ourselves to high standards and expect excellence from our teams. Evolution weeds out the weak and mediocre. That’s a good thing. 

Any crystal-ball predictions on how the communications profession will evolve over the next 10 years?

PR execs and agencies stepped up as trusted advisors during this pandemic, when everything was up in the air and no one knew what was going to happen next. And that trust will stay with clients as we move forward and meet new challenges. 

Tools for measurement of secured coverage is still a growth area. I see many platforms coming online to compete in this space. Data is driving conversations with clients and ultimately revenue. AI will help newer platforms innovate and scale. 

As we enter the third year of pandemic life, what has been top of mind for you and the agency?

No matter a client’s industry or region, we must understand dynamic cultures and be able to create and deploy quickly. Connecting a marketing and messaging process to our clients’ business development goals is key. Businesses of any size want and deserve that special attention — that red carpet experience. 

You serve on several boards, including the San Jose Chamber of Commerce and Symphony San Jose. Why is this service important to you?

While my involvement with business associations and service organizations in both Los Angeles and San Jose is important to keeping our agency and brand close to conversations significant to our regions, I’m most excited about the time I spend with arts organizations. 

A city without art is a city without a soul. Civic engagement is a mighty responsibility, and I’m committed to supporting organizations that fuel creativity, connectivity and collaboration. 

You’ve completed several of PRSA’s Certificate Programs including leadership communication and reputation management. Why did you decide to pursue this training? 

Knowledge is how we create meaningful and relevant access and opportunities for ourselves and others. Sometimes we are the teacher, sometimes the pupil. Just because one is CEO doesn’t mean one no longer has anything to learn.

Return to Current Issue Creativity & Innovation | March 2022
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