Today, a discussion with Daniela Manicinelli, CEO of North 6th Agency (N6A). Based in the Soho neighborhood of NYC, N6A is the pioneer of Outcomes Relations which is the first public relations offering that aligns with specific business outcomes that are most important to CMO‘s, CEOs and brand marketers today.Daniela joined N6A in 2015, and was appointed to CEO in December 2020. Before then, she served as Chief Operating Officer where under her leadership the company experienced annual revenue growth of more than 25%.
Where did your Public Relations journey begin?
I started as a Junior Publicist at a boutique PR firm in Los Angeles about 15 years ago. We represented various clients in the fashion, entertainment and film and television space, and it was a great and intense learning experience. I did everything from pitching key media outlets, walking clients down the red carpets of Hollywood and hosting international press junkets. I spent many years in entertainment, and that’s really where my passion for PR began.
N6A pioneered a new approach to public relations called Outcome Relations. What is OR and how is it transforming the industry?
Outcome Relations is a service model that is designed to align with the specific business outcomes of CEOs, CMOs and Brand Marketers. At the beginning of every engagement, N6A works closely with the client to identify the outcome that is most important to the client: Revenue, Competitive positioning, Capital Raise, M&A, Recruiting or Enterprise Value. We then create a customized, full-spectrum program focused on building a repository of credibility assets (media placements) and amplification strategies that are continuously measured and optimized over time to deliver that targeted outcome.
The Outcome Relations model has proven to be very successful for us – it resonates with our clients, and creates an internal culture of accountability and alignment in delivering a premium service and tangible, measurable results.
What changes has N6A made since the onset of the pandemic and how do you think the experience will affect the way the agency operates long after it is over?
Actually, the pandemic has not really impacted us as much as many other businesses. Fortunately, we have always had a very robust work-life balance program, including unlimited WFH. When the pandemic hit, we were able to pivot quickly to being fully remote with little to no disruption to the team. In fact, as we continue working remote, we have expanded our team across the country, concentrated industry-specific teams in various geographies, and now have key company leaders in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Boulder and Las Vegas. I think we have proven that the hybrid remote-live model is extremely effective, and is likely to be our new paradigm moving forward.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in cancelled campaigns, consumer marketing budget cuts, hiring freezes and payment delays for many agencies. How has N6A been able to remain successful and avoid employee layoffs?
Our people and team are our key assets, and we made a commitment in March 2020 to make sure we were able to create a stable environment for all our staff during this incredibly chaotic and stressful time. The leadership team met on a daily basis and we studied our business obsessively. Client retention became a priority and we worked with each client to preserve as much revenue as we could. We also leveraged our long-standing relationships and temporarily pivoted to project work versus long-term retainers – this obviously helped with short-term revenue mitigation, and has actually resulted in a very healthy and robust future pipeline. We also put in various mechanisms for daily cash and expense management, and I’m very proud to say that we were able to keep the team intact and did not lay off a single team member over the course of the pandemic.
In which industries are you currently seeing the most demand for your services?
We are actually very excited about our client pipeline, which is extremely healthy and quite diversified – I would say that we are seeing the most demand in B2B Tech, Healthcare, E-sports, Clean/Green tech, Cannabis and Professional Services.
North Sixth Group recently launched a full-suite, modern marketing, content and production house called Studios. How have you seen clients leverage these services to grow their brands?
Studios is actually a major milestone for us, and was really born as a result of many clients asking us to provide our expertise and services across all aspects of the marketing mix. I’m proud to say that we have already seen 25%+ of our clients engage us for demand and lead gen, digital marketing, dynamic content creation and optimization, and creative services.
What’s next for N6A?
We are extremely bullish about our future – we are now the clear leaders in measurable, results-driven Outcome Relations and like I said, our client pipeline has never been healthier. It was important for us to diversify into a full-spectrum services provider and the launch of Studios has accomplished that – this is something that we will continue to build upon. We listen carefully to our clients and always look to curate our offerings to their needs, and will soon be announcing some major developments in personalization tech and data analytics.
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