We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Dunn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I have always been a risk-taker. I can remember as a second grader taking all kinds of risks that no one else was even thinking about at that age. I knew what I wanted, and how I was going to go get it. When I was working in television as a Producer, I remember I would read about someone in Hollywood that I wanted to meet with – and I would find someone I had a relationship with that knew them or I would just straight cold call them. That is a great way to take a risk, get them on the phone. I can remember doing this with Ghen Maynard who was a Senior Executive over at CBS Studios and helmed Survivor. I just cold-called him and the next thing I knew I was sitting in his office pitching a television idea I had. When I started my Public Relations firm, I had no idea how to do PR let alone run my own business. (I did have a television background which had a similar skill set – but I had always worked for someone else). I was encouraged by my husband with the idea of starting my own business so I took a risk and set up an office in my home, built a website, joined a mastermind, got my first client Tony Horton from P90X and I was off and running. All I had were the relationships I built working in television, a phone, and the internet – and I got some of the best coverage of my career in PR for him! I did not let anything get in my way, and what I didn’t know I learned from others who were smarter than me and I got a coach for just about everything to help me excel. Yesterday I decided that our company will start working with a lead generation company out of Isreal called Prymatica. I like the potential of what they offer and I know its expensive but the benefits of getting one great lead that will pay itself outway the risks. I took a chance with an SEO company Astound Edge out of India a year ago and am so happy I did so. They have helped us grow online to get bigger, better clients. I continue to take risks every day personally and professionally.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our Public Relations firm Dunn Pellier Media is focused on fitness, health, wellness, and lifestyle. We are at the center of health and wellness. It’s not only our job to help brands in the health space with PR, its what we live and breathe. From Natural Beauty to the hottest workouts we are right at the pulse of this growing marketplace. We’re tapped into the global wellness space and always above the trend. It’s in our veins – creativity, innovation, balance, relationship builders, conversation starters, results-driven, health enthusiasts, fitness junkies. Its taken work and dedication to get where we are today. To gain the trust of so many wellness brands and doctors is not an easy task. The media landscape and media trends are always changing, especially in today’s media climate. Staying on top of those trends helps us do better PR and get better results for our clients. We are most proud of our last two years of business. We have really excelled and created great systems for our company that have helped us grow and expand our business and our capabilities. We took a deep dive into what we offer to brands, how we service the accounts, how we garner results. We hired someone to help us with business development and got a sales coach to help us learn new tactics to bring in better business with higher-paying clients. We have found that the methods we implemented are forward-thinking and our sales coach Heather Johnson has redefined the way we think and get business leads. Our prior challenge was that we were never 100% focused on the business leads – the referrals came in and if it was a good fit we worked on it. Now, our approach is much different. We choose the client just as much as they are choosing us! We have found the brands that took a risk and did positive PR during the homestay and COVID-19 had higher sales numbers and better media coverage to elevate their brand. Trends happen fast and news cycles help fuel the rise of new and innovative wellness brands. Public relations is the secret weapon for building a brand. PR is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the rest of the world in normal times, but in these new times, where everything has gone online, its importance has increased beyond measure. Public relations is often the force behind brands that “suddenly” skyrocket into growth. It’s just like those “overnight successes” you may have seen. They may seem like an overnight success, but in truth, they have been working strategically to grow and build their products and brands so that when the time was right, they were the experts to call on. PR positioned them to be those experts. PR is about building that foundation, and we are proud to have helped so many people and brands do that. It is paying off now during these times more than any other time that we have seen.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would first take them to my home in Topanga Canyon. It’s so peaceful and the mountains are beautiful. Since I love to cook, we would have a home-cooked meal, including appetizers and cocktails, and ending the night listening to some of Val’s amazing clients he is working within music. The following day we would explore Malibu, the beaches, and all it has to offer. That night we would venture over to Santa Monica to have dinner at Ingo’s Tasty Diner (one of our favorite restaurants in the city). The people are so nice and the food is oh so good! Next, I would suggest that they go explore Hollywood (I have done this one far too many times). Going for a walk down Hollywood Blvd to see the stars on the walk of fame, Mans Chinese Theater and all of the characters dressed up along the way. Book that private tour at Paramount and really see what Hollywood and movie making is all about! End the night by meeting for dinner at the famous Dresden to see the famous piano act, Marty and Elayne. Next up we would be driving up to Lake Tahoe to our cabin to see one of the most beautiful places in the world. We would take a boat ride on the lake, swim, hike, bike, eat (at our favorite Italian restaurant Cafe Fiore), and relax!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would say that we all need to give ourselves credit first and foremost. We all choose things in life and make decisions on who to choose to support, mentor, and get encouragement from. It’s how we apply this to our lives in a positive way to gain success. There are many people in my life who have given me support, love, and encouragement. First, my parents Barbara Earley and William Dunn always encouraged me to be open-minded and to try everything to see what I was good at. My brother Joel Dunn who has always given me support on so many levels of life is so educated and smart about everything. There are so many people at different times in my life that supported and mentored me along my journey. When it came to college, my professor Dr. Charles Simmons encouraged me to get involved in Journalism and to find a job producing television. Kent Skov, owner of the LA Connection Comedy Theater taught me all about running a business and how to create sales. Marc Torcasio who encouraged me to go and get that first job in television on the Weakest Link. Colin Whelan who gave me my first real producing opportunity. I went to him and told him that I could do the job in my sleep and the next day I came in – I was officially a producer. Andrew Greenberger who knew how good of a producer I was and always told me how awesome my work was. In the next stage of my life and career, I would say there is one single person who has encouraged me with my efforts and talents and growth of myself and my business and supported me – that would be my husband Val Garay. Val is one of the most successful music producers and engineers of his time, with over 100 Gold and Platinum records and six Grammy wins. He has been the one that I go to every step of the way and my success and my business continues to grow. Of course, I have mentors too who deserve recognition; Michael Levine in PR, Zachary Tindall in PR, Karen Luniw my business coach, and Heather Johnson my sales coach.
Photo Credit: Wealthfit (for Nicole Dunn photos)