Nicole “Cole” is vivacious and a doer. When she puts her mind to something that something is done but with flair. Formerly a Corporate PR/Marketing dynamo her entrepreneurial spirit kept creeping through that it ultimately led to her newest company Pink Graffiti. A boutique marketing agency focused on the small biz that is going to change the world and go even further with a little help from Cole.
1. When I think of Cole Hernandez I think of PR/Marketing powerhouse. You’ve worked with some pretty incredible brands and companies, what inspired you to start your own company Pink Graffiti?
I’m pretty sure I was born to be an entrepreneur. I was creating members-only bicycle clubs when I was just 10. I also collaborated with my grandma at age 13 to create handmade jewelry, and I sold that door-to-door in my little suburban neighborhood. That scrappiness eventually led me to the hospitality, tourism and wellness industries, and I’ve been blessed to work with companies like 1 Hotels, Lotte New York Palace, The Surrey as well as wellness experts and non-profits.
I started Pink Graffiti because I wanted to bring more heart to the marketing industry. Marketing and advertising get such a bad rap, but when you break down the word to MARKET-ING, you see that we actually get back to the root of the industry, communicating to a specific market or segment of the population.
I think all entrepreneurs are headstrong and visionary. We want to do it our way. For me, that means working with clients that actually give a damn about their customers, their products and their impact on the planet. I want to end each day knowing I did some good in the world.
2. Before there was Pink Graffiti there was the Sassification a motivational website and Instagram that really is a pick me up! Tell us what led you to the Sassification and the meaning behind it.
I think The Sassifcation is a perfect example of allowing a brand or concept to breathe like a good wine. Too many businesses have new ideas and concepts that never really go anywhere because they aren’t listening to their audience. The analytics don’t lie. The Sassification started as spiritually guided resource for shy ladies, and after testing the market, I realized that people didn’t want to be identified as such publicly. They wanted a quick boost of confidence. I moved towards motivational messages with a dash of sass. I’m ultimately serving the same purpose, but the voice/tone are different. I’ve also started creating products for The Sassification’s followers like a magical, messaging-revealing coffee mug that reads: SHIFT HAPPENS.
3. PR is challenging for a brand to do on it’s own, so when hiring a PR/Marketing agency what are the most important things a new business should remember?
Good question. I feel like this could be it’s own stand alone piece, but let’s start with some high-level notes.
Many companies hire marketing and PR agencies to increase awareness and profitability, but they expect their business is going to transform in a week…maybe a month. That’s unrealistic. The truth is that it can require 60-120 days to begin seeing the results of your investment. This is especially true for public relations because journalists can be working on content that will not be published for 4-6 months.
I’ll add a few additional helpful tips here. Be very leery of any agency representative that promises you the world during their presentation or proposal. If he/she promises to get you coverage in a specific magazine, I think you should just run. You can never guarantee coverage even if you have good contacts. Also ask to meet the exact account members of your team. Trust me. I’ve seen PR agencies lock businesses into annual contracts with a $10K retainer, turn the work over to a very junior staff and not really produce much for their client.
4. As a PR person I’ve felt like you’re the “agent” for the brand. What is your favorite part of PR and something people don’t realize?
My favorite part of PR is ideation and storytelling through a branding lens. A great publicist will always want to dig deep into your brand before ever writing a pitch. It’s important to understand the demographics and psychographics of the end user so that you can create a targeted and thoughtful PR plan or campaign.
5. Where do you hope to see Pink Graffiti in the next 5 years?
I see Pink Graffiti as a movement towards marketing & communications with soul and substance. I’d ultimately love to run a remote-based, boutique agency. I also want to create training systems that teach others the foundation of this philosophy. Oh…and I’ll be creating some mindful marketing retreats that combine luxury travel, spirituality and strategy. (Imagine being beachside with a pina colada while working on your badass marketing plan. Plus, you can count on dance breaks, morning meditation and excursions.)
6. Is there anything else you want our members to know?
YESSS! On June 25th, I’m launching the LET’S GET IT STARTED: 7-Day Challenge. This is ideal for someone who needs the basic, beginners guide to marketing. In fact, it is perfect for the newbie who keeps getting stuck or procrastinates on the launch of her business. Each morning, you’ll get a new challenge for the day that will range from working on your brand proof points to setting up an email sales funnel. Did I mention it is absolutely FREE? Just sign up at www.pinkgraffiti.co/getitstarted.