Just aired: Episode 3 of Next Up at Next Step! This installment showcases the bubbly and talented Kate Nichols—an Account Executive for Next Step Communications (NSC). Kate’s passion for writing and storytelling has made her a vital part of our team and this has shown in the work produced for our clients OvuSense and Glaukos. Keep reading to learn more about Kate, including her favorite travel spots, memorable NSC moments, and any advice she has for those entering Public Relations.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I’m originally from Ipswich, Massachusetts, and currently reside in Boston with my husband and two dogs—a mischievous Siberian Husky named Blue and a quirky Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Ozzie. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I worked as an editor of the school newspaper – the UMass Daily Collegian.
WHAT WORK AT NSC ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I am most proud of the work we do at NSC that helps others. With our client OvuSense, we run an affiliate program aimed at increasing brand awareness and sales through partnerships with consumer and clinical influencers. As part of the partnership, we occasionally offer free ovulation monitors to affiliates who are trying to conceive themselves. It is extremely rewarding to watch these affiliates learn more about their cycles and bodies, or even become pregnant after years of trying, through the work that we are doing.
I am also really proud of the work we do in sharing others’ stories. With our client Glaukos, we have the opportunity to speak with people who are living with keratoconus or glaucoma, learn about their journeys from diagnosis to treatment, and then document those stories to help spread awareness and support surrounding these conditions. It’s a great feeling to give a voice to someone who may not have the opportunity to share their story otherwise, and to help bring awareness to certain medical conditions many may not know about.
IF YOU COULD ONLY DO ONE ASPECT OF PR WORK, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
This is a toss-up between content creation and media relations. I have been passionate about writing ever since I was a little girl, so drafting blogs and press releases is definitely one of my favorite parts of the job. On the other hand, securing a media opportunity for a client is probably one of the best wins you can get, and that feels pretty rewarding as well.
I also really enjoy the variety of work that comes along with working at an agency. One minute, I’ll be working with an influencer who is promoting a product to help women who are trying to have a baby, and the next minute, I’ll be speaking with a patient who has finally found relief for her chronic pain after 32 years of suffering. The variety keeps things exciting, and it’s very meaningful work at the same time.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT NSC?
I joined NSC during the pandemic, so we’ve been working from home and I haven’t actually met many of my colleagues in-person (although it feels like I have!). However, we’ve still certainly been able to create many fun memories. My favorite memory so far has been during the 2020 NSC Holiday Party, when we all attended a Zoom bartending class and learned how to make fancy cocktails. It was fun learning something new together and tasting some drinks that we may not normally have tried.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO OUTSIDE OF NSC?
When I’m not working at NSC, you can usually find me on a walk with my dogs, snowboarding, reading thrillers, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends and family. I also love to travel!
ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE ENTERING OR INTERESTED IN PR?
Get as much experience as you can! NSC offers an awesome internship program, and the interns tackle a lot of hands-on work, so it’s a great way to really learn what the PR world is like early on. Also, and I can’t emphasize this enough – networking is extremely important!
MUST-HAVE ITEM THAT IS ALWAYS ON YOU?
Water! I’m a little intense about staying hydrated.
GO-TO PIZZA SLICE?
Pepperoni, cooked crispy, preferably from Regina’s in Boston. That, or chicken bacon ranch from Antonio’s in Amherst.
FIRST THING YOU WANT TO DO WHEN LIFE BECOMES MORE ‘NORMAL’?
Hug my friends and enjoy a drink at a bar.
FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE TRAVELLED?
Tanzania, Africa! I went on a safari with my family in 2014 and it was the coolest thing I have ever done (and probably will ever do). We watched elephants bathe in the Serengeti at sunset, spotted lions hunting in Ngorongoro Crater, and caught the tail-end of the great migration in Tarangire National Park. I enjoyed learning some Swahili (poa kichizi kama ndizi, anyone?), visiting the Masai tribe, sampling local cuisine favorites, such as plantain chips, and waking up to the sounds of nature. I hope to return one day! I have also really enjoyed visiting Thailand, France, Peru, Nashville, Miami, and Vermont, to name a few.