NJF an MMGY Global Company
Nancy Friedman, Partner
With over 30 years in the business, NJF Public Relations’ Nancy Friedman has developed the ultimate one-stop shop for travel, hospitality and lifestyle clients. Now, having merged with MMGY Global, NJF extends its reach even further. Read on to find out how Nancy keeps up with the ever-changing PR landscape, and discover what differentiates the best hotels from the rest.
What does your
NJF is a global integrated marketing firm specializing in
the travel, hospitality and lifestyle field. The New York office focuses on
public relations, social/digital and experiential supported by research,
advertising, web dev, branding and representation across the company in
How did you start the
business? What were you doing at the time?
I was the in-house PR counsel for Ian Schrager and Steve
Rubell following the launch of Morgans, the first design-forward boutique hotel
and Palladium nightclub. It was a fabulous job, but I had a lot of offers to do
others’ PR, so I opened my own firm and took on great clients; one of whom is
still my client today!
How has the PR
business changed since you started out? When was your favorite time to work in
The pace has changed, the media landscape has changed, but
the selling of a good story remains constant. In the early part of my career, I
got a cover story in Time magazine, had Today Show anchors promoting a local
festival, got huge spreads in the New York Times. Those aren’t that likely
today, but I’m still passionate about every aspect now as I did when I started.
I love the deeper well of knowledge I have now, but miss being in the weeds
getting a buzz with every placement.
In a time of huge
flux in the industry, where are you focusing your agency’s efforts in terms of
day-to-day work? Is the brief from clients evolving rapidly with this change,
or to what extent has it remained similar to the past?
The briefs include more even if the budgets don’t increase. Experiential,
social, influencers and traditional are all desirable for clients. I only wish
budgets kept pace!
What do you think are
the ‘hot topics’ in the communications/PR/marketing area right now?
I’m not sure the topics change that much. Time management,
evaluating measurement, integrating numerous disciplines into how you
NJFPR recently joined forces with MMGY Global – what compelled
this merger and how is it impacting the agency and its clients?
After running a successful business for 28+ years, I wanted
more opportunities for my staff, to join a global powerhouse and offer clients
a “one-stop-shop”. The owners promised building a “best-in-class” global
business and that was very appealing to me.
You’ve worked with
dozens of leading hotels – what do you think differentiates the best?
The best hotels tend to have visionaries associated with
them. People who pour passion and care into the properties. Those hotels have
soul and a point of view. Those are the properties in my sweet spot.
What are some travel
destinations on your list right now?
I keep a bucket list on my desk. In the next year or two, I
plan to experience Botswana, Cape Town, Colombia, Lake Como, Alaska and return
Are there any
business, political or other figures who you admire, and why?
Many. I admire Warren Buffett, Cecile Richards, Roger
Federer, George Clooney, The Obama family and many others. They demonstrate
Can you share a
couple of your biggest learnings in running a successful business?
Take care of your team. Hire well. Mentor. Collaborate.
Treat your staff as you want to be treated. Make your clients happy and your
business will succeed.