Nancy Thompson is president and founder of Vorticom, a PR company whose main goal is to increase the value of the companies they work with by delivering high impact strategic media placements. In addition to founding Vorticom, Nancy is also a published author of four books on internet communications. She has a rich past of experience in marketing and public relations with some large and well-known brands. Nancy is a shining example of a woman who has rooted, sewn, and grown a successful wild web business!
Meet Nancy Thompson!
What inspired you to launch a web-based business? While Vorticom is not a web-based business, per say, our presence on the Internet is crucial. The majority of our outbound media work is done via the web using high-end, comprehensive media databases as well as support tools for monitoring print, online and broadcast media. We also maintain business pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
What do you love most about having your own business? The buck stops here (meaning with me) when you have your own business. The accountability and the challenge is enormous, but the rewards are quite sweet.
What is most challenging about running a business? See above! 🙂 In addition to the account work accountability, there is the accountability involved with running the day-to-day business. Right now as the world is reeling with COVID-19, our day-to-day media pitching has dramatically changed. Media outreach pertaining to the pandemic needs to be crafted that is insightful and helpful.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments? Generating outstanding media on behalf of Vorticom clients is definitely something I am proud of. Whether it is getting a biotech client featured in Forbes.com, an IoT technology client on The Small Business Advocate show, or an energy storage client on Bloomberg BNN TV, each placement feels victorious and helps move that company’s narrative forward.
What are some professional risks you’ve taken that led to positive outcomes? Deciding to start my own consultancy in 2003 was a professional risk as I was coming from the relative comfort of an executive position at a global PR agency prior. To take that risk, I had to weigh-out the pro’s and con’s of starting a PR consultancy and I ultimately decided that the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Where’s your favorite place to get work done? My office, which is tricked out with a high-performance computer, and with NYC cityscape views is my favorite place to get work done. While I can get work done on the road, there is nothing better than being at your own desk in your own office.
Name three web tools you can’t live without.
- Cision Media Database is a critical web tool that we could not live without.
- TV Eyes offers a fast and convenient way to access and download broadcast content.
- Meltwater is a media intelligence tool that we use for international media tracking.
What is the one book you would recommend other female entrepreneurs read? I would recommend that every entrepreneur read “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. It masterfully presents a World War II story of survival, resilience and redemption focused on the heroic life of Louis Zamperini. Zamperini not only survived, but he thrived in his life post being imprisoned in prisoner of war camps. If he could survive and later thrive, we should all be able to pull out our inner warriors to tackle anything we have to.
What does your typical day look like? I wake up every day around 7 a.m. and pour myself a big, strong cup of coffee. I then proceed to read my New York newspapers, The New York Times, The New York Daily News and The New York Post. While I access a lot of their content online, I still like to read an actual physical newspaper. By 8:30 am, I am in my office and my work day begins. I go through my overnight emails and then plan my to-do list. Some days I have to write a bylined article (or two) on behalf of a client, other days I have to come up with compelling pitches to land a client media interviews, and pre-COVID-19, I might be at a client’s office for meetings.
How do you unplug from work? I like to read, whether that is a serious non-fiction book or novel, or magazines, and love to listen to music. Also, I love getting hooked on a new television series. My husband and I just finished binge-watching The Americans and were so sorry to get so quickly to the final episode in their 6th season!
What tips for maintaining work/life balance would you give to other businesswomen? Take your business seriously and ensure that every day accomplishments are made. However, don’t work 24/7. Everyone of us, even entrepreneurs, need time to decompress.
What is a quote you live by? “Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.” – Albert Einstein
What investments have most helped your business grow? I have met many public relations entrepreneurs who fail to purchase the online tools of the trades like Cision. I think it is impossible to compete against the Goliath’s of this world, if you don’t invest in these vital information tools. Yes, these tools are expensive, but they are worth their weight in gold.
What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t be afraid to take a risk on yourself. Follow what President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Do what you can with all you have, wherever you are.”
What is the number one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to run a web-based business? Focus-in on a business that you have experience in and love doing. You’ll need that experience to be able to thrive, but what’s the point of working so hard, if you aren’t enjoying what you do every day?