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Meet Evan Nierman of Red Banyan in Deerfield Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Evan Nierman.

Evan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The path to entrepreneurship in South Florida was unexpected for me. But today, I believe leading a dynamic PR firm is precisely what I am supposed to be doing at this point in my life. Red Banyan combines both my passion for and experience in strategic communications.

Always a writer and someone who genuinely enjoys connecting with people, it made sense for me to study communications at George Washington University in D.C. As a student, I held a number of PR-related internships before graduating and going to work in the communications department of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, one of the leading advocacy organizations in Washington.

Seven years later, I acquired my first private sector business experience opening the Washington office for a boutique Los Angeles-based firm specializing in international PR and crisis communications. It was fascinating, complex and challenging work, but it also sparked my interest in starting a firm and doing things my own way.

Then, the CEO of a rapidly-growing startup in South Florida approached me to build out the communications department of his company. I took the leap and moved my family here.

After 18 months, I found myself at a crossroads and decided to follow my dream of building a smart, strategic and scrappy PR firm. I loved living in South Florida but wanted to keep one foot in Washington – and Red Banyan was born.

Seven years later, we are going strong and working with an ever-expanding roster of amazing clients who are true leaders in their respective industries. Critical to that success has been my involvement with Entrepreneurs’ Organization known as EO. The EO South Florida Chapter is recognized and respected worldwide as a dynamic group that engages leading entrepreneurs to learn and grows.

Has it been a smooth road?
Too often the media dedicates much of its focus to a handful of exceptional companies – the unicorns. That creates the false impression that for certain folks achievement is inevitable and the road to success is smooth. Other times, we mythologize or idolize entrepreneurs like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. This leads the average person to believe that some people are simply “born” to be successful.

But leaders are made, not born. And the hard reality is that creating, running and scaling any business is a tremendous amount of work that requires a significant risk tolerance, self-confidence and never-say-die grit and determination.

I always find it amusing when people congratulate me on the success of Red Banyan and remark that the company seems to have “taken off.” To those on the outside, it may appear that success has come easy. But behind the scenes I have been showing up every day, for years on end, leading and collaborating with a talented team. Together, we are relentlessly committed to living our core values and helping our clients.

The nature of both strategic communications and crisis PR has forced us to struggle to find balance in our lives. That is particularly true when you consider that our clients rely on us to be available and focused on them 24/7. And, although my colleagues operate at a tremendously high level, the rapid pace of the media sometimes makes it hard to for us to get the clients themselves to move fast enough, especially larger organizations with multiple layers.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Red Banyan is not your typical PR firm. We are an aggressive and results-oriented agency that maps out tailored, integrated approaches that are different for every client.

We have a unique expertise in the arena of crisis PR, which is highly unusual for a firm headquartered in South Florida. When the stakes are high, and the reputation of an organization or individual is at stake, we steadily guide clients through crises and help them turn challenges into opportunities.

I am most proud of the way my team always embodies our core values. For us, they are not empty words hanging on the wall at our offices. They truly guide and shape ever interaction with clients, the press, business partners and each other. These core values are: Results, Integrity, Commitment/Can-Do Attitude, Accountability, and Speed.

We are always at our best for the clients when we fulfill these core values. Part of my job as the leader is to ensure dedication to these guiding values and to build out a team of smart and driven communicators who fit our culture.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
South Florida offers a quality of life that you would be hard-pressed to match anywhere else in the United States. My kids get to play outside year-round, we have airports that fly direct to key destinations all over the world, the cost of living is reasonable, and we have a culture that celebrates life and exudes optimism.

In addition, the region’s cultural diversity is a huge plus, and I believe that the tri-county area will become an even better place to live and work. But we must continue to find new ways to connect businesses, entrepreneurs and communities in the area.

For these reasons, I feel South Florida is the right home for Red Banyan, even if much of the work that we do is in cities far away across the country and abroad.

One of the biggest challenges that Florida still needs to overcome is the brain drain of talented young people who leave the area in search of bigger and better opportunities. For our company, it is also often a challenge in this market to find seasoned PR professionals with the requisite experience to match the necessary mindset. But because we are patient, can articulate our value as a company to candidates, and know where to look, we attract and keep them.

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Image Credit:
Red Banyan

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