#GirlBoss: Power Publicist Monika Dixon and her success with professional story-telling

Public Relations and advertising are an essential part of any business- if no body knows about you, your product or service, how would you sell? There are awesome champions who understand the art behind publicity and public knowledge of a business, projecting a company in the light that it deserves. Meet Monika Dixon from MDPR, one of those rockstars that have worked very hard to get to where she is right now through grace and patience. Her company, MDPR has been helping several companies grow in the Chicagoland area with impressive results. Despite growing up in communist Poland, life during those years were quite limited for her which forced her and her community to inject creativity and variety into her beautiful soul from a very young age. Building a special connection with nature, history and literature – Monika grew up to be quite the story teller, never skipping elements from nature in her work palette and ethic. Meet entrepreneur and publicist Monika Dixon with current thoughts about the industry and more:

 

Who was your Role Model, growing up?

My grandmother Rozalia had a big influence on my imagination as she was a natural born story teller. Every night she would either read to me or tell me stories of my parents as kids – those were my favorite! I would also bake a lot with her and she would quote pages and pages of different books and authors. She was incredible. I was also inspired to travel the world- I had a 1,568 postcard collection growing up, a stamp collection and can tell you any day how many mushrooms I picked on any fall day!

My Chicago

I came to the US in 2002 with only $200 in my pocket. I had a friend who lived here and that is how I selected Chicago. I love this city because of the people that I have met here.  Moving to a different country on my own was one of the most terrifying decisions I have made. Despite being afraid of the unknown (moving to a country I had no cultural or social connection with), it turned out to be the most spiritually fruitful and motivating period of my life. I soon discovered Chicagoans to be open-minded, welcoming and compassionate. They respect honesty, feedback and creativity – which I live on! Chicago vibes feed my need to constantly connect people.
 

On motherhood: how do you juggle family and business?

Motherhood is challenging, but also incredibly beautiful. It is a job on its own and I praise all Moms everyday! My children are my teachers. Their needs, their fears, their victories, their challenges make me a better mother, woman and friend because they bring me back to reality, back to what really matters in life. Now, I look at the world through their prism and want to make sure that their self love and self confidence is strong enough to support their own choices as kids or when they grow up.

Juggling family and being a boss is my reality. It’s a difficult choice but it’s a good balance for me and hence, I do not complain. I take it as a blessing and try to do my best everyday. My kids are very much involved in my work schedule. They know my clients, they know what a logo is, what a tag line is. Nadia and Enzo have probably created 10 business plans already – little entrepreneurs! It is actually really funny but it makes us US, the unconventional family unit.

Chicago is quite well known for it’s Advertising and Public Relations Industry. How did you manage to create a niche for your business with so much competition?

I’ve created a niche by focusing on specific industries that I am very familiar with- the hospitality, lifestyle and fashion scene in Chicago. We are very much a local PR house that will take your company to the next level or help kick start a business from a single idea. We get involved with all matters that reflect the brand in order to ultimately achieve excellent publicity within the industry – from getting involved in the logo design process, creating their website and prepare the public relations / influencer marketing strategy. I like to think of MDPR as a one stop shop that will guide you intuitively to take the right steps for your company based on our knowledge in the above industry.

How did you set up business?

I learned everything on my own and there were several challenges conquered towards entrepreneurship.
Successful business ownership requires leadership and I have learned over the years that leadership is an art and you have to put your pride aside.
My business is dependent on highly skilled publicists who know how to achieve results. While setting up business, I was able to quickly recognize talent in others and help them perfect their talents while building confidence in their skillset. Someone once said, “humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less and others more.” Great things start with humble beginnings. Currently we have clients in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

How has PR changed recently? 

Creating a successful PR campaign is an effective way to raise awareness for your business, build credibility with your audience, send out a positive message to your customers, and manage your brand’s reputation.  PR has evolved and modern media targeting is very different from the traditional approach. The advertising industry as we know it is shifting towards influencer marketing and we have been lucky enough to grow with this change, providing us with an edge.
Influencers have the power to impact your consumers’ buying decisions, and how we spend our time, what we read, what we watch, our daily habits have been changed by technology.
You have to understand people’s behavior to be able to tap into their interests. Agencies—and clients—are blurring the lines between public relations, marketing, content creation, influencer alignment and branding.

Success Secrets? Any tips for publicists?  

To be honest, it is not easy running a business and I am overwhelmed every single day – entrepreneurship is rewarding but has it’s daily challenges. There is no such thing as “outgrowing” your struggles. Naturally, there are times when I am stuck but if you are doing something of value, feeling that way is simply part of life and the sooner you accept it the better business leader you will be. Big Tip: Regardless of your age, if you are doing anything productive you will learn something everyday – just remind yourself of that. There will always be an element of risk in business (and life), forcing you to move forward by faith & based on the best information you possess at the time. Another tip: Make sure that you are always well informed! Allow your job to teach you lessons, never miss the life principles intended for you. Sometimes I may be doing great things and no one will notice and the same goes for my employees. To them there might be moments where it seems like nobody cares, but the best approach here is to find personal satisfaction of your own work and not pay attention to public recognition because it will always come, it may just not come in the moment when we need it.
My ultimate goal for success is to lead people towards a noble place and better than their current reality. Success naturally occurs in the world of PR if you work in terms of “we”,”us”, “our”, the more you people you include, the more they’ll feel included and the more likely you drive successful result.

Daily mantra

Wake up happy- Greet my kids with a little pep in my step, get them energized for the day and welcome my MDPR team with an energized “Good Morning”.
 

My Quote for life 

I heard Jack Hanna once say ‘Touch The Heart To Teach The Mind’ and it really resonated with me.

Photos: Simply By Suzi & @bho_biscuit

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