Palmetto PR Diva Dish – Nicole Cendrowski, owner of Big Gnome

Liza and I would like to welcome Nicole Zokan Cendrowski to Greenville!  She and her husband moved from Charleston and – while they are still getting settled – she was nice enough to meet us yesterday for coffee to tell us her story.  We had a blast and look forward to seeing her around town more often!  Here’s the scoop:

Nicole Zokan Cendrowski


o        Please provide title and a brief description of what you do:


I’m the owner of Big Gnome, a full-service public relations and marketing communications firm. 


o        How did you become interested in the public relations/advertising industry?


I loved writing and majored in English, but I didn’t want to work in academia or become a journalist. I landed a writing and account management job with a public relations and marketing firm. They pretty much took a chance on an unknown kid.


o        What changes have you seen in the industry that is the most interesting to you?


Social media on the Web and determining if and when to use it. It can be a PR nightmare. If there are major problems within an organization, they’ll be exposed even more quickly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it demands accountability and change.


o        Are you involved in any professional associations?  If so, what are they and what do you learn by being involved?


I attend PRSA and AMA meetings. I’ve learned how invaluable networking is with other people in the industry, made several life-long friends, and built strong working relationships. Young Professionals happy hours are fun, too.


o        What is the one piece of advice you would give students that are interested in pursuing a career in the public relations/investor relations/marketing industry?


Create your own internship, volunteer opportunity, or job. Volunteer with an organization that you love or a cause that you believe in. Offer your skills to their PR committee, marketing department, or development/fundraising office. Pitch stories and do freelance writing for local/regional publications, or whomever you want. It’s amazing what can happen when you take that step on your own.


o        What is the best thing about your job?


Being my own boss. Once you’re used to taking a break to go for a bike ride, run, nap whenever you want (or need to), the idea of ever returning to a traditionally structured job is unattractive.


o        What is the thing you like least about your job?


Being my own boss (haha). Actually, what I like least is dealing with people that are dishonest and/or seem to thrive on drama or crisis. Running my own business, I can make the decision to walk away, take action, and do whatever is needed to eliminate/minimize exhaustive relationships.


o        Are there any exciting announcements you’d like to tell us about (either with your company or one of your clients)?


Big Gnome is going green – Greenville, S.C., that is! My husband and I recently moved from Charleston to the Upstate. I won’t be a stranger to the Lowcountry though. I’m stoked about possibly working on some craft beer-related events down there later this year. I’m a bit crazy about beer. If anyone wants to meet up at Barley’s in Greenville sometime, call me.


o        How do you balance your professional career with your personal life?


Prayer and exercise. I’m a driven and committed person, so I naturally throw myself into client work. I have to cut myself off. The work will always be there. Step away, take a deep breath, and have fun. Also, having a husband who can help me slow down is such a gift.


o        Anything else you would like to add?


Many thanks to Jacque Riley with Riley Communications for nominating me for this week’s profile.




  1. Great interview and congrats on the move to G’ville!

  2. […] 24, 2008 For your reading pleasure, check out my recent guest blog on Palmetto PR Divas, a fun and informative public relations blog created by Kim Banks of Simko […]

  3. Nicole is a great person to profile for PR Divas! She is amazing and I recommend her services highly! Go Big Gnome Go!!!

  4. Glad to see Nicole profiled…she’s one of my best friends and an AWESOME PR pro!!!

  5. […] the interest of total transparency, I think I should also mention that Brian is Nicole Cendrowski’s husband. But even though I wasn’t “cold pitching,” the information obviously had […]

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