I’m Nora DePalma, president and CEO of Dialogue, and I’m pleased to meet you.
I launched Dialogue to create a marketing agency that was everything I ever wanted a business to be. I wanted a business built on a team of thoughtful, creative, and engaged A-players who bring their A-game to meaningful work for clients on a mission to:
Promote wellness and well-being through innovative products and services.
Create a sense of place in our working and living environments.
Encourage diversity and inclusion and walk-the-walk in terms of social good.
To me, these are the dialogues that matter most in today's world.
A Brief Personal History
I was born for business. When I was a little girl, my parents would read to me.
From the Wall Street Journal stock market pages.
I can still see my Mom explaining to me that the stock symbol ATT stood for American Telephone & Telegraph and that it was a great American company.
I’m 8 years old.
Those grey tiny-type columns probably presaged my “spreadsheet ninja” persona, but my parents brought business alive in a way that engaged me.
They told me it was good to work hard and to make money and to build wealth for others.
They taught me that people want to feel like they can contribute and reap the rewards of hard work and anyone who could build such an environment for people was doing a really good thing.
An Entrepreneur by Opportunity
These lessons from my parents had a tremendous impact on my career goals for myself, but I wasn’t an entrepreneur by birth. I was an entrepreneur by opportunity. And by opportunity, I mean a family circumstance where my caregiving requirements exceeded anything most corporations would permit. I knew how difficult it would be to find an employer that would support someone who needed several hours off each week to get family members in and out of doctors' offices.
That was the opportunity that led me to create the business I started 18 years ago. I’ve evolved it through different brands, but always with the same North Star of core values:
To build a business that would attract top talent by offering a flexible working environment.
To extend that flexibility to clients as a partner in their marketing departments through short-term tactical projects and long-term retained relationships.
Engagement Strategy Evolves from Public Relations
Several of us at Dialogue spent a lot of our careers in public relations. The same public relations skillset of earning the attention of your audience is at the heart of engagement strategy.
The difference between advertising and public relations has always been that public relations requires earning attention vs. paying for it.
Today, the best advertising is designed to earn attention. A paid ad or native content that stops your targets in their tracks has earned their attention if it’s good enough, inspiring enough, or helpful enough.
Which is the big difference between engagement strategy vs. traditional marketing: it has to earn the attention of your audience. Not interrupt it.
We’ve taken that “earned attention” mindset and applied it to traditional and digital marketing tactics in order to build value for our client’s brands and ideas.
At every touchpoint, it’s not a monologue, it’s a dialogue.