Public Relations Awards

How to Win in the PR Game: Tips from Stevie Awards Winner Nikki Tanis

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 @ 06:07 PM

Nikki Tanis, president of Tanis Communications in San Jose, California, USA will chair the final judging committee for the Public Relations Awards categories of The 2014 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the US. (There is still time to enter the 2014 competition. Learn more here.)

Tanis Communications won the Gold Stevie in the PR awards categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, and was named the 8th-ranked communications agency in the San Jose Metro area in the 2013 Inc. 5000. We asked Nikki what made Tanis Communications stand out in the fields of marketing and communications.

A New World Order

“The world of marketing, PR, and communications has dramatically changed,” Nikki told us. “No longer can companies manage their internal and external communications in silos. Today's forward-thinking companies recognize it's the content—strategically crafted and produced with high quality—that drives engagement, awareness, differentiation, action, and loyalty across target audiences. A single piece of content crosses traditional boundaries and can be repurposed for PR, for employee communications, for direct marketing, for social channels, and for the web.” 

Continued Nikki: “We created our agency with this new world order in mind, staffed with people from the corporate world who have walked in the shoes of our clients. As a result we become indispensable to them—that one-stop, go-to partner that understands their business, can relate to their internal challenges, and can quickly and effectively execute marketing and communications programs to generate exceptional results.”

Added to that, according to Nikki: “Culturally, our team has a huge desire to excel. You will not find an agency that cares more than we do about the outcome for our customers, and you will see that validated by the testimonials on our website.”


We asked Nikki what winning a Stevie Award last year had meant to Tanis Communications.  “Because the Stevie Awards are peer-reviewed, they have substantial credibility with our target clients,” she told us. “In addition, we have won a broad range of Stevies—from website development to media relations; from integrated marketing campaigns to financial communications. As a result, the Stevies validate that we have a comprehensive service offering that aligns with the vision and positioning of the agency.”

Paying It Forward

Nikki was appointed Chair of The 2014 American Business Awards Final Judging Committees for Communications, Investor Relations & Investor Relations earlier this year and has put together an impressive judging committee.  “I am extremely honored and excited to lead the judging for these categories,” she told us. “Because the Stevies are peer-reviewed, they have significant industry credibility. After winning several Stevie Awards ourselves, I am motivated to pay it forward, joining the smart and talented team of communicators and marketers who will determine the winners in 2014.”

Fast-paced Industry

PR professionals have a fast-paced existence, especially when working in Silicon Valley. “We are always on the go and have to provide our employees with substantial flexibility,” Nikki explained. “Our cloud-based applications keep our business running: From Google Docs to Microsoft Office 365 for collaboration and communications; Twitter to stay on top of breaking news; LinkedIn to stay connected with my peers and colleagues; and I can’t forget Replicon, which keeps us on track for time-keeping and budgeting. They're all important, and play a role in delivering great service to our clients while at the same time making Tanis a great place to work.”

Change is Good

“I love the fact that the marketing world is changing so dramatically. It makes my profession an exciting field to work in,” concluded Nikki. “Also, every morning, I look forward to working with my team of passionate, smart, and kind people who are always willing to work their hardest for our clients.”

Nikki points out that it takes hard work to keep on top. “We are all rabid readers and leverage social media to follow the great thinkers in our industry,” she explained. “So far this culture has served us very well.”

About Nikki Tanis

Nikki Tanis, president of Tanis Communications, has over 20 years experience creating and implementing a broad range of strategic communications, marketing, and PR programs. She has spent 12 of those years as the head of Tanis Communications, a respected and fast-growing Silicon Valley agency serving a diverse set of high technology companies with a breadth of marketing, communications, and PR services.

Previously Nikki was corporate vice president, corporate marketing and communications at Spansion, Inc., a global, NASDAQ-listed semiconductor company with $2.5 billion in revenue and over 9,000 employees at the time. Prior to that, Nikki was director of corporate communications at S3, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed leader in graphics chips for the PC industry. She was also advertising and PR manager for NEC Electronics, the U.S. semiconductor subsidiary of NEC Corporation, and has held communications positions at Precision Monolithics and Signetics.

Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in psychology from San Diego State University.

About Tanis Communications

Based in San Jose, California, Tanis Communications is a marketing and PR services agency offering brand strategy, public relations, corporate communications, social media, web development, and marketing communications services. As the central hub for clients’ internal and external marketing and communications efforts, Tanis delivers creative, award-winning programs that help technology companies bring their innovations to life and engage, inform, inspire, and connect with the constituents who matter most. A recent addition to the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies list, and with an extensive line-up of awards, Tanis is a new kind of agency—at the intersection of owned, earned, shared, and paid content. For more information visit

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards