Clothes make the man. That’s why it’s no surprise that Stephen designed a firm rooted in providing bespoke public relations solutions for educational leaders. He understands that every client has a unique challenge deserving a tailored solution that reflects their goals, not ours.
His goal for each client is to be treated as the only one as the Nichols Strategies team delivers a custom client relationship experience, by listening intently and being accessible and available to meet their needs. There are no off-rack solutions offered here, as the firm was created to work around how he approaches working with clients.
He uses the same methodology as the head of the company ensuring Nichols Strategies employees have everything they need to produce and deliver bespoke solutions for clients, by addressing employee’s needs individually.
It’s a lesson he learned early in his career as an administrative secretary who listened to families on the other end of the phone express their unique needs. That’s why he’s compelled now to offer customized, or bespoke, solutions now.
Stephen’s education administration began in Natomas Unified School District in Sacramento, which in 2006 was the second most diverse school district in the United States. He previously served as the chief communications officer for Capistrano Unified School District and as public information officer for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. Stephen began consulting in 2014 with Communication Resources for Schools and founded Nichols Strategies in 2017.
He is an active member of the California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA), serving in various officer roles, including 2014-15 chapter president. He also served on the Executive Board of Directors of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), as Vice President At-Large for Diversity Engagement.
A California native, he earned a BA in Classics from Howard University and an MBA from Drexel University. Stephen received his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Universal Accreditation Board of the Public Relations Society of America in 2015.
He is a self-professed student of YouTube University, where one can learn everything from classical civilizations to how to fix things around the home. Stephen takes great pride in how he presents himself to others and his yard. He’s as meticulous about getting regular haircuts with his barber as he is about doing his own landscaping.
Stephen and his wife, Dr. CaLynna Nichols, reside in Sacramento, California.
Why Public Education
“America’s public schools are charged with not just teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, but training the next generation of American leaders. My entire family attended public schools. My late grandmother was a professor, and my mom was a public school secretary. My first job was as an administrative secretary, where I learned schools were a very exciting place to be with a lot of unique challenges. It’s amazing that we get this valuable asset for free for families. Every student gets to go to school, and we get to provide them really cool opportunities.”
Public School Flashback
“The fondest moments for me were not the times I was in class, but the co-curricular activities. I did everything: wrestled, ran track, played football, participated in student government and learned to play the piano. I enjoyed it. I was able to learn that I could provide value in so many places that I never knew. It was an exploration thing for me, and when I realized that I was good at some of this stuff, it became a hook, and you get very excited about participating in these things.”