John Cook and Dorian Langlais, both built their early careers at globe-spanning media organizations including NBC News and CNBC. Ten years ago in January, they started Rally Point Public Relations.
What made you want to start your own PR agency?
Rally Point’s roots are in storytelling and entrepreneurship. We built our early careers at globe-spanning media organizations including NBC News and CNBC. We were deeply embedded in our areas of news coverage and made strong connections with our sources. During that time we saw a real need for agencies who didn’t just churn press releases but who truly understood the underlying subject material and who brought consistent creativity to deliver impact. We also both had entrepreneurial aspirations that we knew we needed to act on.
But what was the ultimate “push” that resulted in the launch of Rally Point? We had cocktails with a friend and source who had launched his own entrepreneurial ventures and he promised to be our first client. That nudge set in motion the launch of our agency and a ten-year journey to where we are now.
What have been your biggest accomplishments since launching Rally Point?
The stories we’ve told through the years are what makes us most proud. We’ve launched dozens of companies, introduced emerging technologies to the world, built global campaigns on four continents and driven impactful results around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
We’ve also managed to run an organization that leads with empathy, integrity and good humor. Those are the key ingredients for a good company (and a good life).
What advice do you have for someone wanting to start their own business?
Go for it! That’s the first piece of advice. So many people get caught up in the dream of entrepreneurship but never actually take the plunge. There will always be worries, risks and unanswered questions. But in the end, that first move is the scariest. The rest will work itself out.
More broadly, make sure you understand that the payoff of being a business owner isn’t always monetary. We get enormous satisfaction from working on our own terms with full autonomy. We also enjoy chasing ideas and being creative. Intellectual curiosity has always been part of our DNA, which we get to follow daily at Rally Point.
What business-related learning has been most surprising that you think other entrepreneurs should know?
As an entrepreneur, you can only do so much. Operations, finance, IT, HR and client delivery are all up to you. Make sure you bring in the right support so that you can focus on what you do best. You’ll never be a master of everything.
Biggest hope for the next decade at Rally Point?
John: While growth will always be top of mind, I think the more important goal over the next ten years is to tell increasingly meaningful stories. I specialize in emerging technologies and can’t wait to see what another decade of innovation will bring (and how we can help accelerate it.)
Dorian: We will be the agency that helps any organization with an authentic commitment to diversity and cultural understanding shape and tell its story. We’ll do that by emphasizing cultural impact both internally and externally, creating great partnerships, and building narratives that showcase how DEI drives meaningful business outcomes.