Spokane Journal of Business

2023 Rising Star Nico Archer: Connecting with clients, community

Exec leads high-profile brand, advocacy projects

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Nico Archer is the newest partner-owner at Spokane-based DH, and he’s making a difference at the agency and throughout the community, says his colleague and a vice president at the agency, Tyler Tullis.

During his eight years with the 27-year-old communications, marketing, and public relations agency, Archer has guided high-profile brand and advocacy projects for organizations throughout the community, including the strategic rebrand of Innovia Foundation, COVID-19 community engagement for Greater Spokane Incorporated, initiatives for the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and multiple education campaigns for Spokane Transit Authority.

Archer says he focuses on a personal connection with his clients to maximize results.

“The professional expertise that I have is integrating communications and helping clients think strategically in a way that helps them connect with their organizational intent,” says Archer, 37. “And I leverage that expertise to create a positive impact.”

Tullis says, “Nico has led campaign approaches with Washington state agencies to engage audiences outside traditional marketing models. His leadership has helped DH make communities healthier, safer, and more economically vibrant.”

For example, Archer led a campaign that partnered with hundreds of community-based organizations statewide as strategic message carriers to reach historically excluded communities, driving vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This model has never been deployed by state government at this scale in Washington or in any other state,” Tullis claims, “Nico was there to drive innovation in the process of engaging partners and empowering them as they served culturally specific strategists.”

Tullis adds that one of Archer’s secrets to doing great works is that he asks a lot of questions.

“For example, if you ask what it would take for DH to create a website, campaign, or some other means to an end, Nico will probably start asking questions back. He strives to understand, ‘What is your why?’”

Archer says his professional success is all about building relationships with clients.

He also works in the community, serving as member of GSI’s Health Industry Development Group and the board of Joya Child & Family Development, among other roles.

“So much of work I do is centered on thinking about communication as a  tool to bridge access to resources and connecting people to one another,” he says. “A community falls apart when we’re not connected.”

Archer, who moved to the Inland Northwest in 2008, is originally from the greater Los Angeles area. Archer received a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of California-Santa Cruz in 2007 and a master’s degree from Gonzaga University in organizational leadership in 2010.

“Learning about that program at Gonzaga is what put Spokane on the map for me,” Archer says. At Gonzaga, he worked in the academic affairs office, which was funded through AmeriCorps. There, he focused on student retention.

Tullis refers to Archer as “a bit of a unicorn.”

“He has expertise in everything—communications strategy, digital innovation, business development, and client experience,” Tullis says. “I trust him to lead us through any scenario we encounter.”

Archer is helping chart the future course of the agency and the type of clients they serve, Tullis says. This is especially important in the wake of DH’s acquisition of Seattle-based Nyhus Communications in 2022 and the firm’s growth on the West Side.

The expansion brought DH’s workforce to 53 employees, with nine based in western Washington.

Tullis says a critical part of Archer’s job is bringing people together.

“Nico’s strategic sensibilities are rivaled only by his emotional intelligence, which he uses to lift up team members at DH and our clients,” Tullis says. “Nico’s star is rising at the agency and beyond, and there’s no telling how high that star will continue to rise.”

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