Category: Company News

Joel and Sara Jo Rubin founded Rubin Communications Group 25 years ago out of the family playroom. Congrats on the anniversary!

Joel and Sara Jo Rubin have been married for 35 years and during most of it they have worked together running what is today Rubin Communications Group. All these years later, we’re still going strong!


My, where has the time gone?


Extra! Extra!

After 16 months of writing and editing, RCG Vice President Danny Rubin has published Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, a collection of 100+ email and document templates for networking and the job search.

The book is now live and available on Amazon!.


Fall has arrived, which means it’s time to trade your summer apparel for jeans and sweaters. Whether you are into the Halloween spirit, look to enjoy the fall weather with live music and food or want to dive into some arts and crafts, there’s always something going on.

Here at Rubin Communications Group, we also slow down to enjoy the beauty of the fall season. We asked our staff to share their favorite fall events.


by Amanda Gladstone

August is here and, as an intern, my endless summer has come to a close. Within the next week, my bags will be packed and I will be headed to the mountains for another year on campus at Virginia Tech. However, I will take a lot of new skills and experiences with me.

My time at Rubin Communications has been eye opening, challenging and exciting. The world of public relations is constantly spinning, and it’s impossible to know what to expect when you walk through the door in the morning.

There is rarely a dull moment in the RCG office, and a day can go from 0 to 60 within the blink of an eye. Here is a list of my top 5 RCG summer experiences:

  1. Seatack Elementary School’s Day on the Bay at Westminster Canterbury:  A partnership between the school and the senior living community in Virginia Beach. Field games, the beautiful bay and the priceless looks on the faces of a great group of kids.
  1. Virginia Beach Rescue Squad’s appearance on the Hampton Roads Show: Lights, camera, action. I was proud to see a couple of local heroes in the spotlight.
  1. Lunch and Learns: RCG’s team members have so much to offer the community. It was great to see people come from different industries to learn important PR skills like effective LinkedIn networking.
  1. Client Meetings: Every meeting presents an important opportunity to learn. RCG works with a variety of clients, and I observed how to run a meeting and engage with people from different businesses.
  1. Now Exiting: Comfort Zone: RCG has challenged me like never before. I have learned how to write an effective press release and even improved my phone conversation skills. These opportunities are only available outside of the classroom.

At my internship, I didn’t fetch coffee or to act as a receptionist. Rather, the internships drew me one step closer to a job in the real world. Internships are invaluable and, as I leave, I’ll never be able to fully thank the incredible team here at Rubin for my whirlwind of a summer.

You’re quite welcome, Amanda. Thanks for being a great intern, and good luck at VT in the fall.


This week we spotlight Ashley Martin, RCG senior account manager and indispensable member of our team.

1. How did you get started at RCG?

I was working at a marketing firm in Orlando but looking for a change and excited about the possibility of moving back to Hampton Roads. What drew me to RCG was the fact that we’re locally focused. I previously dealt with national and international clients, but I prefer to be involved and build relationships in my community. The fact that community involvement is strongly encouraged here is also a huge plus.

My first two clients were the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation and Cintas Corporation, which I continue to represent today. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly eight years.


Boy, is it a busy week for the public relations staff at Rubin Communications Group!

From an anniversary event in Virginia Beach to competitive senior games in Newport News and free oral cancer screenings in Charlottesville, our clients (see past and current clients) have us on our toes with events across the state. If you see it in the news, chances are we made it happen.

Here’s what’s happening at RCG this week:


You called, emailed and asked us at events: is the “Lunch & Learn” series coming back?

You bet!


Jessica Bensten, Creative Director

Tell us about your personal life.
I’ve been married almost ten years to my husband, Everett, who is a lawyer in the Hampton City Attorney’s office. We have two kids, Jackson (7) and Abby (3), who keep me very busy! Both sides of our family live on the Peninsula so we are blessed with an amazing support system. That’s actually how my husband and I met – our grandparents lived across the street from each other for 50 years!

Jessica's staff photo from 2005.

Jessica’s staff photo from 2005.

How long have you been at RCG?
My ten-year anniversary is coming up in October. I came to RCG as a newlywed after my first post-college job and started as an account manager. I had also studied graphics as well as journalism and PR while at JMU, so I slowly started handling a few design projects here or there when I wasn’t doing media relations. My job eventually evolved into creative director.

What do you love about creative services?
I love the process. There’s something so fulfilling about taking a client’s communication need and coming up with a creative solution from concept to design and execution. We work with some pretty spectacular Hampton Roads businesses and nonprofits so it makes me proud to see our hard work turn into a successful website, ad, brochure, annual report or billboard.

What’s a memorable project that sticks out to you? And why does it stand out?
That’s a really hard question. How do you narrow down ten years of work? If I had to choose something a little more recent, I’d probably say the 20-page magazine insert I designed last year for the Virginia Dental Association Foundation’s MOM project. It was the organization’s 15th anniversary and we worked hard to come up with a way to highlight the past, present and future of the organization. Over the years, the foundation have donated millions of dollars of free dental care to Virginians and I wanted to do that gift justice. I really think we did — we got multiple compliments on the finished product!

How has creatives services changed since you began at RCG? What has stayed the same?
When I first began at RCG, I did mostly public and media relations, which means we outsourced the majority of our graphic design work. Digital printing was just gaining ground in our region, so we used mainly offset printers. If someone needed artwork that was too large to email, we burned a CD. Even our video equipment wasn’t digital! (This is starting to make me sound old)

What hasn’t changed? The quality of our work and the attention to detail. We work faster by having a designer right here in the office, plus turnaround times at the printer are quicker than they used to be.

What’s the best piece of advice you give people about design as it relates to marketing?
An open line of communication is key to good design. It is difficult to sit down with a client and gain an accurate assessment of their design needs if all they tell me is to “just make it pretty.” My best advice is to have samples of design work you like, have colors in mind and finish your copy writing before you start on a project. And, know who your audience is…we can take it from there.

What do you do outside of work?
I’m very active at CHKD because both of my kids were treated there. Jackson was diagnosed at one with a childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma, and will be in remission for five years at the end of this month! That is so hard to believe. Abby was born prematurely and spent four months in the NICU. Naturally, I want to give back. This is my third year serving on the NICU Family Advisory Council and I am also on the inaugural hospital-wide Advisory Council formed this year.

In addition to my volunteer work, I started a blog called “Mothering Miracles” last July to be a resource for other families going through health issues. I honestly thought it would just be my mom and dad reading it, but my articles have been published on the Huffington Post over a dozen times, as well as other major online news sites. Some of my favorites are 10 Reasons Preemies Are Rockstars, 20 Things a Cancer Mom Knows By Heart and Never Second Guess a Second Opinion.

What’s it been like to work with Joel for all these years? And you’re STILL sane?
I have no idea how I haven’t been institutionalized by now! All kidding aside, Joel and Sara Jo have been wonderful employers, and our team works really well together. The Rubins foster a creative, collaborative environment and these ten years have gone by in a flash.

As they say: time flies when you’re having fun.

Today’s post is the first in our “Meet the Team” series. We’re shining the spotlight on our newest employee, Account Manager Jennifer Hill, who comes all the way from New York City!


By Staff

Joel began Rubin Communications in 1991 after a 15-year broadcasting career. His connections to local reporters and editors, as well as government and business leaders, made for a natural transition into a career in public relations.

It’s been nearly 25 years and many (many!) more clients since the beginning of Rubin Communications. To have a little fun with this week’s blog, we took a trip down memory lane and compiled an alphabetical listing of some our past and current clients. The easy part was finding the clients to match the letter; the hard part was deciding just which project or client to highlight. (more…)