Category: Blog

By Jenny Freebus

Senior, Ocean Lakes High School

With summer coming to an end, it’s time to wrap up the internship I was fortunate to land through Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

My time with Rubin Communications Group has been filled with memorable experiences and opportunities. Within the next week, I’ll be back at Ocean Lakes High School to start my senior year, and I know the skills I learned this summer will play a significant role in my work habits. Here’s a list of the top five skills I learned at RCG:

  1. Quick thinking is a must. Whether it’s brainstorming ideas at a staff meeting or searching for a quick fix in the field, thinking fast will serve you well. In the public relations world, everything tends to have a short turnaround time so there’s little time to waste.
  2. Maintaining a professional attitude is crucial when representing a business and talking to clients. It’s important to remain calm, cool and collected so as not to damage the reputation of the business you represent. A bad encounter now could jeopardize work in the future.
  3. Keep a positive mindset. When talking to current or potential clients, it’s essential to remain positive and practical because pleasing the client without setting their expectations to an unreasonable height is the biggest priority.
  4. The importance of research. Whether the task is to find background information on a potential client or local nonprofits in the area, doing research shows investment in your clients. It also helps you gain a better understanding of the work expected of you.
  5. Soft skills. The Hampton Roads community is large, but it’s also friendly. People are interested in how your day is going so having the skills to converse with clients and other professionals goes a long way. In the business community, it’s important to be personable because it opens the door for networking and forging new relationships with other business and community leaders.

Through the internship, I experienced the “real business world” for the first time and learned the difference between advertising and public relations. The PR world moves pretty fast, and the skills I gained will help me no matter what career I pursue.

I am grateful to everyone at Rubin Communications for their constant support and guidance.

The vast majority of our clients are good people who give back to the community.

But everyone, us included, can learn a lesson from Jim Lang, an environmental attorney with Pender & Coward in Virginia Beach.

Not only did Jim finally prevail on behalf of his own client, but he then rolled up his sleeves and convinced others to roll up theirs, to really fix the problem his advocacy solved. (more…)

Adding a location in a new market, even if it’s only across the state, can be challenging.

That’s why smart companies hire “boots on the ground,” whether it’s contractors, attorneys, landscapers or public relations consultants.

At RCG, we like to think we’re the best choice for communications services in Southeastern Virginia. We know the media, local government, caterers, florists, you name it. We also have outstanding relationships with non-profits that newcomers often like to assist during grand opening events. Heck, we even have the scissors for ribbon cuttings and creative ideas for firms that want something special beyond the usual “snip and grin.” Here’s a great example. (more…)

We do not often work with the military, but we had a rare opportunity recently to produce a video for the Virginia Beach-based Dolphin Scholarship Foundation.

For the past 55 years, the foundation has provided scholarship assistance to dependents of men, and now women, who serve on Navy submarines.

(more…)

At Rubin Communications Group, our clients come in all shapes and sizes. We work with corporations and non-profits across a wide array of industries and topic areas. That means, when we bring on a new client, we need to be a quick study in the work they do and the world in which they operate.

(more…)

Not all the work we do or time we allot at Rubin Communications Group is compensated.

We adopt charities, serve on boards, offer free advice and make donations, often to events that are meaningful to our clients.

Give Local 757, an annual event coordinated by the three major community foundations in the region (Peninsula, Southeast and Hampton Roads) reach out to Joel Rubin. Not knowing exactly what he was getting into, he agreed to help with PR on a pro-bono basis, in exchange for our logo being placed on all promotion.   (more…)

We only “pitch” what we consider viable stories to the news media and never complain if we fail to achieve “hits.”

But in late April, we were on a roll, thanks to our clients and a host of reporters and editors who agreed that our advisories warranted coverage. And in some cases, the placements were beyond our wildest imaginations. (more…)

This spring, three fellow members of the Hampton Roads American Marketing Association (HRAMA) and I had the chance to volunteer at Triangle AMA’s High Five Conference in Raleigh, NC. We heard rumblings about how great the conference was but it’s safe to say our expectations were far exceeded.

The conference is the place where “marketing and creative meet.” It brings together key industry professionals, provides amazing networking opportunities and most importantly, reignites your creative fire (which, if you’re like me, may have started to look more like a glowing ember).

Jenn and Kyleigh "high five-ing" at High 5!

Jenn and Kyleigh “high five-ing” at High 5!

It’s impossible to reiterate everything we learned but here’s five key takeaways:

  1. People trust other people.

It’s undeniable. According to Scott Monty, principal of Scott Monty Strategies, 83% of people trust recommendations from people they know and 66% trust consumer opinions posted online. Brands need to connect with consumers by being authentic, responsive and compelling. Scott reminded us to refer back to Cicero, “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words.”

  1. Your haters are your most valuable assets.

By 2020, customer experience will be more important than price. Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, stressed the value of “hugging your haters” – every complaint, every channel, every time. 95% of unhappy customers don’t publicly complain. The 5% who do are our biggest asset. They tell us exactly what we’re doing wrong. In the age where customer service is the new marketing, “out-hug” your competition. Show them that you love your customers more than they do.

  1. Ask yourself: if the label falls off, would people still recognize me?

Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs, believes your tone of voice is your “gutsiest, bravest asset.” Your biggest missed opportunity is doing what you’ve always done. Your story is what sets you apart and by providing that deeper value to your customers, you’ll ensure they won’t forget you.

  1. What makes you weird also makes you wonderful.

According to Dave Rendall of The Freak Factory, the things we think are wrong with us are what we should brag about. Mediocrity happens when you try to be all things to all people. Own who you are. Stand out. Be different. You can’t be excellent and be normal.

  1. Get to the point.

This piece of advice from Jonathan Opp hit home for me. When I arrived at Rubin Communications, I was shocked to see my first piece of writing returned with red lines running across the page. With years of writing experience, Joel Rubin advised me to get to the point. Jonathan echoed Joel. People have short attention spans. Say big things with small words. Aim for less than 12 words per sentence.

Mark your calendars! Next year’s conference is already booked for March 1-2, 2017. We’ll high-five when we get there.

At Rubin Communications Group, we often write content for client websites. Home page, “About Us”, “Services”…you name it, we write it.

To that end, I have pasted below a column from my personal blog, News To Live By. In the post, I demonstrate how to write an effective case study — an important part of any company website.

Does your website need a content refresh? New blog posts? Revised case studies?

Contact me (danny at rubincommunications dot com), and let’s start the conversation!

(more…)

IMG_1744

Account Manager Jenn Hill poses with the issue of Sports Illustrated that features our client, Macy Causey.

Achieving publicity in a major national publication is wonderful and usually takes time to achieve.

So we were more than pleasantly surprised when Sports Illustrated came through for us and our youngest client, 15-year-old Yorktown race car driver Macy Causey.

Here’s the skinny. 

(more…)