Tag: hampton roads

Let me ask you a question, and I need an honest answer.

When is the last time you had new content on your company’s website? It could be a blog post, client success story, new company service or something else entirely.

If the answer is “several months” or, worse yet, “I’m not sure,” then it’s time to freshen up your website with new content.


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?


by RCG Chief Executive Officer Joel Rubin

When we read the January 4th issue of Inside Business, we saw the previous year pass before our eyes.

Of the magazine’s 15 top stories of 2015, we were involved in one way or another with seven.

(Inside Business lists each story one at a time on its website.)

#1 — Virginia Beach’s adoption of a series of agreements to allow construction of an 18,000-seat capacity arena near the Oceanfront. On behalf of developer ESG, we were involved practically from day one providing a host of services including: (more…)

You know the drill. Every year around this time parents scramble to complete the never-ending checklist to send their little ones back to school. Like proud parents on a child’s first day, we are excited to share the work of our clients for elementary, middle and high school students.

Enjoy a cup of coffee and some quiet time after the bus leaves, and find out how these clients earned an A+ in PR.

Students of all ages can go back to school with a healthy smile thanks to the staff at Hampton Roads Pediatric Dentistry (HRPD) and Behl Orthodontics.The groups paired up to promote the importance of regular check-ups in July and August at Sunday Funday, an event at Mt. Trashmore sponsored by Virginia Beach Parks and Rec. Parents stopped by to learn how to best care for their child’s teeth and had the chance to win prizes like an electric toothbrush.

School is officially back in session at the Strelitz Early Childhood Education Center. All spring and summer, we have worked with Strelitz on a new branding campaign and are in the final weeks of a website redesign. The campaign is called “Right from the Start” and the new website will drive home why Strelitz is the best place for your child to develop from ages 6 weeks to pre-K.

In August, elementary & middle school students prepped for the new school year with the help of the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation (VBCDC) and Second Act Communities during a “Prep Rally”. In addition to giveaways, cheerleaders, mascots and a talk from Dr. Adolph Brown, a popular speaker on education, each of the 250 elementary and middle school students in attendance received a new backpack full of grade-specific school supplies.

College-bound high school students are guided by the advisors and supported by staff and donors at ACCESS College Foundation. ACCESS provides support to schools in Southside Hampton Roads over the last 26 years and has helped over 45,000 students receive a college education.

Still have a minute to spare? Let Billy Madison remind you about the struggles of going back to school:


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.


By Joel Rubin

Lyon Shipyard in Norfolk is always on the lookout for new talent to work in its shops, in its dry-docks and on the Navy and commercial vessels that are its bread and butter.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 9.38.03 AM

To put its best foot forward and show the diversity among its more than 200 employees, we suggested a 3-minute video for the web and played at corporate events.

Watch the video here.


At RCG, we pride ourselves on working well with others. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large corporation, nonprofit or small start-up in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake or throughout Hampton Roads. Once you’re a client, you have our attention.

Sometimes clients come to us and have never worked with a professional public relations agency. Or done any organized marketing. At all. These clients find us to be excellent teachers.


Being Meyera Oberndorf’s “confidante,” as Kerry Dougherty over-described me in The Virginian-Pilot, did have its perks. It gave me access not just to what was happening in her unique life, and how she somehow managed to keep it altogether, but also what it took to be a political survivor in a city that was used to not having a mayor for four consecutive years, much less five consecutive terms.


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.