Tag: marketing

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.

If you’ve noticed recently, national news programs are full of repeat stories. Seems like everyone is on vacation and gearing up for the fall season.

Even at RCG, we’re recharging the batteries. Joel and Sara Jo, our owners, spent a week in New England. Account Manager Rachael Keshishian is in Scotland sightseeing and playing golf on historic courses. Creative Director Jessica Bensten is in the Outer Banks kicking back on the beach.

Yes, we’re still open for business here in Virginia Beach, but as we drift through the “dog days of summer,” now seems the right time to recap our best blog content from the past several months.


Featured photo: Rich (Flickr)

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.


By Joel Rubin

For the past couple years, Joel Rubin and the team at Jpixx Video in Virginia Beach have been telling some great stories about young people who have found their callings in the shipyard trades.

They have produced what they call “SMART Choice” videos for the Southeast Maritime and Transportation Center, based at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, which promotes apprentice programs and other educational pathways into those jobs. (more…)

By Rachael Keshishian

Clients often ask how we do it all. No day is “normal.” It takes planning and a lot of teamwork to get the job done and do it well. Luckily, our team features experienced PR professionals who care deeply about our work. Without each member, there’s no way we’d be able to provide the quality service we do.

Curious about an average day for an RCG account manger? Here’s a quick look at a “normal” day for me, specifically June 23, 2015.


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.


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.


Lights, camera, action!

We’re excited to assist the Virginia Dental Association with a public relations campaign called “Open Wise.” The centerpiece of the effort is a series of online videos to educate and entertain people across the Commonwealth.

Right now, we’re busy creating the 30-second commercials, which will serve as “pre-roll” advertising on blogs and newspaper websites here in Virginia.


The life of a public relations professional is fast paced and deadline driven.

At RCG, we often operate on a reporter’s timeline to take advantage of an opportunity. Over the years, our flexibility has made the difference between a front page story or missing out on coverage altogether.

Although to be fair, It’s not all hard work. In fact, a nice bonus of coordinating grand openings, press conferences and client promotions is the people you meet. We get to attend amazing events, travel to new places and even meet famous folks — often right here in Virginia Beach.


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

You bet!