Christine Barney
Christine M. Barney

"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”

This quote from Will Rogers is a humorous warning to today’s business owners. What got you where you are today is often not enough to ensure you’ll be successful tomorrow.

Continued growth is a challenge every business faces and the ability to scale is often heralded as proof of success. As rbb embraced its aggressive growth plans to create the communications agency of the future and double in size by 2020, we knew those plans required broader shoulders.

That’s why we invested in growing our leadership team over the last decade and are excited that nine senior members have become equity partners at the agency. These aren’t phantom stock partners: they jumped in with both feet and bought their stock in rbb to get real equity.

O'Dwyer's May '18 PR Firm Rankings MagazineThis article is featured in O'Dwyer's May '18 PR Firm Rankings Magazine

The importance of “having the right people on the bus” was a hallmark of Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great.”

“If you have the right people, you can change direction faster and will have self-motivated leaders who produce the best results to do something great,” Collins said. “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

These new partners not only believe in rbb’s ability to grow, they also understand that what has worked before is not the roadmap for the future. The trains coming down the communications track are moving faster than ever. Far too many companies have jumped off the tracks and remain stranded on the sidelines offering the same traditional advertising and PR services.

Those companies who embrace technology, understand the changing information needs of today’s consumer and are flexible enough to bring the right tools to each situation are the ones who will succeed. That’s why rbb has consciously evolved to become a fully integrated communications firm offering marketing, digital/social, advertising/creative, PR and reputation management.

When it comes to solving a client’s problems, we start with a strategic consulting process that determines the best combination of tools. Otherwise, the adage holds true: If you only have a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

Brands today require and deserve a 360-degree view of how to use communication to build their bottom line. rbb’s Breakout Brand philosophy is based on the idea that communication success — for both internal and external audiences — comes from creating emotional connections.

Today that means using video, third-party influencers, apps galore, crowdsourcing and employee engagement tools, as well as having the skills of a digital ninja to cut through the clutter.

That doesn’t mean the focus is all internet and apps. Being able to put experienced, thoughtful, senior executives in the same room with CEOs, COOs and CMOs and give them straight counsel is just as critical. Smart counselors bring new perspectives to help C-level execs forge new business strategies, create new revenue streams and protect their brands.

We can only imagine what will be in our communications arsenal tomorrow. In fact, at rbb we spend quite a bit of time imagining and creating the tools and strategies we believe brands will need to grow and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

With a leadership team aligned for the future, rbb expects to help clients stay on track and take the curves with flair.


Christine M. Barney, APR, is chief executive officer and managing partner of rbb Communications. She is also author of the Breakout Brand strategy, is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and oversees the strategic development of all client programs.