Some brands need a little direction. Some brands need a whole new direction. Some brands are well-oriented, and just need a guide who can take them to their destination. Adam Ritchie Brand Direction is an independent brand communications agency that helps them do just that — and enjoy the process of getting there.
Our capabilities include marketing, media outreach, crisis management and creative development, to an international client base on four continents.
Our mission is to bring out the best in brands by helping them grow, communicate and do the right thing.
In the news
We've been covered by business media from MarketWatch to the New York Times.
Everything is a brand. Even you. And everything is a branding opportunity — from the way you dressed today to the contents of your company's email signature.
Brand communication doesn't mean pushing out a hard-to-swallow press release that can't get out of the way of its own messaging. Successful communication begins with providing useful, timely information that respects the intelligence of your consumers and the media who help inform them.
We were founded at a time when digital and traditional media collided. Our first clients were a social network and a brick-and-mortar retailer. We know things about digital media that traditional firms haven't yet learned, and we maintain an understanding of traditional media that digital firms have already lost. As true media specialists, we're equally comfortable navigating both worlds.
If you ever hear us use the word, "leverage," or if we draft a sentence you need to read more than twice, you have the right to end our relationship. A wise colleague once said, "If you don't speak like that, don't write like that."
Marketing and PR
Not all marketers are publicists, but all publicists need to be marketers. Hiring a team of seasoned publicists is like getting two specialties rolled into one.
Many agencies present you with a team of senior managers, creating the impression they're the ones overseeing your business. What often follows is a bait and switch, where your account supervisors begin fluctuating before the ink is dry on the contract. Here, who you see is who you get: a professional with more than a decade of experience, backed by a reputation for earning results. You have the principal's email and mobile number, 24/7.
In a world where nothing seems to happen on time (phone calls, appointments, launch dates...), our team bends over backwards to meet deadlines.
We're here to provide an outside perspective. If we believe something is off-strategy or a waste of time, we'll be the first to tell you.
We're not afraid to tackle criticism of a client if the facts are being misrepresented or if the client is making an honest commitment to change. We're also not afraid to turn down projects that do not pass our industry's code of ethics, or simply don't feel right.
Big budget ideas are not always the most effective ideas. You can drive millions of media impressions with a piece of metal and a plastic bag if they're used creatively. We will never recommend a program element that isn't essential to your end goal.
At larger agencies, internal politics can distract your team from the job at hand. Here, we only focus on your work.
If you're only looking for a cheerleader, we may not be your agency. We proudly shout from the rooftops the great things our clients do every day. But we don't do it at the cost of ignoring where they're being critiqued. We're your first line of skeptics. And when necessary, we're your look in the mirror before you take a risky step in front of the crowd.
In a crisis, if you respect the media’s need for timely information, it will do its best to treat you fairly.
Social media has removed your power to control a message. People will talk about what your company says — not just at the bar with their close friends — but online, in plain view of everybody. Crafting brand messages used to be easier. Crafting brand messages that hold water when held up to stakeholder scrutiny on- and offline takes skill and experience.
Creativity and organization
The two are not mutually exclusive. Those who can apply structure to their creative process while using their creativity to better-organize information are dangerously effective people.
We keep an ongoing file of ideas for each client that grows organically every day. Over time, the best ideas float to the top. Meanwhile, you have access to all of them on request.
A beautiful thing about journalism and PR is their timelessness. Even as roles evolve, the building of mindshare and exchange of information remains messy. Hustle hasn't been replaced by an algorithm.
Hiring in-house gives you a marketing communications capability, but only for a time. When people leave their jobs, their knowledge walks out the door with them. Many of our client relationships have outlasted C-Suite changes, and we've become a secure cloud backup of brand history and knowledge. We’ve been doing this forever, and we aren’t going anywhere.
The Scouts taught us to leave everything a little better than the way we found it. If we see an opportunity to streamline or improve something, we'll take it — sometimes forgetting to ask first. For this, we beg your forgiveness in advance.
A good agency respects a client's inbox. It anticipates every question a client may ask about an opportunity, lays it out logically, ends with a recommendation and leaves the client in a position where they only need to respond with a "yes" or a "no." We minimize back-and-forth.
Many shops take on any brand who knocks on their door with a budget. They bite off more than they can chew, and existing clients suffer. We only work with a handful of clients at a time, because we want to make every client feel like they're our only client.
Skin in the game
Because we only work with a few clients at a time, the health of this business is inextricably tied to the health of yours. You're not just another account, and this is not just another job.
It's easy to get caught up in the new business race, spending time chasing RFPs. We don't participate in multi-agency pitches. Instead, we dedicate that time to earning great results for the clients we already have, turning them into advocates who refer our next client to us. Every new client we take on is a direct result of having knocked an existing client's socks off.
Some agencies bill their clients for every $5.00 magazine or $10.00 cab ride. We don't sweat the small stuff.
This is a hard business. The ability to laugh — especially at yourself — is critical to survival.
This company was started in an apartment, with a laptop and a cellphone, at the beginning of the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression. In two months, a client roster was built, the first employee was hired and a downtown office was opened. We approach our client work the same way. Once we set the right course, there's no holding back.
We've created a business that turns our interests into our work. We balance that work with rich personal lives. There's nothing we'd rather be doing than what we're doing right now. Our interactions, and the interactions we initiate on your behalf, will reflect this.