About

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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.

 
 

Philosophy

Branding
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.

Communication
Brand communication does not 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.

Hybrid approach
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.

"Strata-speak"
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, no questions asked. 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.

Continuity
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 years of experience, backed by a reputation for earning results. You have the principal's email and mobile number, 24/7.

Reliability
In a world where nothing seems to happen on time (phone calls, appointments, launch dates...), our team bends over backwards to meet deadlines.

Candor
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.

Ethics
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.

Budget
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.

Culture
At larger agencies, internal politics can distract your team from the job at hand. We only focus on your work.

Healthy skepticism
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.

Rapid response
In a crisis, if you respect the media’s need for timely information, it will do its best to treat you fairly.

Message control
Social media has removed your power to control your 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 working in the new reality.

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.

Ideas
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.

Evolution
A beautiful thing about journalism and PR is their timelessness. Even as roles evolve, you still can't replace hustle with an algorithm.

Knowledge retention
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. We’ve been doing this forever, and we aren’t going anywhere.

Efficiency
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.

Foresight
A good agency respects its client's inbox. It thinks through every question a client may ask about an opportunity, lays it out in a logical manner, 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.

Selectivity
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.

Priorities
It's easy to get caught up in the new business race, spending disproportionate amounts of 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 send our next client to us. Every new client we take on is a direct result of having knocked an existing client's socks off.

Expenses
Some agencies bill their clients for every $5.00 magazine or $10.00 cab ride. We don't sweat the small stuff.

Humor
This is a hard business. The ability to laugh — especially at yourself — is critical to survival.

Entrepreneurial spirit
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.

Attitude
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.

 
 

Ready to begin?

Let's go live

 
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