Speech: Danny Rubin, 2015 Young Professional Honoree

JOEL RUBIN: Good evening. At first, someone else was going to introduce Danny Rubin tonight, but fortunately for me that someone could not make it. So someone else who has known him longer than anyone, meaning me, his father- I didn’t have that down as the applause line actually. Meeting me, his father has the honor.

I was a TV reporter for 14 years down in the Norfolk, Virginia area. And have been in public relations for 24, also in that same area. But I must confess I had never heard about the Plank awards until my son told me he had won one. But when I learned that he was chosen for the young professionals citation that goes to a quote, up and coming leaders who is already paying it forward.

Well, I thought, that defines Danny Rubin. All his life, Danny has done for others, whether it was in student government or leading a statewide youth group when he was in high school. Participating in interracial dialogue organization in college or even today, helping me conduct religious services at a Jewish nursing home.

While aggregating couples to create a social community for himself, his wife Shikma and their son, my grandson Niv, five months old, love the kid to death. But Danny really found his niche when he began composing a, a blog called News to Live By. Where he takes events of the day and draws lessons for his primarily millennial audience, and they just seem to lap it up.

Heck, they even resonate with old guys like me. And probably with you, newstoliveby.org, .net actually, newstoliveby.net. And now Danny has expanded his longing to be a mentor by publishing a real live book. Called, Wait, How Do I Write This Email? It’s full of templates for anyone looking for a job, to network or just to connect as a way to get ahead.

It’s available on Amazon just this week. It’s just been published, it’s a great book. I was stunned when I first saw it because I don’t know any authors but now I do. He’s the kid I coached in tee-ball and youth basketball whose papers I used to redline in high school.

And whom I took to football games at the University of Virginia hoping he would, like me, want to go there, and he did, as did his sister Molly, saving our family, a Virginia family, a fortune in tuition. After Charlottesville, Danny earned a Master’s in radio-TV at the University of Maryland before coming home to report two years with the CBS affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia.

Then he moved to Washington where he really proved his resilience in a host of small and large jobs, the last as a consultant for the Frank Magid company, which is a national consulting firm. That taught him skills that he brought to Rubin Communications Group, where he toils with his mom and me and a few other hardy pros to help clients from dental associations to preschools to payroll companies build their brands.

We are a local company and we love it. So you have picked a good one in Daniel H Rubin to be your young professional for 2015. And before he comes to the podium, let me just say one thing to the sharks from the big PR firms in this room.

You cannot have him.


DANNY RUBIN: That’s a pretty cool father-son moment, right? Those don’t happen all the time as my dad said, or maybe he didn’t say, he began our company nearly 25 years ago in Virginia. And he’s mentored me as a writer, a communicator and now as a public relations professional.

And lest I forget, his title is Joel Rubin APR, I hope you have a chance to talk some shop with him tonight. I know he loves being here and talking with all of you. I want to thank The Plank Center and in particular Ron Culp, wherever he may be in this room right now.

Thank you, Ron, for the young professional award and for letting me share the stage with such distinguished honorees. Truly, this is a thrill for me and it was earlier today speaking with the students in that panel discussion. About three years ago I created a blog to offer career advice and improve my own digital skills.

Then as time went on, young people started to take my advice, on networking and resumes and cover letters and the like. And in many ways, I encouraged people to apply public relations tactics to their own lives. Strategies like concise messaging, and storytelling, and understanding your audience. I enjoy my role as a mentor and the chance to help millennials.

My people, millennials here tonight, let me hear you. Where are the millennials in this crowd? I’d love to help us build new relationships and move ahead in our careers. So often, young professionals have the skills and the work ethic employers need, they just don’t know how to put those experiences into words.

And once they do, everything starts to click. Let me tell you a really quick story. I was helping a young, early 20s girl in Maryland. She was working at a chicken factory actually, a chicken plant, but as a temp in the HR department. And she wanted a full-time job desperately and couldn’t find one.

And on her resume, one of her line items in work experience was she helps to organize the company’s cell phones and cell phone records. And I said tell me more about that, what does that mean? She said well actually what they had me do was update phone records for 1,000 employees.

And I had to go find a lot of them on foot, like around the campus. It took me three months, and at the end, I received a commendation from the company’s CFO, and I got a raise. I said that is a wonderful story, and you weren’t telling anybody about that.

All you said was you update cell phone records. So we went back and we retooled her resume, her cover letter. We told that story in her cover letter, I checked in with her about a month later, she got calls back from three employers, two job offers. She’d been working at a law firm in an admin capacity in DC for like a week.

And I said, that’s what it’s all about, is stepping back and helping people tell their stories. So they can be rewarded and noticed for all the hard work they’re already doing, that to me is everything, and I love watching other people succeed. And as the young professional up here tonight, I want you to know I understand what this award means, it’s not so much a recognition of what I’ve done, but it’s the encouragement to keep going.

Because I know and you know the world needs more millennials who write well, who speak clearly and also who knows how to be curious of other people rather than snap another selfie. So I say to you tonight, I’m on the case and I’m loving every minute of it, so thank you very much.


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