In the hot seat: Adam Rubins, CEO, Way To Blue

Adam Rubins of Way To Blue talks to us about mindfulness and setting the bar high

Following the success of our Global Power Book #PRProSeries, we continue the series exploring the careers of the most powerful communications pros around the world today. We sat down with Adam Rubins, CEO of Way To Blue, to find out how he made it in the industry.

Why did you get into communications?

Communications runs in my blood. My father ran Dorland and McCann Erickson and my brother is also in the industry. My first role was in the media and marketing department of The Walt Disney Company promoting film products across Europe.

What personal attribute has most helped you succeed in your career?

Prepare more and work harder than the person sitting next to you. Business is about being relatable, open, and trustworthy, but without graft, it is very hard (though not impossible!) to succeed.

What would you say has been the biggest challenge that you’ve overcome?

Honestly, myself. I set an extraordinarily high benchmark and unfortunately for me, it moves every time I reach it! This is where mindfulness comes into play – I’m a huge fan of using meditation to clear and focus the mind.

Any crucial moments that changed the course of your career?

I was 10 years into my apprenticeship at Disney. It was an incredible education and an unforgettable experience. However, I was putting more in than I was taking away and I made the difficult decision to invest in myself, leave, and travel the world. This helped me understand my own personal and professional identity and set the framework for where I am now.

Who would you say has been the most inspiring person you’ve worked with?

Without question, my father. As work experience, I would fulfil menial tasks, but I was also listening and learning. We are incredibly different but no-one has taught me more about leadership, values, and judgement.

What do you think it takes to be a successful CEO in 2016?

Business has moved away from the hierarchies of yesterday toward the open networks of today. Leadership is about being open, transparent and listening as much as you talk. I am a huge believer in working together to achieve goals.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

Follow your instincts.

In ten years’ time, what do you think will be the biggest change in the global communications industry?

The decline of the advertising industry as it exists today. Volume based discounts will be a thing of the past and finally we will see the emergence of integrated communications that is not paid led.

What would you say are the three words that best describe you as a communicator?

Open. Thoughtful. Accommodating.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I am highly self-motivated. I have never been a huge fan of looking back, always keen to keep moving forward.

Tell us more about your company?

Way To Blue is a global marketing company specialising in PR, social media, media buying, creative and research. Our business was originally focused on the entertainment sector, but we have broadened out considerably. My goal is to invent the next version of communications.

If you weren’t in communications what would you do?

I’d be a writer of fiction. That is my retirement plan.


Related: 'How I made it' featuring Hamzah Sarwar, Global Insight Lead, RB

As a global insight leader at RB Health and One Young World ambassador, Hamzah is a passionate social intrapreneur using business as a force for good. With 9 years of strategic insight and brand experience gained with agencies and blue-chip FMCG manufacturers such as RB and Mondelez, Hamzah has unearthed opportunities and driven growth in global and regional roles on diverse categories from air pollution to infant nutrition.

Read more

Related: Will SEO save PR? [EVENT]

As PR departments become under greater scrutiny to better prove ROI, many are pivoting to adopt a more SEO led approach when it comes to shaping content campaigns and measuring online impact. This is creating challenges organisationally and culturally as PR and SEO teams work more closely together and also revealing more technical gaps in PR knowledge.

Read more

Related: 'How I made it' featuring Shurjil Husain, Vice President, Head of Communications - ABB, Saudi Arabia

We sat down with Shurjil Husain, VP and Head of Communications for Saudi Arabia at ABB. A senior Marketing and Communications executive with over 15 years of diverse management experience in the Engineering, Information Technology, Consulting and Consumer Goods industries, He has held Marketing and Communications leadership roles in Siemens, IBM, Accenture and Unilever

Read more

Post your comments

Author: Grant Somerville

Since joining Hanson Search, Grant has worked within the communications practice across public affairs, corporate PR, and consumer PR, where he now specialises. Grant prides himself on his relentless work ethic for clients and candidates alike, ensuring the best service for everyone he works with.

View Profile

Speak to a consultant


Please keep me updated! I’d love to hear about: