RHoward J. Rubenstein, Rubenstein Associates

Howard J. Rubenstein

Ethics and Integrity

Editors’ Note

Howard Rubenstein founded Rubenstein Associates, Inc. in 1954. He serves on the board of The Association for a Better New York (ABNY), which he helped to found, and is a trustee of the Police Athletic League, the Foundation for the National Archives, and the Inner-City Scholarship Fund of the Archdiocese of New York. In addition, he is a co-founder and Vice Chairman of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Rubenstein holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate of law from St. John’s University School of Law. Early in his career, he served as Assistant Counsel to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

Company Brief

New York-based Rubenstein Associates, Inc. along with Rubenstein Communications, Inc., and Rubenstein Public Relations, Inc., (www.rubenstein.com) represent a roster of approximately 400 clients, including global corporations, media and entertainment companies, sports teams, financial services organizations, real estate concerns, educational and cultural institutions, law firms, health care providers, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as business executives and other public figures. Current clients include the New York Yankees, the Metropolitan Opera, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Tishman Speyer.

Rubenstein Associates is an industry leader and is known for its quality, talent, and consistent performance. What has made the firm so successful over the years?

It’s a combination of what we do and who we are. We try to build long-term, core partnerships with our clients and prove our value over time. This means being closely integrated with the bottom-line goals of our clients and not being content with working on the periphery. We have also worked very hard to build and maintain our own reputation around not only our standards of service but around ethics and integrity. Both of these things – doing great work and being a company our clients can trust – have served us well.

We have also worked very hard to build and maintain our own reputation around not only our standards of service but around ethics and integrity.

How have public relations and communications evolved over the years and what are the most important ingredients needed to create a successful firm today?

This field has always been changing, but technology has clearly accelerated the transformation of communications. It is essential that PR professionals learn and evolve and call upon a much wider array of communications tools than ever before.

Rubenstein Associates is known to have many large, well-known clients. Is your client profile primarily large companies and global brands or do you focus on a wide range of companies of all sizes?

We have almost 400 clients, and they range from local organizations like New York Cares and the Inner-City Scholarship Fund to huge multinational companies like BMW and News Corp. We like the balance and the diversity of having clients of all sizes and across all sectors, and we find that the experience we have in servicing a client in one part of our company can often play a critical role in our work elsewhere.

You are headquartered in New York and have been a leader in that market for many years. What makes New York so special and keeps it the leading global city?

New York is still the biggest media stage in the world, and even as media is being redefined by technology, New York is a major hub for operations and talent for companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. New York is by far the most international city in the U.S. and we are second to none when it comes to our culture, arts, and education institutions – all of the things that bring the best and most creative minds to our city.

The business community in New York is very competitive but also works closely on the key issues and needs of the city. Does it surprise you how effectively the business community works together to ensure the future success of the city?

Having played a role in the formation of The Association for a Better New York during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, during times of great economic stress, the business community sees very clearly the interconnectedness of the industries and institutions of our city. If one of our city’s industries is struggling, it affects the others. The trickier part is keeping everyone together when things are going well. This is why enduring organizations like ABNY, the Partnership for New York City, and NYC & Company are so important.

Mayor Bloomberg has had a long and lasting impact on New York. Why has he been such an effective leader and what will his legacy be?

His lasting legacy will be even more positive than the immediate benefits he has brought to our city, which are substantial. Not only is our city in better shape than it’s ever been but by focusing so much attention and resources on things like infrastructure and education, Mayor Bloomberg’s imprint will be felt for generations.

How critical is it for the next mayor to reach out to the business community to ensure a strong public/private partnership for the future of New York?

I don’t think it’s possible for any mayor of New York City to be truly successful, either in a political sense or as a matter of public policy, if he or she cannot be a bridge to and for the business community.

You have achieved so much during your career and have built a market leading company. Do you take time to reflect and appreciate what you have accomplished?

I love what I do and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunities I’ve been given. I leave it to others to assess accomplishments.•