April 10, 2023 0 Comments

Year 4: Trust Relations Transforms PR With a Values-Based Approach


Trust Relations is celebrating four successful years in business this month.

As I sit down today to write this reflection piece, I can hardly believe another year has passed. It’s become an annual ritual for me to write a note from the heart to you all — clients, teams, colleagues, and dear friends. And, beyond that, as our agency anniversary rolls around every spring, it offers an opportunity for me to meditate on what the year has meant for me as a leader and for this business. This one has been quite the turning point for us.

And the most exciting part for me is — as BTO put it — baby, you ain’t seen nothin yet!

The Year in Review

We’ve expanded our offerings into the integrated marketing sphere. We’ve revisited our brand messaging. We’ve brought 30 new clients on board and welcomed 29 new team members into the fold. 

I was honored to receive a Gold Stevie Award for Most Innovative Woman of the Year – Advertising, Marketing and PR, and Trust Relations was named a finalist in the 2023 Best Places to Work Awards.

Last September, we gathered our full-time staff together in sunny Sedona, AZ for our first-ever Trust Relations Annual Retreat. Our itinerary included team-building activities, scenic hikes and a tour of the local haunts in town (including a Sedona-esque sound healing session). We also launched a new creative project, Trust Relations: The Podcast.

We’re older, wiser and bolder than we were last year — and we’re just as ferociously committed to being the change we want to see in this industry. 

A New Take on Agency Values

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together over the last four years. And now, it’s time to look ahead. As we expand to reinvent PR, it has always been deeply important to me that we do so with care. I want to preserve the level of excellent service our clients know and expect, and the same considerate culture that makes our team so vibrant, diverse and innovative.

So, recently, our agency leadership sat down to craft that mission into a guiding set of values. We’re here to change PR as you know it. Here’s how.

Trust Relations Values

First, build trust.

Trust is core to our mission. Our mission is to replace public relations with “trust relations” by discovering and championing every brand’s authentic truth. 

As such, the Trust Relations approach emphasizes transparency on all sides; that requires honesty with our teams, with our clients and with ourselves. We strive to build trust above all else, to create the greatest possible impact and goodwill. 

Be authentic.

We are defined by the endless pursuit of authenticity. And we have a golden rule: As a brand, you must do what you say before you can say what you do. Your storytelling and storydoing must be one and the same. That goes for our clients — and for us, too.

Internally, that means recognizing the unique strengths and talents every member of our team brings to the table — from their personal passions to their professional ambitions. For clients, it’s about “showing” as well as “telling” the stories that demonstrate your proof points. 


We are here to reimagine traditional PR, with a disruptive approach and a commitment to innovation. To do this for our clients, we operate on our proprietary Trust Relations Points System. Our contracts are designed to gamify your budget, so that we can scale and pivot with you at every stage of your growth cycle. From traditional PR to integrated marketing and creative services, we’re equipped to generate maximum ROI at every turn along that journey. 

For our teams, we use the Dream Team model. Unlike traditional agencies which prioritize capacity, we match the needs of every brand with a custom-built team of experts based on their passions and expertise. The result is more engaged, fulfilled teams and better results for our clients. 

Be excellent.

We do what we do well. I feel strongly about making the PR industry future-proof, and bringing out the best in today’s standout communications practitioners. Excellence is an infinite pursuit at Trust Relations; no one is beyond critique, and no one is ever done learning. That constant drive for improvement is what inspires our emphasis on mentorship. 

We never settle for less, and it is my sincere hope that every team member or client who walks through our “doors” walks away with a perception of PR that has been changed for the better.

And, finally, be considerate.

Kindness is the gold standard for me and for this agency. Among the accomplishments I am most proud of at this juncture in our journey is our considerate culture. We strive every day to create and maintain a workplace environment where our people want to come to work.

Doing so requires an active commitment to empathy and inclusivity, and helps us to lay the foundation for mutual respect in our client relationships. From the moment you meet our team, know that we intend to be in partnership with you for the long term. 

So, What’s Next?

As we set off into a new year for Trust Relations, I’m bursting with creative energy and joy in celebrating what comes next for our team. I am aiming to land even more recognizable and established brands as clients, as we continue to prove ourselves as a challenger agency that delivers superior results for clients.

In the more immediate term, here’s what you can look forward to this month:

  • Trust Relations: The Podcast is releasing a two-part special episode, featuring our Chief Operations Officer, Lana Marshall. During that conversation, we’re taking a deeper dive into our values-based approach, and exploring ways that any brand can adopt a kinder and more future-proof workplace culture. Listen to part one here. Part two will be released on May 3.
  • Our annual Anniversary Celebration Video is here! Follow us on social media to celebrate with us. We’re on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Stay connected with us here on our website, and join the conversation on our podcast channels as we continue to expand along the cutting edge of communications, PR and integrated marketing solutions.

As for me, I’ll be at my writing desk! I’ve always had a pen in my hand — from my days as a crime reporter until this moment, as I write this note to you. The industry is changing and there’s no playbook for brands to adapt to the shifting landscape of marketing innovations, media industry scrutiny and changing PR norms.  As Madeleine L’Engle said, “You have to write the book that wants to be written.” So stay tuned for more from me on that front.

Happy Anniversary, Trust Relations!


If you’re interested in partnering with us in the year to come, reach out to us here.


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Trust Relations Team