VIRGINIA BEACH — Danny Rubin has used his public relations expertise from Hampton Roads to address a need in the workplace and in education: better communication skills.
And Rubin lives his business “Write well, open doors!” mantra as he found an underserved market and entrepreneurial opportunity through writing.
He shares his knowledge through his online program featuring a collection of assignments, videos and quizzes focusing on writing and speaking.
“I listened to the market and followed where it said it needed to go,” Rubin said. “The longer you stay in the (entrepreneurial) game, the more interesting things happen.”
A former television journalist, Rubin worked for the family’s public relations firm, Rubin Communications Group in Virginia Beach, for eight years while building his own business on the side. Earlier this year he left the company to continue his business, known simply as Insist on.
“For a long time it was just me – a man and a dream,” he said.
Founded in 2017, the company provides Emerge, a digital platform that teaches effective writing and speaking skills. Rubin has three employees: Austin Makohon, software developer, and Mac Walsh and Alexis Kruemcke, training and implementation specialists.
It all started after seeing how popular his models were – over a million views – on a blog he had started years earlier. The blog became his first book, “Wait, How Do You Write That Email? in 2015. The reference manual of over 100 templates includes step-by-step instructions for writing emails, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and thank you notes.
Two other books followed: “Wait, how can I promote my business?” in 2017; and “Wait, how do I lead my team?” in 2018. And from the books, the business grew and the online program followed.
To date, Emerge is used to teach communication skills to more than 100,000 middle school, high school, and college students in 35 states. The program, with an annual subscription, has about 140 partner schools across the United States and beyond and continues to grow steadily, he said.
Locally, the Virginia Beach Advanced Technology Center has signed up for Rubin’s program. Michigan State, University of Alabama, George Mason University, and most recently VinUniversity, a private English-language college in Hanoi, Vietnam, have signed up for Emerge.
Rubin said he teaches classes in email and phone etiquette and networking skills in big cities, small towns and everywhere in between.
“Essentially, we’re a 20-minute homework library,” he said.
They include how to write an email subject line, how to leave a voicemail, and how to sign your name in cursive.
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“It sounds crazy, but these skills aren’t taught or students just don’t know about them,” he said. “What was once so commonplace, these skills are being lost and students cannot communicate effectively in basic ways to seize the opportunities they want.”
Tricia Jacobs, director of vocational and technical education and workforce development for Alexandria Public Schools, said Emerge is a perfect fit for its 65 teachers who teach students in grades six through 12. work readiness skills.
“It cuts across all of our program areas and is something that I can use as a common thread,” Jacobs said. “When you find a product that covers that, you’ve struck gold.”
Rubin pointed out that communication skills were further aggravated by the pandemic.
“I believe in that. I’m very passionate about it and I think it’s so important,” Rubin said.
For more information, visit rubineducation.com.
Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-652-5836, [email protected]