Être Communications

Être Communications Logo

Inspire People

Être is a boutique communications agency that gives a powerful voice to those with big ideas


Over 20 years of local-global excellence

We are bold. We are resourceful. And we are purpose driven. Être applies a thoroughly modern approach to the communications industry in order to deliver the unexpected. Our boutique model and business philosophy calls for an alliance with only a handful of select client partners.

The end result: memorable campaigns and communications tools managed by a true partner.

Photo of Leslie Strickler

Leslie Strickler

Leslie Strickler is an international marketing and branding consultant with an eye for the big picture. She founded Être over twenty years ago with the goal of helping her clients to be who they want to be. She has carried this vision forward with CEOs and business leaders to entrepreneurs and celebrities. A skillful navigator inside and out of the business realm, Leslie pulls from her experience in public relations, branding, marketing, and sales. She has lead regional, national and international initiatives for startups, corporations large and small, as well as individuals. Her career has taken her through corporate marketing positions in law firms, healthcare companies, and travel businesses. She has served as VP of Global Communications in the biotech industry, publisher of three different business and lifestyle publications, editor of an online news outlet, head of communications for a multiyear campaign to impact policy makers, marketing director for a professional sports team, and publicist for a world-renowned author. She is the recipient of multiple business awards and serves on a variety of nonprofit boards and community initiatives. With over 25 years of experience, Leslie has always maintained that with “passion and action,” you can accomplish anything.


  • Richmond Magazine — "50 Women of Power"
  • Inside Business — "Top 40 Under 40"
  • Omicron Delta Kappa — National Leadership Honor Society
Photo of Paul Spicer

Paul Spicer

Paul Spicer is a published author, award-winning journalist, and chief brand officer. His early career was devoted to helping launch innovative startups and socially conscious businesses throughout the United States. In addition, he helped AOL, IBM, and other large businesses market to special populations such as Baby Boomers, veterans, and customers with disabilities. As the communications field evolved, Paul co-founded Compleo, an international digital marketing agency at the intersection of technology, fundamental public relations and trendsetting interactive media. There he strategically partnered with other public relations agencies to assist clients such as CarMax, AMF, and SnagAJob target new ways to use social media to interact with audiences and listen to their customer needs. In 2010, Paul became a partner at Être where he helped grow the firm’s service offerings to include digital marketing, brand management, brand publicity, media relations, and advertising. In addition to marketing, Paul has published three books, written a series of continuing education courses, and served as a freelance writer for over 20 regional and national publications. He is the editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Grid magazine, a publication that features solution-oriented reporting.


  • VMFA Muse Award
  • The B Corp "Best of the World List"
  • Style Weekly Top 40 Under 40 Publisher's Choice
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Être is the French verb "to be." Simply put, our firm is designed to help clients be what they want to be. Our services range from branding and public relations to advertising and digital marketing.



Être looks for partners committed to exploring the deepest expression of their brand. By focusing on the values embedded in an organization’s culture, we help create a relationship between brand and community.

Services Include
  • Brand purpose discovery
  • Corporate citizenship
  • Brand idea and positioning
  • Brand architecture
  • Innovation and new concept development
  • Opportunity mapping

Public Relations

Être looks for partners who act with purpose in everything they do. We apply quality, creativity, and authenticity in our partner-client approach to public relations.

Services Include
  • Thought-provoking, proactive storyline development
  • Influencer seeding and third-party endorsements
  • Media training
  • Coordinating launch events
  • Equity-building strategies and strategic partnerships
  • Traditional media relations combined with digital media
  • Scheduling and facilitating media interviews

Digital Marketing

Être is at the intersection of fundamental public relations and trendsetting social media. We combine proven public relations strategies to a new world; one that balances traditional, print media with digital and social channels. While it’s our springboard, we insist that social media must be more than just about the web — at its core, it has to be about collaborative innovation and a combination of online-offline sharing for true brand recognition. As a result, we create an ecosystem for our clients that includes physical, web, and community in order to produce a complete experience for your end users.

Our Approach

Être combines a unique blend of traditional market research, technology, design and analytics with innovative web strategy and new media.

Listen: Être first identifies your goals in order to measure real ROI, segment your core audiences and analyze their online behavior. We then have a basis for developing fast and powerful social media campaigns that include targeted social presences and metrics.

Target: Être specializes in helping organizations target new ways to use social media to engage audiences in ways that balance your existing initiatives. We use social media as a hub and connector to activate increased value for your brand and monitor your reputation in an online landscape that is changing fast.

Engage: Être builds an online presence on selected social networks that fit your marketing, sales, and public relations objectives to target your desired audience. We create an online presence for your organization throughout multiple fan platforms and online forums on the top-ranked social networks. Additionally, we build customized web applications and mobile apps to promote your brand. This effectively allows you to complement and balance your traditional website with an additional viral component — an active web presence on today’s emerging social networks at once.


In order for you to maintain and grow your brand, Être feels that you must be able to simultaneously monitor and update various social networks at once, and in a fashion that promotes your viral marketing strategies. We therefore do more than create profiles, fan pages, and product pages for you — we actually monitor your online reputation by keeping your content updated and ensure that the content posted on these sites by your stakeholders are beneficial to your brand’s growth. We are then able to work with you on developing mitigation strategies based on customer feedback. Être partners with you to close the loop on the Innovation - Production- Marketing value chain.

Our suite of solutions enables clients to
  • Engage your audience through relevant apps on a variety of social media platforms and mobile devices
  • Extend brand identity to social platforms by deploying branded experiences
  • Track web and social analytics to measure outcomes and ensure that goals are met
  • Encourage brand interaction via network effects of multiple social media platforms

Social Impact

Être works best with companies dedicated to corporate strategic philanthropy and community investment. We help partner-clients become leaders in corporate and global citizenship, while securing tangible returns on investment and reputation.

Services Include
  • Strategic alignment and corporate donations
  • public-private partnerships
  • employee volunteerism
  • strategies to deliver greater benefit to society
  • campaigns to enhance corporate reputation
  • strategic philanthropy
  • cause marketing

Past performances include the creation of the annual Hometown Heroes for Allen & Allen law firm, It Starts for the Hear for Health Diagnostic Laboratory, and Able to Choose for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our publication, Greater Richmond Grid magazine, is a B Certified Business has been recognized on both the “Best for the World” list and “Best for Communities” list by B Lab.


Public Relations

Être’s boutique publishing arm, a subsidiary known as Grid Publishing, creates community-based solution oriented magazines. Greater Richmond Grid magazine, a glossy bi-monthly, is one example of Être’s approach to next generation publishing. Grid Publishing is a B Certified business focused on celebrating positive news, innovation, collaboration, and the maker movement. For more, visit www.richmondgrid.com. Être and Grid Publishing seek mission driven partners dedicated to social impact.


Audience-Centric Content

Être develops content marketing plans to help brands connect with their target audience along every step of the buying decision. The result: higher engagement, conversion, and customer satisfaction

Services Include
  • Campaign development and execution
  • Brand messaging and positioning
  • Management of editorial calendars and content planning
  • Content development, creation, and optimization
  • Content publishing and syndication
  • Blog writing and publishing

We don't believe in boundaries or limitations.

Selected Clients

Here are some of our clients:

Contact Us Today

We look for partners ready to impact people, markets, and the future.

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