SAN FRANCISCO: Lyft and Pandora alum Will Valentine has started his own communications consultancy called Valentine Advisors.
Valentine, the firm’s founder and principal, said the consultancy was in stealth mode for a year before he launched it this month. He declined to disclose clients, but said it is focused on “marketplace businesses that need balancing.”
Valentine said he works with freelancers who he can rely on for the right projects.
He added that he works with clients in two ways: as an adviser to CEOs, CMOs and communications teams, augmenting existing strategies, building out new programs or navigating business challenges, whether as a one-time project or ongoing counsel. For clients looking for in-house leadership, Valentine said he can work as the equivalent of a chief communications officer.
“There are so many situations where a company verges onto the national consciousness but for whatever reason, they don’t have the right full-time person in place,” he said, referring to the second operational model. “There’s a real market for someone to come in and get things pointed in the right direction fast, and that’s what I love to do.”
Valentine Advisors’ services include providing clients with a reputation playbook, helping with operating plans, navigating crises and business challenges, coaching, assisting with team structure and people management, IPO communications and measurement.
“I have been so obsessed with the power of proactivity,” said Valentine. “So many of the really interesting companies are disruptors, and they often get stuck on defense or struggle to tie their story together, so I am fixated on building programs that overcome that.”
From March to June, Valentine was communications lead for Stop the Spread, a coalition of volunteer CEOs working around the U.S. to catalyze action and support the government in response to COVID-19.
He was VP of communications for Lyft for three years, ending in November 2019, and Pandora’s comms leader for three years. Previously, he spent 11 years at Visa in PR leadership roles.