Christine Faulhaber is the President and CEO of Faulhaber Communications and has been a force for women entrepreneurs in PR and marketing for over two decades.
Christine’s success was acknowledged by Chatelaine W100 Female Entrepreneurs in 2015, then Profit 100 and Growth 500, as well as being a LOULOU magazine ‘It Girl’ and many many more awards and achievements. “I am proud of how our expertise has evolved alongside the rapid changes within the industry” mentions Christine as she leads a long-lasting mentorship and support for women-led businesses.
As her company celebrates this 20-year milestone in the business, Faulhaber is launching a multi-pronged campaign that will including pro-bono services to BIPOC or women-owned businesses through the agencies FConsults and FMentor services, which is a program that will support and engage the next generation of PR leaders. FConsults will be committing $20,000 to celebrate 20 years, and this program is open to BIPOC and female-owned businesses looking to grow through strategy, marketing and communication, with a consult from the award-winning team at Faulhaber communications. The FMentors program will offer career advice to those looking for prospective public relations-related jobs, including how to land your first job in the business, and how to thrive in a PR and marketing agency environment.
What inspired you to want to be the boss of your own business and what steps did you take to make this happen at such a young age?
I didn’t plan it. I was working in fashion with Designer Joeffer Caoc right before I started Faulhaber and I noticed that the retail clients I sold clothing to needed help. I saw a new opportunity to use my skills and thankfully the early clients (Finishing Touches, Urban Dog & Over The Rainbow were some of the first) took a chance on me!
Starting a successful PR business requires creating a large network of connections, how did you create this network from your kitchen?
While the business may have started in my kitchen, building my network certainly didn’t. Events, Fashion Week, parties, and meetings with media were a hot ticket for cultivating contacts, not to mention fashion moments and a lot of fun! I kept tight lists and made sure to follow up on the regular. I stayed relevant and made sure I was helpful to all.
How have you become a successful entrepreneur in the business of PR and marketing?
Keeping ahead of the trends and listening to clients is key to success for any entrepreneur. Setting up smart systems and processes so your employees understand what success looks like is also a huge undertaking that I prioritized. Putting your point of difference on paper and train your team on is a hard thing to do, but essential if you want to scale the business and last.
At the age of 26, you must have had a lot of mentors helping you. Now being a successful businesswoman how do you mentor young women who want to join the business?
Mentors were far and few between when I started my business. There were very few female business owners like myself and resources were limited. Over the years I have spent a lot of time lecturing at schools, taking 1:1 calls, and as part of our #F20 anniversary offering, we have formalized the program called #FMentors. Faulhaber executives like myself and Lexi, our VP and Partner, as well as the entire team provide mentorship across all levels. It is a great way to give back and generate team engagement! I also mentor young talent at the Toronto Fashion Incubator and with The Forum.
Being an entrepreneur is always challenging, what challenges have you overcome in a business like your own?
Finding and keeping good talent is really challenging. Many team members recognize the benefits of a smaller group where they can have unbridled access to leadership and opportunities to help run the business instead of being a number in a big firm.
What makes PR so important in today’s day and age, especially with social media?
Brands will always need guidance on how and when and where to position their brand. External PR support is essential in times of crises, when new opportunities emerge and when the world is pivoting. Our relationships in the influencer space are also a value-add for many brands trying to navigate and maximize their time and dollar spend.
How has PR and marketing changed when it comes to social issues or the political climate?
Diversity has always been an issue in our industry. The fact that brands, employees and employers are much more open to listening and acting is magical. The opportunities are endless and we make a point to share information and suggest diverse content and influencer options to our clients. We created a DEI team internally and also pivoted our 20 year Faulhaber Communications Ryerson Award to be given to a female who identifies as being from an underrepresented group.
What can you say the last 20 years have brought you, and what do you look forward to for the next 20?
Building a successful firm is an achievement I am really proud of. Because I am always focused on forwarding momentum, I don’t often reflect and celebrate it. It is nice to do that now, and even though the team isn’t together in person, we are in many ways poised for the future as a strong force.