Robinson-Derus Associates is a boutique PR, content and stakeholder relations agency that helps clients tell captivating stories, manage reputations and issues to ultimately build their businesses and brands.

We work collaboratively, in-house or as your out-sourced delivery team, to find and tell distinct, compelling and authentic stories that inspire action and communicate in every word and deed who you are, what you stand for and why you matter to your customers and employees.

We take a strategic and integrated approach to build awareness, discovery and get you talked about in all the right ways with purposeful, original and inviting business storytelling, conversations and experiences that influence and engage people’s hearts and mind– inside and out. We’re also quick to get you back on track when there is an issue that puts your reputation at risk working with Boards and Executives discreetly and efficiently so your inhouse team can get on with BAU. And we’ll get you moving when we see new opportunities for engagement. And if you need some personal coaching to get you talking just call.

We deliver custom-made services that are creative, practical and genuinely valuable, and advice you can trust across the corporate communications, brand, marketing, stakeholder relations and reputation management disciplines.

Let’s talk

“Narratives that help individuals think about and feel who they are, where they come from, and where they are headed constitute the single most powerful weapon in the leader’s arsenal.”

Howard Gardner, Harvard University

 Call Susan Robinson-Derus on 09 630 5406 or 021 723 207 or email

Inhouse or Outsourced it’s all about you

We’re a fresh thinking, agile and highly skilled PR and reputation management agency, small in size and big in ideas and experience that crosses international markets, diverse sectors and audiences.

Our outsourced marketing services and delivery model takes away the hassle of dealing with many different people or getting work that doesn’t join the dots to build a distinct and connected narrative across all touchpoints be it an annual report, a presentation, customer event or media releases, FB posts or blogs.

    • We’re committed to getting to know and understand your business, and what makes your offer different, so we can build constructive, value-adding long-term relationships.
    • We tailor our communications programmes to fit the client’s objectives, resources, culture, values, strategy and business plans to deliver the most effective outcome.
    • We do not delegate relationships or service. Susan Robinson-Derus is your go to person, your dedicated account director who will work with you every step you take.
    • We also work collaboratively with a network of trusted, multi-disciplined professionals from the research, design, advertising, digital and experiential communities and with your own chosen suppliers.
    • And if you need us in-house, we’ll be there for you on secondment or on call as your outsourced marketing communications and reputation management team.
    • We offer competitive rates and terms to provide genuine value. We work on contract, retainer, by project or on hourly rates and provide an estimate of costs for discussion and approval.
    • We also provide in-house or locum resource if this is what works best for the client.

You can check out our full list of services on the right hand sie of the page.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you will do things differently.”

Warren Buffett

Communications Coaching for Business

Who are You and Why do you Matter?

There’s an old truism that you have to keep telling people they are doing the right thing when they buy from you and in today’s noisy marketplace they like to know more than just what you do. They want to know who you are, what you stand for and why you matter in their lives.

Successful companies and brands consistently, clearly and appealingly articulate in every word and deed their vision, values, strategy, culture and personality to influence and engage people’s hearts and minds and earn trust, deliver results and build a reputation as an asset.

Can you do that? Or is your business story locked inside you or scattered in disconnected pieces across different social, print and digital media? Are you unsure about what to say and how to say it your way and in your own voice? You would be in very good company as a leader if you answered yes and recognise that you are struggling to communicate effectively and inspirationally to galvanise action.

There’s a solution. You need a coach to work alongside you – one on one or with your leadership or sales team – to build your communication skills – and confidence – and find the voice, hooks and memorable, meaningful, engaging stories to guide what people experience, think, feel and believe about your brand – and the company behind the brand.

Let’s talk. Call Susan Robinson-Derus on 021 723 207 or email to see how we can custom-make a coaching programme that transforms you into a great business storyteller able to bring to life your company, brand and your own personal brand.

Here are some of the skills you and your communications coach can work on:

  • Expressing your vision and values with a great story and messages that can be told again and again wherever people meet your brand and company
  • Articulating your strategy, goals and ideas in a simple, appealing way
  • Finding your voice and tapping into personal stories and experiences that shape your brand
  • Telling stories and sharing experiences that inspire and motivate customers and employees to take action and give them reasons to trust you
  • Speaking with confidence in formal and informal situations to excite discovery and build awareness and recognition of your company and brand offer
  • Building high performing teams that share the vision, live the culture, know what’s expected and are motivated to deliver the goals
  • Strengthening relationships with your colleagues, customers, communities of influencers
  • Projecting the qualities and capabilities that distinguish you as a leader – or prospective leader and influencer
  • Listening, feedback and conversation skills
  • Having confidence to be your whole and real self.

Susan Robinson-Derus, Managing Director

“Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is; the tree is the real thing.” 

Abraham Lincoln

Susan is a globally successful and experienced integrated brand, communications and content marketing strategist and relationship manager, able to leverage international experience and superb creative and practical skills to facilitate complex communication and public relations outcomes to build reputations and brands people want.

Over the past 30 years, as a foreign correspondent for UPI and Time Magazine, broadcaster, pundit and a senior executive and business consultant, Susan has led and implemented commercial marketing, branding, lobbying, communication and transformational strategies that align promise and offering, culture and stakeholders to extend market reach, influence and deliver substantial returns for organisations.

Her experience covers working with ZESPRI as an architect and implementer of the brand and supporting structure, Air New Zealand, Telecom, Fonterra, Auckland Council, Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Heartland Bank, Sampoerna Foundation, and clients from agribusiness, food, retail, financial services, industry good, NFP, local government, education, IT, tourism, public lobbies, airlines, energy, life sciences, manufacturing for export and community organisations.

She’s an IABC Gold Quill award winner, alumni of the Columba College Hall of Fame and on the Advisory Board of Massey University’s School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing shaping the skills for the new generation of communicators to thrive in a digital future. She is a former Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (NZ) and has held board and advisory roles in community, charity and private companies.

Susan’s Ethos

I’m a fresh thinker and lifelong learner with an open mind and an open heart; an advocate for the consumer and for courageous, conscientious, values-driven companies who behave with credence in what they say and do, in how they conduct their relationships and deliver experiences wherever a person meets them.

I love the discipline, challenge and opportunities of uncovering the identity and personality of a business or brand, translating strategy into meaningful, relatable and inspiring storytelling and devising tailor-made, but always integrated and connected, stories and experiences that are believable, sustainable and create fresh opportunities for growth and change.

“I believe that imagination and diverse experiences deliver innovation and reputations that always matter.”

Here’s What Client’s Say

“Susan is a strong strategic thinker with very good communication and personnel skills. During the corporatisation of ZGL and the brand launch of ZESPRI these skills were demonstrated to great effect with all stakeholders in the industry. Employing her services will be an asset to any organisation.”

Brian Armstrong, Chairman ZGL

“We will miss working with such an engaging and vivacious person. We nailed the blueprint through a truly collaborative effort – tough at times but truly rewarding.”

Terry Tyrrell, Executive Chairman, The Brand Union, global branding agency

“Susan is a professional communicator, relationship manager and brand marketer with broad industry experience in New Zealand and overseas. She has a proven track record in internal and external brand development and alignment, including helping shape the strategy to create the ZESPRI(tm) brand.”

Todd Muller, Group Director Co-operative Affairs, Fonterra

“Robinson Derus Associates have completed regular and varied assignments for Glidepath over an 11-year period ranging from web site strategy, media releases and specific tasks in support of high dollar value tender submissions. Glidepath are one of only about five such specialist companies in the world that compete in our industry and we are always looking for that tangible or even perceived edge to differentiate our offferings in our global markets. Additionally, Robinson Derus Associates has been pivotal in scoping out and providing input into many of Glidepath’s successful industry award entries.

“The principal Susan Robinson Derus is prompt and efficient and through her personality is always a delight to have visit with us. I have enjoyed many lively sessions where ideas are bounced around the meeting room as we seek that all important edge to our promotional and sales activities. ”

Sir Ken Stevens, Executive Chairman Glidepath Group and Chairman Export NZ

“Wow! Makes it Happen.”

Eric Henry, Chairman Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

“Again, congratulations on a very successful week in advancing the issues around savings and the position of the FSC. There has been very good coverage in the media and very strong feedback at a number of social functions I have been to over recent days. You should all be very proud of the achievements.”

Dame Jenny Shipley, Former Prime Minister, Director and Chair of Financial Services Council

“Thank you to Susan for bringing such lively and knowledgeable leadership to our team in M&P and wider across the department and organisation.  You have shown total dedication to winning the hearts and minds of Aucklanders and building trust in what we do.  You’ll be missed.”

Victoria Walker, Head of Marketing and Publicity, Auckland Council


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *