Comms Strategy Veterans Launch Dallas Consulting Firm Arvo Advisory

Aiming to "bridge the gap between strategy and communication," the newly launched Dallas consulting firm was co-founded by a former head of strategy at MoneyGram International and a 30-year comms veteran who's worked with Coca-Cola, UPS, and MCI.

Is there meaning in the message? That’s a question companies must ask themselves if they want their communications teams to make an impact. Now a new Dallas agency aims to help brands achieve that, by creating value through both “strategy and story.”

Arvo Advisory, a boutique consulting and executive communication firm, launched Friday with an innovative model combining corporate strategists with executive communication leaders and public relations experts. 

The firm was co-founded by Stephen Reiff—who most recently serving as head of strategy and corporate communication for Dallas-based MoneyGram International—and Steve Soltis, a 30-year executive communication industry veteran who ran CEO and employee communication at Coca-Cola, UPS, and MCI. Soltis also teaches strategic communication at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Reiff, whose background has spanned corporate strategy, politics, and management consulting, says that a company’s reputation is a key driver of its value.

“Research has shown that company reputation accounts for about 25% of the overall valuation, and we help companies maximize this potential by developing a winning strategy that’s powered by a compelling story to inspire confidence across audiences,” Reiff, managing partner at Arvo, said in a statement. “With a model that sits at the intersection of management consultancies and agencies, we’ve created an advisory firm that we wish had existed in our prior roles. We’ve been thrilled by the initial market response for our services.”

“It’s clear that executives have been looking for this type of offering as they seek to bring their strategy to life at important inflection points,” he added.

‘Bridging the gap’ between strategy and communication

The new firm says it aims to bridge the gap between strategy and communication with the help of “a world-class team of experts that have driven results for over 35 Fortune 500 CEOs.”

“What sets Arvo Advisory apart—and what gets me out of bed every morning—is this exciting proposition of linking strategy to story and doing it with a team that has held inside roles with some of the largest and most respected brands in the world,” Soltis said in a statement.  “We’re not a typical agency—we’re a collection of corporate strategists and storytellers who’ve ‘been there and done that.'”

Arvo said its key service offerings include strategic narrative development, executive communication support, transaction and turnaround advisory, public relations, and strategic communication. Its clients consist of CEOs, CFOs, chief strategy officers, and chief communication officers in addition private equity and venture capital firms.

Putting together a roster of ‘expert advisors’

According to Axios, Arvo has put together a roster of experts—including former Coca-Cola exec Doug Busk, former McDonald’s exec Danielle Cupps, former Home Depot chief communications officer Steve Holmes, and former Corteva exec Dana Bolden—to serve as advisors “in support of specific client work.”

Busk, who’s a principal at Arvo Advisory, said on LinkedIn that “Like many excellent ideas, this one was brainstormed over unlimited chips & salsa.”

“Steve Soltis, a colleague from our shared time together at Coca-Cola, talked about the need—and opportunity for—leaders experienced in the *doing* of transformation work, advising executive peers driving the same,” Busk wrote. “How this work spanned and synthesized communications, marketing, and strategy—a concept he had mulled over with another doer-leader, Stephen Reiff.”

“From there, Steve, Stephen, and I crafted a new approach to advisory,” he added. “One in which we could gather a panel that spanned all of these capabilities—and more—so that they may be on-call for executive clients, dynamically shifting to supply the analysis, perspective, and recommendations based on first-hand learning.”

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