RLF is a North Carolina-based strategic communications agency with a national reputation for providing clients with ideas, strategy and service to advance their brands and business objectives. Combining the intelligence and capabilities of a large firm with the dexterity and nimbleness of an independent shop, our expertise includes marketing, advertising, public relations, branding and creative work. Our clients are a mix of professional service firms, government agencies, foundations, lifestyle and consumer products, and S&P 500 companies.

Our Philosophy

The Core of RLF

If you know our name, you know our philosophy. To be Respected, Liked and Feared is the mantra we live up to every day.
It serves as both our internal compass and our guiding aspiration among clients, colleagues and peers.


Respect doesn’t come easily, so we’re devoted to earning it. We want our employees to be honored to work here and our clients to be proud to work with us.


Building relationships is critical, so we invest a lot of our time and energy. We believe potential clients appreciate getting to know us and current clients enjoy collaborating with us.


When clients engage us, we play to win. Just as some sports teams are feared by their competitors, we seek to be an agency partner that doesn’t back down. We go all in, helping our clients outmaneuver and outperform their competition, achieving their strategic goals and exceeding the expectations of their customers.

Global Reach

No Agency is an Island

Worldcom Public Relations Group

Remember how we like to build relationships? We also like to grow our relationships into partnerships.

As an active member of Worldcom, the world’s leading partnership of global communications agencies, we have 93 partners across the globe – six continents to be exact. Some firms are multifaceted like us and others specialize in niche industries.

With Worldcom, we have access to thousands of professionals who understand the language, culture and customers of the geographic areas where they operate. So even if one agency is actually located on an island, it doesn’t have to function as one.


Strategy and Service from the Top Down

Monty Hagler

Monty Hagler, President and CEO

As the founder and fearless leader of RLF, Monty has a diverse communications background ranging from expertise in strategic planning to crisis management. He previously worked as a managing partner at Trone, an integrated communications agency in High Point; as president of Capstrat, an integrated agency in Raleigh; and as vice president for strategic communications at First Union in Charlotte. An active leader in the community and industry, Monty serves on the global board for the Worldcom Public Relations Group. He received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s in applied communication theory from Temple University.

David French

David French, Vice President of Client Strategy & Service

David works in nearly every facet of communications, specializing in research, strategic planning, reputation management and influencer initiatives. With more than 25 years of experience, he has won numerous awards for his writing, video productions and public relations programs, and is one of a select few public relations professionals worldwide to be dually accredited by both the International Association of Business Communicators and the Public Relations Society of America. David previously worked at Trone where he led communications efforts for the veterinary professional products division of Mars, Inc. He received a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from North Carolina State University.

Michelle Rash

Michelle Rash, Vice President of Financial & Professional Services Brands

As a former award-winning business journalist, Michelle understands the impact of thoughtful and strategic communications and the need for companies to tell a compelling story. Since transitioning to public relations, she has coordinated successful media relations, social media, crisis management and brand development campaigns for clients in a variety of industries, including real estate, finance and law. She previously worked at the Triad Business Journal and the Greensboro News & Record where she reported on government, education and business. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and broadcast communications from Elon College (now Elon University).

Greg Monroy

Greg Monroy, Creative Director

An industry veteran, Greg has more than 25 years of graphic design experience. He discovered his passion for design when he began working as a designer in the student design office at the University of North Carolina Greensboro before graduating and moving on to the agency arena. Prior to joining RLF as creative director, Greg worked at King’s English, a full-service advertising and public relations firm. There, he started as staff designer and rose through the ranks to become creative director, handling traditional layout, as well as directing photography, video, radio and developing websites. Greg received his degree in Fine Arts from UNCG after briefly studying Communication Design at the Otis College of Art and Design in his hometown of Los Angeles.