Nat Read formed the public relations agency Read Communications in 1985, locating his business in Pasadena in the Sanborn House, a 1906 structure designed by the legendary architectural firm of Greene & Greene. Nat chose this historic setting because of his involvement in Pasadena history, including years on the board of the Pasadena Historical Society (now the Pasadena Museum of History) and having published numerous articles on the city's history in national and local publications.
The first office of Read Communications in 1985 was in the Sanborn House, designed by Greene & Greene in 1906.
As the agency grew it moved to a large section of the second floor of the Chamber of Commerce Building, a structure in Old Pasadena designed by Parkingson & Bergstrom in 1906.
Read Communications was hired by Stitzel Development Company for assistance with One Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena and Two Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
For ten years Read Communications served a wide variety of clients in the broad spectrum of public relations, including professional services, oil companies, non-profit organizations, associations, hospitals, schools, universities, corporations, and banks. Many of Read Communications' account executives have gone on to highly successful careers in corporations and other public relations agencies. For its public relations projects Read Communications won dozens of national and regional awards, including a Silver Anvil, the "Oscar" of the public relations industry. This Silver Anvil recognized Read Communications' event, "The Most Widely Witnessed Wedding in American History," a marriage conducted during the Rose Parade garnering the most publicity ever for a Rose Parade float and witnessed by 300 to 350 million people in person and on television.
On January 1, 1989, Carrie Humphries and Ron Simms were married as their Rose Parade float rounded the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Blvds., in the most widely witnessed wedding in American history. The wedding promoted the cottages at the Huntington Hotel, which saw a big increase in business following the parade.
In 1995 Nat Read changed the structure of Read Communications to that of a sole consultant, releasing the office suite and helping place employees with other employers. From that point on he focused on two public relations specialties: government relations and crisis management. These were the two specialties that he had personally handled in the agency while other professionals had dealt with the "good news" assignments of publicity, events and marketing communications.
Nat Read's assignments in government relations have centered geographically in the Pasadena and Glendale areas, including challenges in nearby communities. Typical clients have been developers of major real estate projects in the range of $50 to $150 million, who need government entitlements for their hotel, shopping center, residential complex or office building. Other clients have included those seeking major contractual relations with local cities.
Old Pasadena was little more than a gaggle of record stores and T-shirt shops before the opening of One Colorado Boulevard), a block of re-fitted historic buildings that served as the "anchor" for the district.
Transportation expertise has been important in representing projects in the billion-dollar-pus range, including rail, freeway and airport issues.
Read Communications was the government and community relations agency for the initial construction management of the Los Angeles -- Pasadena Light Rail Gold Line
Read Communications commissioned the creation of Sam the Eagle as the symbol used in the upgrading of the Bob Hope Airport.
In the realm of crisis management Nat Read draws on decades of handling major crises for the U.S. Navy and for one of the countries largest corporations. The long list of crises he has handled includes:
- Hijacking/hostage stand-offs, aircraft and other
- International and locally newsworthy wrongful deaths
- Kidnapping/hostage stand-off
- Product recalls
- Toxic spills
- Food infestation
- Discrimination and reverse discrimination
- Molestation/Sexual abuse
- Disasters: Fire/explosions/toxic fumes/plane crashes
- Prominent lawsuits (up to $500 billion)