This story was co-written by Stephanie Schwartz.
Recently on the rbb blog, we published the first installment of our “rbb Behind the Scenes” series, where we got the down and dirty scoop on EVP/Partner, Tina Elmowitz.
Next up in the hot seat is healthcare guru, Cher fan (yes, we said it!), and Fort Lauderdale-based EVP/Partner, John Quinn. Most probably don’t know that John is able to provide a unique perspective when advising clients as he started his career on the editorial side of the industry, and he’s had experience as a business owner himself.
Read on to learn more about John’s diverse background, how he made the move from Manhattan to Sunny South Florida and why he hates calf’s tongue.
How’d you get started in the industry?
John: I started as an assistant editor of a healthcare trade publication for the National League for Nursing, which accredits nursing education programs. I worked my way up to managing editor, but I saw a need in the organization for a public relations position. I began doing the PR work for them and they soon created the Director of PR role for me based on my work. I eventually made the jump to a big New York agency where I could work on major health care accounts with significant marketing and PR budgets, focusing on pharmaceuticals.
How’d you make it down to Florida?
John: I visited Florida on a vacation and never wanted to leave. I took a leap of faith and applied to three agencies in Miami – one happened to be Bruce Rubin Associates. The rest is history, I’ve been in South Florida ever since.
In business, what are you known for?
John: Healthcare, higher education, corporate communications and reputation management are my areas of expertise.
Additionally, writing has always been a strength of mine. While working for Bruce, Tina Elmowitz, who was an account executive at the time, used to call me “the red pen guy” because of my heavy editing.
I’m also known for finding common ground with others and building client relationships.
Myth Busting: What do most people not know about the business of public relations?
John: It’s a whole lot more than just publicity.
What’s your greatest failure, and how did you overcome it?
John: Not doing my homework ahead of a client presentation. Unfortunately, that made a difference in how the meeting went. I’ve overcome that by making it a point to be prepared – some might even say a little paranoid – in these situations.
Can you share an uncomfortable or embarrassing experience from when you were first starting out?
John: When I was working at Bruce Rubin Associates, I was highly active growing our health care practice. To say I was busy would be an understatement. One morning I woke up in a rush to the office and didn’t realize I had put two different shoes on. As one of my colleagues pointed out, they weren’t even the same color!
What is your one piece of advice to a young professional entering the industry?
John: Always give 110 percent. I’ve applied that to all of my jobs, which has helped me advance my career. Go out and get the experience you need to progress to the next level – it won’t just come to you so don’t wait around for it.
Bookworm or TV addict?
John: I’m more of a TV watcher than a bookworm these days, and I’m not happy about it! Time is limited, but I wish I could become more of a reader again.
Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?
John: Bungee jumping.
Morning person or night owl?
John: I started out as a night owl when I was young, but now I’m a morning person. In fact, when I was in kindergarten, my mother had to sign me up for the afternoon slot because I refused to wake up for the early class!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
John: I’d like to be taller.
Sweet or salty?
Where did you travel to most recently?
John: Las Vegas.
Sushi or Italian?
Name three things on your bucket list?
- Helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon (Check! Just completed).
- A trip to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.
- A leisurely, extended tour of Europe.
Best concert you’ve ever been to?
John: Cher, about 4-5 years ago. I wasn’t sure it was for me but a friend convinced me to go and it was a blast!
If you could live in any period of history or time when would it be?
John: I’m glad to be here now and I don’t have a desire to go back in history.
Name one food you absolutely despise?
John: My mother used to make calf’s tongue, sliced cold, for summer picnics. I have never actually tasted it because I gag just thinking about it!
If your name was an acronym, what would it stand for?
If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be?
John: Elon Musk.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know the quiet but fierce John Quinn through these 20 questions. Interested in learning more? Comment your questions below and John will respond!