I had the pleasure of interviewing Quinn Collins, Founder and Principal at C+W Communications, a PR and marketing firm dedicated to enhancing the visibility of emerging brands. Under Quinn’s leadership, the firm works with some of the leading real estate, restaurant, hospitality, and tourism brands in the Baltimore/DC metro region. Recently Quinn was named to the Maryland Daily Record’s prestigious 2018 VIP List which recognizes professionals who have made significant professional achievements by age 40.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
One of the first positions in my career was on an in-house marketing team in the commercial real estate industry. Part of my role was collaborating with external agencies to support our efforts. As we met with various firms over the years, I saw a need for an agency to maintain senior level leadership on accounts — providing a higher level of service to businesses who really needed it. And for a fraction of the cost.
Why did you found your company?
C+W Communications evolved nearly eight years ago and was truly a natural progression of that time in my life. I like to say it almost found me. If I was in a more corporate role at that time my life would have looked very different.
I started consulting on my own after realizing that I couldn’t continue my corporate career while starting a family and raising a young child. This role allowed me to be able to be home, play the role of mom, take my daughter to appointments, but also continue to be a professional. As my business grew I slowly added more childcare hours.
I had my second child soon after. I was supposed to be at a local television station the same morning i was giving birth. I took a conference call from the hospital. But you know what? I was, and have been OK with it. This is my business to grow.
Here we sit all these years later, and we have built a team that is completely remote. One employee is newly married, loves to travel and be with her dog. She has the flexibility to do her job from anywhere in the world that has access to Wifi. Other team members appreciate the flexibility of remote work and hours in order to grow their families and also maintain their own sense of wellness — whether it’s power yoga in the morning or a CrossFit class mid-day.
What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
The way our company is remotely designed is disruptive. I’m confident this will be a trend we continue to see as the dynamics of real estate are changing. The grey area of live work play is becoming ever greyer. This gives us the opportunity to have a company, a structure and culture without the confines of office walls, rent, and building out an infrastructure we don’t need.
On top of our company structure, we look at what we’re doing in PR from a different lens. Everything we do is custom for each client. In this world of on-demand and fast paced requests, we are white glove with our clients, taking pride in providing excellent customer service.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?
My very first boss at Ad Marketing Group, my first full time job after graduating college, was Jane Richardson. I witnessed her grow a successful business while raising three children. I learned a lot through that experience both professionally and personally.
How are you going to shake things up next?
Despite being in business for eight years, I believe we’re only just beginning to hit our stride. We’re entrepreneurial and nimble, allowing us to continue to stay on the forefront of trends like influencers, social media, and getting results for clients that go beyond traditional media impressions. And people are taking notice…
Also the talent we are attracting with how we work and the clients we work with is top notch — including smart amazing women who want to continue their career while simultaneously raising a family, as well as team members interested in maintaining their passions outside the office. Those experiences only add to our creativity.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey?
Never burn a bridge. My mother told me this way back in high school when it really only applied to friends at the time. It stands true today and transcends into my professional life. Many of our client relationships are a result of decade old experiences.
Trust your people. I’ve found that we are most successful when I express high expectations of my team but also give them freedom to experience life and make mistakes.
Listen and be respectful. This came from my Dad who was a horse dentist, working with everyone from farm hands to the wealthy people that owned the horses. Looking back on his interactions, I am in awe of his ability to have meaningful conversations with all of them. Today, I replicate this — from being on a first name basis with the dishwashers at our restaurant clients to the commercial real estate broker at a national firm. It’s beneficial in the long run.
What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?
EntreLeadership. This podcast gives entrepreneurs takeaways on building a culture, working with clients, and adapting leadership skills.
Gretchen Rubin’s Happier Podcast. Each week I can make a change to make people happier that’s a great thing.
Jean Chatzky’s Her Money Podcast. It’s important for women to be in control of our finances — from running a business to running a household.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
It’s so hard to narrow down to one person because there are truly so many. I am continually inspired by female entrepreneurs and business leaders. I’d love to get a ton of them in a room and have a huge private breakfast, hearing about how they got their start, what motivates them and what they consider ‘work-life’ balance.
A few that come to mind are Oprah (obviously), Bethenny Frankel, Ann Shoket, Nicole Walters, Joy Mangano, Arianna Huffington, Kristen Hadeed, the list could go on and on and on.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Facebook, Instagram: @cw_comms and @QCollinsPR on Twitter
Originally published at medium.com