Full Name: Rob Kinslow
BE Words: Meaning / Magic
Nicknames: Doctor Kinslow
Hometown: Baldwinsville, NY
Alma mater: State University of
New York College at Postdam
How would you describe what you do here?
I like to think of myself as a brand linguist. At a strategic level, I try to help clients find new ways to talk about themselves. Too often companies go through branding exercises and soul searching to try to feel unique, but they end up sounding like everyone else. My job is to find that new language—new language that speaks to something people will truly value.
Have you always had a love for words/writing? What brought you to being a copywriter?
Writing was always in my life. My father was a high school English teacher and my mother was a school librarian. It was words and books all the way.
In college I majored in political science—I was going to be a journalist. I moved to Boston and was working for a PR firm when one day I was sitting in the lobby of then-Beth Israel Hospital for a photo shoot, looked around and thought “Wow, this would be a really cool place to work.” From there my interest in hospitals was born, and I ended up working at a hospital, where I wrote for board members, the CEO, the physicians and all of the service lines. Instead of writing about politics and current events, I wrote about the current state of medicine. From there I became more specialized, writing about medical devices and diagnostics—it was fascinating.
What’s the best part of your job?
Seeing a client’s face light up when they hear something put in a way they’ve never thought about before.
What’s the best thing about KHJ’s company culture?
I love the people I work with. I’ve been here 7 years, and I’ve noticed that we seem to attract people who are really smart, really funny, and really nice. Above all, everyone works really hard. It’s a great combination.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Mostly it’s the three Ms: magic, music and ministry.
I’m currently studying to be a minister, and I’m excited to be able to incorporate magic and music into my ministry. I play trumpet and guitar, I sing, and I perform magic. And I write and deliver sermons. It’s fun and serious at the same time.
I also love to cook and bake and spend time with my wife, Janice, and our two rescues, Daisy and Petey. Petey has his own blog, but that’s another story.
You’re a writer—so what’s your favorite book?
I always say it takes me forever to read a book because I read sentences, not paragraphs and pages. I’m reading the competition.
But I do have a favorite—The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It’s the Arthurian legend told from the viewpoint of King Arthur’s sister, Morgan le Fay, only in Mists she is called Morgaine. In other Arthurian legends, she’s the villain, but here she is presented in a sympathetic light.
It’s sort of like the musical Wicked, only it was written decades earlier. It does a great job of transporting you to a different time. You feel like you know what it was like to live in a castle – damp and cold and musty. Very gritty.
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Edinburgh, Scotland. My sister lives there. It’s a handsome city—I love that the ancient world is right there. A canon goes off at noon every day and everyone just stops to check their watch; it’s quite amazing.
Favorite Ad or Ad Campaign?
That goes way, way back. International Paper did a magazine ad series back in the early 1980s about reading and writing. It showcased famous people, including my literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut. I still have the Vonnegut ad on writing with style and have reread it many, many times.
Little did I know then that I, too, would be writing ads one day! Funny how it all comes full circle.