5 Questions with Russ Florence
BY JOHN STANCAVAGE World Business Editor
Friday, September 28, 2012
9/28/12 at 5:55 AM
1: You've worked in Tulsa for 22 years but recently announced you're moving to Oklahoma City. Why?
My business partners and I at Schnake Turnbo Frank PR have been talking about this for a while. We started our Oklahoma City office in March 2008, and it really has grown. So, we started discussing the advantages of having one partner live and work there.
It was a good time for me to do it. My wife is giving up her business in Bartlesville and is going to be a stay-at-home mom with our 7-month-old son. We asked him, too, and he agreed.
2: Over the years, you've worked on a lot of big projects that have had an impact on the area. What one stands out in your mind?
It's hard to pick out just a few, but the work we did to mark the 100th anniversary of the finding of the big well in Glenpool was memorable, as was helping bring the Tulsa Shock (WNBA team) here.
Overall, though, I'd say the most fun project was the unearthing of the Belvedere in 2007, the car that had been buried for 50 years. That was in conjunction with the city's centennial. The event probably drew more journalists here - from inside and outside Oklahoma - than anything since the opening of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa in 1971.
3: What is Tulsa's greatest strength?
I think Tulsa is a very proud city, and I mean that in the best way. There's a lot of civic pride here. Tulsa has an interesting history and cultural amenities that are unique.
I've always said that if you took someone from outside the state and plopped them down in Tulsa, they wouldn't know they're in Oklahoma. It is a very cosmopolitan city. If I were rich, I would buy every travel writer in the country a plane ticket here. I bet most of them would say, "Wow."
4: What is Tulsa's biggest challenge?
Getting the Vision2 tax extension proposal passed. I think that would help keep the city moving forward. The passage of Vision 2025 was a pivotal moment in our history. You can see the benefits of it all over. Downtown is one example. There has been a lot of entrepreneurial investment that has helped drive growth, but Vision 2025 money has played a big role.
5: You've been in the public relations field for more than two decades. In recent years, as a partner and manager you have worked with a lot of young people. What advice do you have for those who want to get into the profession?
Number one would be to have a strong work ethic. I'll take the hardest-working person in the room over the smartest. And, I don't mean someone who can work 70 hours a week. I mean the person who is conscientious, accountable and takes pride in his or her work.
Number two would be attitude. You have to like the work. Being ethical also is important in this business.
Ideally, I'd like to hire someone who had all of those qualities but, as I said, I'll take the hardest worker every time.
Original Print Headline: Vision2 called a key to Tulsa moving forward
Russ Florence has been with Schnake Turnbo Frank PR since 2001. He became a partner in 2007 and was named president and chief operating officer in 2009. He is chairman-elect of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, and chairman of Global Gardens. He holds a degree from Oklahoma State University's school of agricultural communications, which named him its Graduate of Distinction in 2007. Courtesy