Written by: Jocelyn Lubczuk
Edited by: Pina Capuano
As an avid Shark Tank viewer, I found myself quite excited as I sat down one Friday night with a big bag of popcorn to enjoy the show. I watched as two women walked confidently into the tank, and as their bio reel played I knew that I wanted to be like them professionally after my graduation. Kelley Coughlan (right) and Jenn Deese (left) own a luxury lifestyle PR firm based out of sunny Los Angeles. While they own and operate their very own business, their product ‘Pursecase’, a hybrid wallet and phone case, is what they brought with them into the Shark Tank. Here is a link of their clip of sharktank:
During their pitch they eloquently battled through Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban’s tough comments. They were offered a royalty deal through the one and only Kevin O’Leary, and after all was said and done the ladies made a deal with Lori Greiner, who offered them 55 thousand dollars for 15% of their business. Walking out of the tank with their dream deal in hand, the happiness on their faces was evident. Not only did they gain exposure for both of their brands but they gained a strategic partner for Pursecase. What an accomplishment!
I knew uOPRA readers would be interested to hear about the success of these two business women, so I reached out. Below is Kelley Coughlan’s insights on PR, Pursecase, and success after graduation.
uOPRA: How did you get started in PR? What sparked your interest in luxury lifestyle brands?
Kelley: I got started in PR after taking a few classes in college at the Annenberg School of Communications at USC. I was originally a business major but ended up switching focuses after I found my calling in PR and communications. I interned at various PR firms throughout college and found that this lifestyle suited me. It’s what I live and breathe, I have always loved reading lifestyle magazines so being able to work with them by pitching products and stories is really fun.
uOPRA: Whats your favorite part of working in PR?
Kelley: The people we get to work with are the best part of working in PR. We get to work with such interesting and inspiring people on a daily basis. Each client of ours has such a drive and passion for their product or service and it’s contagious. It’s exciting to be around that positive energy.
uOPRA: I saw your pitch on Shark Tank and watched you make a deal with Lori Greiner. Can you describe what that experience was like for you and how it impacted Melrose PR?
Kelley: We have been flooded with emails and calls since our Shark Tank appearance and our deal with Lori. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we are so grateful to have Lori on the pursecase team. The whole experience (of being on the show) has been life-changing for us; Melrose PR has gotten numerous inquiries from potential new clients after being on the show and we are excited to work with new businesses and individuals who share a passion for marketing. It’s been a win-win for Melrose PR and pursecase alike.
uOPRA: Your enthusiasm and love for your product was contagious through your pitch. How do you balance your passion for Pursecase and busy PR life?
Kelley: Thank you! It’s been a dream promoting our own product so being able to do PR for pursecase has been incredible. In PR, you are always looking for synergies and ways to market and promote with strategic partnerships and events. Having pursecase as a client has proven to be a huge benefit to our other clients as we have been able to collaborate on many different levels.
uOPRA: What is a typical day in the life of an entrepreneur & business owner?
Kelley: There is really no “typical” day in PR [especially] when you own a business; it varies day to day. I can say though that the first thing I do when I wake up is check my email… this usually gives me a pretty good idea of what the day has in store!
uOPRA: And finally, do you have any advice for recent PR graduates?
Kelley: Get an internship! A few internships if you can! You will learn if PR is for you, and what type of company suits you best. There are pros and cons to being at both a large or a boutique PR firm and there are so many different industries that you can specialize in so it’s important to get your feet wet as soon as you can. PR is [also] all about your relationships and connections, the earlier you create those relationships, the better off you’ll be!
Be sure to check Melrose PR on Twitter @MelrosePR