J/PR, formerly J Public Relations, recently debuted a rebrand to mark a new era for the fast-growing firm’s continued evolution and expansion. The agency’s new ethos, “Own Your Story,” reflects 15+ years of success in traditional PR and more recently social media strategy, as well as new offerings including photography, content creation, influencer relations, brand partnerships and crisis communications. Today, J/PR represents an A-list client portfolio across travel, hospitality, lifestyle, consumer brands, health, wellness and real estate. The company has grown from its offices in San Diego and New York City, with a current presence in London, Los Angeles, Nashville, Toronto, Denver and Scottsdale.
"We have seen our team grow in strength and resiliency, and new doors have opened not only for our team but also for our clients,” said Partner Sarah Evans. “Over the past 15 years, we have grown into a global powerhouse, while maintaining the core values and relationships that are the agency’s backbone. Our team, clients and new vision reflect our organic global evolution.”
Notable long-term clients
Relais & Chateaux, Jumeirah, Four Seasons Lanai, The Palms, The Shore Club, The Chanler, Ritz-Carlton, Visit North Carolina, The Goring, Iconic Luxury Hotels, Adare Manor, Chewton Glen, Clivedon House, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Twin Farms, Great Wolf Lodge
Recent client wins
Hilton Luxury Brands, Richard Branson's Necker Island and Moskito Island, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Conrad Punta de Mita, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, JW Mariott Scottsdale Camelback, Palazzo Ricci, Hilton Los Cabos, Geneo, Chatham Inn Relais & Chateaux, Joali Maldives
What was your biggest business challenge this year and how did your team overcome it?
THE DOWNFALL - MARCH 2020
2020 was a year we’ll never forget. "We were like a rocket ship that fell out of the sky.” A direct quote from my business partner, Jamie Lynn Sigler, in Real Leaders Magazine this past Summer. It was set to be our biggest year ever - February 2020 was our biggest month ever. We were billing $1.1 million per month and had recently signed marquis clients including Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition to launch Moskito Island and re-launch Necker Island. Each of our offices, NYC, LA, San Diego, London and Toronto were thriving.
In 8 days we lost 65 percent of our revenue with no warning - we fell with the travel industry. Our hotel clients were closing, clients and friends were losing their jobs. We’d been through 9/11 and 2008 and nothing could have ever prepared us for this. Our industry and our company was in crisis. After one week we had to lay off 1/3 of our team (we had 75 people pre-pandemic). We were making extremely hard decisions in a matter of hours that should have taken weeks or months. We’re an independent company without a board. We have a 7 person Exec team and most of us have worked together for over 10 years. We’re involved in organizations like YPO, EO and Summit so we stayed close to other entrepreneurs and trusted industry friends throughout.
After the first couple of weeks things were still going down but together we came to a clear and confident decision. We decided that no one else could go. We began holding weekly updates with the team - we were honest and vulnerable. We said we weren’t going to take a salary and we were willing to do whatever it takes. We put employees on job share programs to share responsibilities while we were on life support - we were all in it together.
Vulnerability, heart, soul and drive propelled every bit of our recovery. We cried in front of our team. We were sad, scared and we were honest about it but we didn’t back down or stop for a second. There was no choice but to survive and eventually thrive again.
We’re very seasoned at offering counsel to our clients but never have we ever had we been counseling them whilst going through our own crisis. This was impacting the world and our entire industry - one of the silver linings is that we’ve all grown more connected as an agency and as clients.
Here’s what we did to take immediate action:
We gave our employees a voice in the crisis plan
We let our team see that we’re only human
We stopped the free fall
We reacted as fast as humanly possible
We kept our eye on a positive future
We communicated clearly and often
We’ve always been committed to customer service and it never waived. We believe that’s why a lot of our clients stayed with us and are coming back. Our business philosophy has always been that relationships come first. It paid off.
We started to pivot our business immediately and since March have signed about ten non-travel clients including Genalyte, Bakery Bling, JitJatJo, Blue Canary, PUR Cold Pressed Juice and Kevin’s Natural Foods. We also signed travel clients like The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, SetJet, Tour Company in Africa, Boutique properties in Jackson Hole, Encinitas, SET JET private jet company, etc. We started working on our rebrand and new website.
In July 2021 we surpassed our pre-pandemic business levels. We've hired back many of our team members and currently have a team of 75 and growing. We've opened new office locations (Nashville and Toronto) and rolled out our new brand and website. We're stronger than ever.