Q & A With JJ Studio Managing Director Julia Lemberskiy
What is JJ Studio and how did it come about?
JJ Studio was founded by Janeesa Hollingshead and me in the summer of 2020 to provide marketing, operations, and product launch services to startups. Prior to JJ Studio, Janeesa and I have each spent over a decade in leadership roles at tech startups around the world, most recently for 4 (Julia) and 6 (Janeesa) years at Uber. Due to a covid-driven mass-layoff, Janeesa and I lost our jobs as Head of Expansion and Head of Central Operations at Uber and decided to join forces to found JJ Studio. In the past ~6 months since inception, JJ Studio has grown to over a dozen clients and nearly $1 million in annualized revenue.
What PR services do you currently provide and for who?
JJ Studio has a vast service catalog with a tailored strategy for each client. While PR is not a key focus area for us, we do provide some form of PR services to about a third of our clients. For example, we review HAROs every day and pick out any potential ones for our clients, respond, and manage follow-ups. We also identify suitable publications and proactively pitch them with story angles and content ideas from the overarching content plan we develop for most clients. For clients with major announcements (like new product launches), we also provide press release services.
Where did your journey with public relations begin?
Julia’s first experience in public relations was when she became the interim CMO for Global Savings Group in 2015, which included leading their PR department. The company was going through many ‘press release-worthy’ changes at the time, such as acquisition of several smaller competitors and a re-branding, so Julia became deeply ingrained in PR strategy. Since then, Julia has worked on PR strategies for a wide range of startups and new product launches, including the launch of Uber Eats, JUMP, and Uber Works across dozens of markets.
Janeesa’s initial experience with public relations began when she served as the digital marketing manager for Fundable (now Startups.com), where she was responsible for content creation and pitching for earned media placements on behalf of both the company and their clients. From there, she grew her PR chops through freelance consulting gigs and in lead launch roles spanning Uber rides, Eats, and Works.
What makes JJ Studio unique?
Rather than providing a specific service to a wide range of clients – we provide a wide range of services to specific clients: Startups looking to grow. We approach every client with a unique strategy and set of channels and services based on what needs to happen for them to be able to grow (streamline their operations, launch new cities, test new marketing channels, and more) instead of doing the same thing that we’ve been doing for other clients.