Shanthi Jeluand, Founder of COCO PR Talks The Power of Perseverance, Tenacity & Great Leadership

The founder of COCO PR agency shares her takes in…
By: Aqilah Najwa Jamaluddin
June 27, 2022

Image credit: Amy Asyraf & COCO PR.

The name Shanthi Jeuland rings bells to everyone within the media industry. Making her one of the dominant figures in Singapore’s PR agency. With almost 12 years experience in public relation and in house marketing, Shanthi Jeuland has worked on a wide range of accounts including luxury lifestyle, hospitality, entertainment and technology start-ups. 

With a strong track record of amassing coverage for her clients across all media outlets, she decided to establish her own PR agency called COCO PR in 2016, acting as both founder and Managing Director. Since then, the notable agency has worked with numerous award winning names including IKEA Singapore, Italian Chamber of Commerce, DZ Engineering, PEPSI and also nation-wide campaigns such as Christmas Wonderland.

Credit to her strong background, successful career and admirable personality, Glitz by Beauty Insider decided to reach out to the flourishing female entrepreneur to learn more about her modus vivendi, the establishment of COCO PR, and what makes a great #GirlBoss. 

Tell us about your journey that led up to the establishment of COCO PR?

Having been in the PR industry for many years, I thought about how I wanted to challenge myself and with all this experience, skills, and great relationships forged with the media, I decided to establish COCO PR so I could provide my professional PR services to clients at the forefront.

When I first started the agency, I was truly blessed with many genuine and kind people in my life including friends, media friends, and even past clients who helped me to spread the word about my business. Being a new business owner back then, each and everyone of these people really helped COCO PR get to where we are today and I treasure them with all my heart.

Honestly, I have kept this humility and gratitude close to my heart till today, and I continue to be grateful towards each and every client who entrusts their brand with COCO PR. Along with my A-team, the agency is successful and has managed to work with many amazing brands and achieved so much in just six years!

What exactly were the core inspirations behind the name COCO PR?

To be honest, I have two versions of responses for this. If we are looking at the more professional answer, COCO Stands for Concise, Original, Creative, and On-It and that is the key to how I run my agency with my team – I am always hands on and on it together with them.

If you are looking for a more genuine answer, the story comes off a little more whimsical! Personally, I absolutely love running because it is one of those activities that really gets my heart pumping […] I was in that inspired mode when I ran past a coconut tree and at that point I looked up and realised how tall and sturdy coconut trees really were. I think that just stuck with me and when I started COCO PR, I had a vision for the agency to be equally sturdy and strong, so I really couldn’t think of a better name. 

So what services does COCO PR serve?

COCO PR is an integrated communications agency that delivers bright and effective communication solutions from an analytical 360-degree approach for both established and emerging companies. We facilitate brands in fulfilling their core objectives of raising corporate reputation and elevating brand positioning effectively to reach their desired audiences.

Besides offering a suite of premium PR services, we incorporate new media communication strategies, influencer, creative event management, photography, and videography services alongside our sister brand COCO Creative Studio. We are also experienced in crisis communications and provide extensive strategies and counsel for brands handling a crisis if and when the time comes. 

We believe that COCO PR has been around for almost 7 years now. That’s an achievement! Share with us your proudest moment.

Out of all of my proudest moments, being who I truly am and being successful at what I’m truly passionate about is my proudest moment. Knowing that we have managed to help to elevate a brand and allow the public to gradually know about them in one way or another. It’s the process of growing together with our clients that really makes me feel accomplished. So my proudest moments would always be ones shared with a client who has seen the fruits of our labour and is happy to celebrate it with us.

How do you stay connected and up to date with key PR trends?

The thing about PR is that we are busy round the clock, and yet at the same time, there is also a core necessity for us to stay on top of current events and industry news. Reading from relevant and informative news outlets keeps me connected and up-to-date with key PR trends and of course, signing up for relevant PR webinars, especially those in our clients’ fields and industries is also a good way to stay up-to-date on how the trends are moving. As someone who leads a very hectic lifestyle, one thing I love to do is to listen to podcasts during my daily runs or while travelling. 

As a person who has been in this industry for more than 10 years, would you say that female pr strategists received less acknowledgement compared to their male peers?

In general, my years of experience have shown me that it is really what we do for the client, what we achieve for them, and how we get there that matters. Interestingly enough, at the present moment, all my team members are women! On that note, I always remind my team that our work and results will always speak for ourselves and that is what’s important.

What do you wish your younger self would know soonest?

That it is okay to fail and not to be so hard on myself. Being raised in a very strict childhood, I took failure and setbacks very seriously. It might have built me into the strong person I am today who is not easily fazed. However, if I’m being honest, looking back, I feel that I was too hard on myself and with all this pressure, I might have failed to enjoy the bliss in allowing myself to try things, to fail, and to learn. I hope everyone reading would understand as well. To anyone who needs to hear this, it is okay to fail! Pick yourself up, brush it off, and you’re good to go again!

In your opinion what makes a great leader?

Leadership is about making things happen. A strong leader is someone who is able to take charge and provide the vision, direct the course of future events, and inspire their employees to work equally hard towards success as a team. A great leader has faith in their ability to train and develop the employees under them and empower those they lead to act autonomously.

I want to say this also comes from trusting that your team members are fully up to any challenges they face. When employees are empowered, they are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest for our clients. I always believe that a great leader is also one that is able to command respect, while also being capable of walking right beside their team. 

Do you have any advice for all the female entrepreneurs out there?

Very simply, these are the tools to stay on course: Perseverance, willpower, and tenacity. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Be humble, and most of all be yourself.  What is important is to have a definite goal and always remind yourself to stick to it. It’s only human to fail and be afraid of failing, but always remember that even when that happens, do not quit. 

Of course, don’t worry about how people may perceive you because at the end of the day, you are the one owning and running the business and you are the one that will be responsible for each success and failure. So go out there, take that leap of faith, and you will be surprised with how far you can go!

What’s next for COCO PR and Shanthi Jeuland herself?

For COCO PR, I want to take the agency to greater heights and expand the business. I want to build the agency to be an adaptable one that is able to serve a huge variety of clients from a variety of industries which showcases our expertise. Not forgetting my team members, I want to also grow all of them into employees that can take charge and help to elevate our client brand to the next level.

For myself, I want her to understand the importance of health. Mental wellness, physical wellness – these are very important for me and my team. Realistically, I have a business to run, but that doesn’t make wellness any less important. […] for me to find avenues for relaxation and rejuvenation even amidst all the hustle and bustle of life.

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