PR Pro Who Helped Launch Breathe Right Nasal Strips Has Evolved With The Times

By Nicole Norfleet
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the PR pro who is now also the owner of “The Encourage Her Network”, an organization dedicated to empowering women.


In the 1990s, Robin Kocina’s public relations firm, Media Relations Agency, was asked to introduce Breathe Right nasal strips, the nose strips that claimed to help clear nasal congestion.

A big part of the job was to convince reporters on television and in newspapers to feature the strips and explain how they worked to a skeptical public.

After dogged campaigning and, eventually, the power of football stars who started to wear the strips, Breathe Right became a success.

Kocina’s agency still helps promote products and brands, such as Great Clips and Cargill. Public relations has evolved a lot since the firm, based in suburban Minneapolis, started. Kocina recently acquired the women’s networking group, Encourage Her Network. She discussed that investment and career in a recent interview. Some excerpts:

Q: How did you start your firm?

A: My husband was a marketing director for an investment firm and they did PR. He came up with the idea to do Pay Per Interview. He purchased it and this was 30 years ago and things have changed a lot. We actually started in our laundry room. We both had other jobs. He’s the creative, futuristic-looking person. I’m the person that runs operations. I love what I do. The best part is the people. That’s how we started, and in the 1990s, we added the internet because it was a new medium and it came out of a need of our clients. They were asking for help in that area. We had an event company that we sold a few years ago. We’ve been doing this for 30 years. We have clients all over the country and outside of the country. We’re global. One of our biggest clients is out of Malaysia. We have clients in Israel and in the U.K. They usually have a product or service they want to teach the public about and so they rely on us to do that.

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