Today we’d like to introduce you to Niki Ostin.
Hi Niki, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’m originally from Montreal, Canada. But I knew that I wanted to move to Los Angeles from the moment that I visited the City when I was 15 years old. There was something about the bright lights, big city living and the entertainment industry that was very exciting to me. I’m forever grateful to my parents who encouraged me to travel to LA to take summer classes at UCLA and internships while attending McGill University during the school year. Back in the ’90s, there was no “online application” or app to find internships. I remember looking in the yellow pages (an actual phone book!) and calling television networks to ask about internships. When I called FOX the operator transferred me to the Publicity Department and that’s how I landed my first internship. A few days after university graduation, I officially moved to Los Angeles and started a full-time job assisting the VP of Publicity at FOX and taking continuing education classes in entertainment studies at UCLA Extension. I loved learning about how TV shows are promoted and working on iconic series and events including Beverly Hills 90210, The Simpsons, The Emmy Awards, and the Teen Choice Awards.
I worked at FOX for around a year and a half and then spent over a decade working on consumer products and entertainment accounts at public relations agencies. I had the opportunity to blend my love of entertainment with emerging and established corporate brands. During those days my clients ranged from the original “Trading Spaces” TV show to Jamba Juice and The Crescent Hotel in Beverly Hills. When I wasn’t working in the office or producing client events, I organized women’s networking evenings and tried to meet as many entrepreneurs as possible.
In 2008 I decided to start my own agency called PR Lab. I wanted to focus on products and services that I was passionate about. Over the years, our scope of services has expanded from media relations to digital marketing, experiential event production, product placement, influencer relations, and more! We’ve worked with leading brands including Platinum Guild International (for 14+ years!), Adobe, Sylvania lighting, Movado, and IMAX. Additionally, we’ve created original events including the Style Lab Jewelry Loaning Suites, Mashup LA Influencer Events, and Babes For Boobs Breast Cancer Fundraisers.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Growing a business is challenging and exciting, especially since you never know what to expect every day. The pandemic was tough because all of our in-person events were canceled, but we were able to pivot and produce successful virtual events!
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Established in 2008, PR Lab is a leading women-owned public relations + marketing agency headquartered in SoCal. We work with consumer brands around the globe to generate awareness for their products through strategic, comprehensive campaigns including media coverage, product placement, and experiential (virtual) events. We are passionate about long-term client retention, and there’s a reason why clients have stayed with us for many years!
We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I try to take calculated risks at work. For example, when we first started producing our own in-house events, I didn’t know if they would be financially viable. I focused on how they might benefit the business in other ways. Could they generate awareness for PR Lab? Could they attract new clients? Would they lead to collaborations with other complementing companies? I felt comfortable spending a specific amount of money and time trying out new concepts to see what might work.
Jessica Livingston, Araya Doheny, Tibrina Hobson, Dara Danenberg, Vivien Best