My spotlight shines on Octavia McClain this beautiful woman is the co-founder of The PR House, a full service public relations boutique firm in L.A. In true entrepreneurial spirit, Octavia’s courage has led her to a premium Vodka line and soon this maven will dominate the skin care industry.
Octavia has more than five years experience as a public relations professional. She is an expert in effectively communicating with diverse groups and has implemented strategic public relations campaigns and provides a full range of services to increase awareness and effectively establish brands in the marketplace among select media, celebrities and clientele.
Q: What made you want to get into PR?
A: I’ve always been in to the media. I started watching the news at 4-years-old. I would tell my grandmother; grandma turn on the news I need to see what’s going on in the world. But while studying journalism and actually investigating and reporting, I felt bad digging into people’s business that didn’t want to be in the spotlight or families that experienced a tragedy and here I am asking questions just to get a story. It didn’t sit well with my spirit. While in college there was a required public relations course for journalism students and while taking the class the light bulb went off. I fell in love with public relations. I was like this is it. I’m still reporting just in a different way, and the people that I’m dealing with want to be in the news, which allowed me to feel comfortable with putting out the information.
Q: The most challenging part of your role is?
A: The most challenging part of public relations for me is getting people to understand what I do. Somehow public relations gets mixed up with, oh you love to write or people somehow think management. I really try to explain to people what I am and what I do. I often find myself saying PR is what I do, and a publicist is what I am.
Q: What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
A: Entrepreneurship means to me willing to take a risk. Willing to put all your cards on the table because the reward outweighs the risk.
Q: Why entertainment PR?
A: I actually started out being in the entertainment industry as a kid. I played piano. I use to dance, tap, jazz, and ballet. I auditioned for the role of Olivia on the Cosby show as well as for a role in Robocop 2 and many other shows and movies. I’ve done several music videos so it was only natural that I stayed in a field that I was use to and enjoyed.
Q: The three things you demand in your colleagues?
A: Honesty, code of ethics and respect. It’s just how I live my life as well. If you are dishonesty with me I won’t deal with you. There is this meme that says you never know where you stand with a liar. But the truth is when dealing with a liar you stand on the side that is less beneficial to the liar. A liar will tell a lie because it’s in their best interest to keep the other person in the dark, which puts them at an advantage.
Q: What are your thoughts on CSR?
A: I believe that each person should have a code of ethics and adhere to them. It’s so much easier to be in compliance with the law then to be in trouble with the law. More importantly it affects the communities that my family and I live in.
Q: The PR figure you most admire is and why?
A: I love, love, love, my fairy PR Godmother, Lori Baker Schena. She’s so helpful, loving, encouraging and supportive. She never has anything negative to say. Lori always has a positive solution to every bad experience. Even while fighting cancer she was still able dedicate her time to those in need of her wisdom.
Q: What’s the one website you always check.
A: The Jasmine Brand, because I am a contributing writer for the blog. The L.A Times and a secret Facebook group “Czars.”
Q: What sets you apart from everyone else in the PR field?
A: I stay in my lane. I’m not a publicist/ film coordinator/ hairstylist. I’m a publicist and entrepreneur. I’m also honest. I turn down jobs. No matter how bad I am in need of a check, if it doesn’t feel right then it’s just not for me. The right projects will come along.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment in public relations?
A: My clients have been on Fox 11 news and radio stations. But the biggest accomplishment is that I was able to start ThePRhouseLA. Public relations is not easy, nor is starting a business. But I’ve managed to accomplish being a business owner.
Q: What media win are you most proud of?
A: Good Day L.A. Fox11. I was still in college in 2011 and my friend created a company called Je ne sais quoi, which I did the PR for. Jillian Barberie wore the earrings and mentioned the company on the show. It was such a high and played a huge role in the company’s success. It let me know that I could really be a great publicist.
Q: Where do you see yourself in Five years?
A: I see myself moving past public relations and having my own brands. I’m working on a skin care and hair extension line as well as a Vodka brand. I’m really excited about these projects. I’m also trying to influence my son who’s 7 to be an entrepreneur. I always tell him people like us don’t have a place in corporate America.
Q: Explain your personal culture and style.
A: H.R.E.A.M (Honesty Rules Everything Around Me). People say I mean because I speak the truth. I’d rather be labeled rude and mean rather than be labeled a liar. My mom hates my style. I am a true Los Angelenos. I believe that flip-flops are life. I’m mostly in dresses and skirts.
Q: What are your thoughts on environmental sustainability?
A: Environmental sustainability is important. I want my kids and my grandkids to enjoy this plated as much as I have. And that makes me accountable for how I live and how I treat this planet. I’m not the best at it, but I put fourth some effort.