Born with impeccable communication skills and a natural ability for connecting with people, Laura has created several success stories with her ability to network. A TV movie was made from her connecting a producer and screenwriter, the career of an artist took off after she connected him with a producer which led to his career in major motion pictures, and a young graduate began his career after she connected him with a famous Internet sensation/political figure. She also connected a legal organization with a celebrity comedian to emcee their annual gala. Her expertise in media relations, social media, creative writing, strategic PR planning, and management, image maintenance, consulting and development, media preparation, interview coaching, and networking for clients are what have launched Laura Orrico Public Relations, LLC into a sought-after boutique PR firm for high-profile clients.
Laura was born and raised in Chicago and has made a name for herself as an actress in television and film, and now as a public relations expert. During her childhood, Laura spent many days performing her own Saturday Night Live-style skits in her backyard for the family. She attributes her strength to her mother, who also has a wicked sense of humor! Laura also credits her sense of humor to her father, who passed away when she was nine. Laura went to Columbia College of Chicago and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Television Writing and Producing, with a minor in Acting. Continuing with her love of the entertainment industry and idolizing the likes of Lucille Ball, John Ritter, Gene Wilder, and Gilda Radner, she began attending classes and performing at The Second City Chicago. She credits this experience as what led to much of her success. With this, she also began runway and print modeling, as well as appearing in TV commercials. Wanting to take her career to the next level, Laura made the move from Chicago to Los Angeles where she resided for twelve years. She quickly found success with a variety of films and television shows, with roles on The King of Queens, That ’70s Show, and a memorable role as Mia Graham on CBS’s CSI: Miami. She then continued honing her comedic prowess by becoming a series regular on TBS’s Frank TV with Frank Caliendo. Her sense of humor also found fame on the Internet, as her self-produced videos went viral and she was often featured on top-notch programming, including Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die. Her most successful Internet sketch was developed by Airplane! director, David Zucker. It starred Laura, who was aged 40 years to play Senator Barbara Boxer, in a video titled “Call Me Senator.” You can still catch Laura making special guest appearances on network TV, like her recent appearance on CBS’s Kevin, Can Wait. You can also see Laura in another soon-to-be-released Internet spoof by David Zucker and occasionally on Chicago’s WGN Morning News comedy sketches. Gracing headlines and talk shows, you may recognize her from being featured in Hollywood.com, Hollywood In Toto, mentioned in Vanity Fair, from appearances on shows such as Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, and a regular guest on multiple radio shows across the country, to name a few.
Laura at one stage shifted her focus from actress to caregiver after her husband, Ryan Cosgrove, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After losing Ryan in 2015, Laura decided to utilize the knowledge she gained from her own life experiences. This included successfully executing PR for herself and colleagues for many years prior, which eventually led to launching her own boutique PR firm. Laura Orrico Public Relations, LLC is based out of Chicago, with Laura serving as the president and representing high-profile clients across the country. Whether a large or small business or organization, an up-and-coming or established entertainer, celebrity, musician, artist, politician, or author, Laura and her team customize their work and connect clients with the proper outlets to get them the notoriety and the (media) attention that they deserve. Laura Orrico Public Relations, LLC continues to be a huge success. Laura continues to make appearances on the radio and makes headlines in various publications, such as Forbes, American Express Open, AXS, Hearpreneur, and USA Today, giving her expert advice.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Laura to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
We are constantly maintaining and growing, and we do that by staying in contact with former and potential clients and by maintaining our social media presence. My business is national, so I am constantly networking and meeting new people. My business is primarily word of mouth; clients find out about us in many ways, and that includes, but is not limited to, finding us through former clients, friends, family, social media, etc.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
For us, the most important platforms are Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. As a PR firm, we are always sharing exciting placements that we secured for our clients.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
For my company, it has been showcasing our clients through social media. By showing people through our social media platforms the amazing work we do for clients, it has been attractive to potential clients to see what we do and the great results that we have.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Deciding to work remotely with my staff during the pandemic was a very difficult decision because I love working hand-in-hand with my staff in person and the personal touch it brings to my business. It prompted me to hire a new staff member to work out of Los Angeles and the decision proved to be even more successful than I had anticipated. As a national PR firm, having locations in two major cities, Los Angeles and our headquarters in Chicago, has proven to be beneficial as we are a national firm that represents a wide variety of clients across the country.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
I have to be honest in saying that I am very grateful and proud to say that I have not made financial mistakes with this business. Having a background as a lifelong TV and Film actress and model, I am one of the rare ones in that industry that learned early on to handle money well. I knew to be cautious in knowing that the next gig may not come for a while…maybe never (actor’s life)! With that said, I always save ahead in my business and work off of the previous year’s earnings. I believe it is a smart move to do so, and I strongly recommend it when a business is new. If you establish good financial habits like that from your business’s inception, and you can maintain that, there is less of a chance you will fall behind if there is ever an emergency, unforeseen circumstance, or a slow period.
What new business would you love to start?
I would love to start a make-up company. The make-up industry will never go away. Make-up is fun and something I have enjoyed since I was a little girl from the moment I played with my mother’s make-up. They say to do something you love and genuinely enjoy, and that is an additional business I could see myself starting in the next few years.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I would have realized my value and changed my pricing right at the start. I was gaining experience at the start and was not charging enough. Now looking back, right off the bat I provided quality services, hard work, and my time, and I certainly should have charged what was up to par with what I was delivering. I should not have underestimated myself. I know my worth and my value now, and everything is good. Looking back in retrospect, I am grateful for all of the clients who took a chance on hiring my firm when we were brand new. We are all still friends to this day, and many are repeat clients, and they all continue to refer us out, so it all comes back full circle.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
1. Live every day to the fullest. Life is short. That goes for both business and personal life! If you are happy in your personal life, it will reflect in your business and vice versa.
2. Network, communicate and continue to meet new people. This was advice from my late husband, and I am grateful for it, he was a people person like me. I practice that concept daily, whether it be business contacts or new friends. Since I am a people person, that is what works for me both personally and for my business. I am confident that this is why my business is successful.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Understand that when you start a business you are most likely running the whole show, so understand (fully) all aspects of it. Be prepared to be the accounting department, staff supervisor, advertising agent, human resources, customer service, janitor, etc., all while doing whatever it is that your business (craft, service, etc.) entails. For me, it is doing all of that, while running a full-service PR firm and still handling the craft itself which involves pitching clients to the press and media, securing placements for them, and meeting with and signing new clients. Whatever you decide to do, never lose that personal touch with your clients or customers. Work hard to maintain that skill, after all, that’s why they hire you. My motto is: “We give our clients the personal attention they deserve.” I stand by that.