Vancouver-based marketing and public relations firm Jive Communications is making a big bet on the U.S. market by opening its first office south of the border, in Los Angeles.
Jive, which already has offices in Vancouver and Toronto, is tapping into the potentially lucrative market at a time when the American economy is outpacing Canada’s.
Founders Almira Bardai (top left) and Lindsay Nahmiache say the L.A.-based office is a natural extension of the business, which focuses on clients in the film and entertainment industry, as well as consumer products, government services, food and beverage.
While opening an office in the U.S. is a big step for the boutique firm, the co-founders say they’re feeling confident given they already have some business lined up.
“It’s a big scary step for sure,” says Nahmiache, “but those fears were eased a bit by the fact that we went down with existing clients, helping them build their presence in the U.S., and we also have a couple of U.S. clients. It eases the transition nicely.”
Nahmiache is moving to L.A. to oversee the U.S. expansion, which will focus on helping Canadian brands market products in the U.S., as well as enticing American-based companies to use the shop’s PR and digital marketing services.
The duo joked that there was a bit of a fight between them over who would move to L.A.
“She does get the sunny weather,” says Bardai, who is based in Toronto, where the first major snowstorm of the season hit on Tuesday.
Bardai and Nahmiache founded Jive in 2009. They used to recommend local PR firms in the U.S to those who asked, until clients started to circle back and ask if they would handle the work instead.
For example, they recently helped Canadian-based clients such as DeeBee’s SpecialTea Foods and CineCoup launch their brands south of the border.
Jive now has two employees in L.A, including Nahmiache, and hopes to expand its roster to four or five by the end of the year.
The plan is also to broaden the U.S.-client base from film and entertainment to consumer products and food and beverage.
“We will apply the same model in the U.S. as we have in Canada,” Nahmiache says.
Jive, which currently has 18 employees across Canada and the U.S., says it will continue expanding in Canada and working with existing Canadian clients including Telus, Flight Centre, Entertainment One, Molson Coors, the Vancouver Canadians, and the Vancouver International Film Festival.