Where the Hipsters PR

By Ryan Lilly

What do Nike Shoes, local brews, foodies, hipsters and Matter Communications all have in common? Simple – all can be found in Portland Oregon. I have been fortunate enough to spend this week with some of Matter’s newest cohorts in our recently added Portland office. While I am here in an official capacity, it has hardly felt that way.

There is something in the air in Portland, and whatever it is, it is making the folks that breathe it creative as hell. From the locally sourced everything that has made up my multi-cultural infused meals, to the street performers and coffee shop writers, there is no lack of creative spirit in Portland. This has all lead me to better appreciate what an asset we’ve gained at Matter by expanding our footprint into one of the hippest and most original cities on the West Coast.

While I think we have always had a highly creative spirit at Matter, we have definitely gained some considerable stock by moving out West and adding a Portland office to our ranks. We spend a lot of time talking about what public relations is and what we do, and sometimes with all the day to day rigmarole we end up defining ourselves according to the many tasks that we perform. It is important not to lose sight of the essentially creative nature of PR. At our core we are idea people. We come up with ideas and tell stories that others struggle to tell. Without an intelligent, creative and engaging story or idea driving it, the day to day work of any PR program becomes meaningless.

One thing is for sure, Portland is a city that in many ways thrives on stories. It’s not just the product, but where the ingredients were sourced and how it was made. The story behind a meal, or a soap, or a beer is almost as important as the end product itself. Like any good PR person Portland people take pride in their stories, making it a naturally conducive environment for the craft. Portland breeds inspiration, imagination, and a real appreciation for good story telling, and my Portland counterparts are no exception to this rule. Matter, and perhaps most importantly, Matter’s clients, have scored a major win with our Portland expansion. I will certainly look forward to my next chance to visit and soak up some of the creative air in StumpTown.