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Understanding PR & How to Work with the Media: Best practices for an earned media approach for businesses and brands

  • Redfox Commons 2034 Northwest 27th Avenue Portland, OR, 97210 United States (map)

There have been many changes in the past decade-plus, but the theme is consistent: getting attention for your brand or business and garnering earned media is getting increasingly challenging. Brands, for the most part, understand the value of public relations, and have taken to content creation like ducks to water. But in the past five years, there’s been a shift—with increasing pressure on publishers and editorial teams, and shrinking staff trying to keep up with huge numbers of stories they get pitched on a daily basis. Brands can’t argue the effectiveness of earned media, or the need to cultivate coverage to connect with their audience. The struggle is in building relationships with news journalists, storytellers and writers, and keeping up with the competition for coverage and understanding how to get the word out about your business or share news. This panel will speak to the state of the media landscape and how to stay ahead of its challenges, including: 

• Media trends—what really matters, and how to know, plus what happens when you miss the mark 

• Media channels—which can have the most impact for your business and why, plus how to differentiate audiences and engage per channel 

• Social influencers—how to identify them, why you must, and things to watch out for 

• Real-time story caveats—how authenticity and transparency can keep you from blowing up your brand 

• Media monitoring—how, why and what’s at stake

This evening will include:

  • Complimentary drinks and snacks

  • Networking with other makers and members of Portland’s entrepreneurial scene

  • A panel discussion about PR from local experts

  • The opportunity to tour Redfox Commons


This event is for open to the public for $15.

Our Panelists

Tiara Darnell is a creative strategist, writer, and multimedia-savvy visual and audio content creator based in Portland, OR and Washington, D.C. Her freelance work encompasses cannabis, food, arts, culture, travel, leisure and more. Tiara's work has appeared in Travel Portland, Broccoli Magazine, and Willamette Week among other publications. Tiara has been written about in Vogue and The Root and more. Tiara is the host and producer of High, Good People a soon-to-launch "potcast" (podcast) that explores the relationships between people of color and cannabis in the new age of legalization. In addition to being an inaugural Spotify Sound Up Bootcamp Fellow and a returned Peace Corps Morocco volunteer (2012-2014), Tiara holds dual Masters of Science in Strategic Communications and Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Hannah Wallace is a Portland-based journalist who writes about food, sustainable agriculture (including cannabis and wine!), integrative medicine, and travel. She writes for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Civil Eats, Fast Co., Food & WinePortland Monthly, Vogue, and the New York Times, and has recently begun writing about innovative startups for Inc. She is also a freelance editor. She lived in New York City for 14 years, where she was an editor at Travel + Leisure, and returned to Oregon in 2010. She lives in Portland with her journalist husband and 14-year old step-daughter. 

Susan Towers is the founder of Forerunner PR with offices in Portland, New York and Dublin, Ireland. She’s an experienced international marketing and communications specialist with extensive experience in media, advertising, consumer products, digital marketing and PR strategy. She worked in publishing in London and New York for many years before relocating to Portland in 2014. Susan has worked for major publishing companies including Time Inc. (Fortune magazine) and Assouline, and at L’Oréal, as head of global communications for the cult brand Kiehl’s Since 1851 (she made her first trip to Portland for the opening of the Portland store, the company’s first outside of New York).  An experienced entrepreneur, she co-founded an award-winning business, Omhu, which was acquired in 2012. Susan started her career working in tech and B2B, before moving to working with consumer products and design-driven brands and businesses. She is known for her ability to make synergistic connections that build brand momentum. She lives in Portland with a Mad man and a crazy labradoodle.

Our Host


Located at 2034 NW 27th Ave, Portland, OR

More About Our Hosts


Langley Investment Partners commissioned LEVER to design Redfox Commons, a 60,000 sf renovation that knits together two World War II era warehouses to form one light-filled creative office campus. The buildings, once home to an agricultural equipment company, are located at Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary, one of Portland’s largest industrial areas. This project sits at the southern end of the industrial park, bordering a residential neighborhood, the city’s largest urban park, and the Willamette River.

Later Event: December 6
Gifted Holiday Night Market