For the final Maker Meetup of the year, Portland Made and hosts LR Design Co. welcomed Ciara Pressler of Pregame, who gave attendees a small sample of her DIYPR: Publicity Bootcamp.

Pressler established Pregame after spending over a decade working in marketing and PR on the East Coast; her intention was to create solutions for DIYers and small businesses “in the middle” of the PR game: Most makers, it turns out, are not naturals at PR and marketing, and they usually don’t have the resources to spend unlimited money on outsourced services.

Savvy business owner that she is, Pressler didn’t give away too much (for that, you’ll have to sign up for the ten-hour course), but she did impart a few tips to achieve your PR goals:

  • Know what your goals are. 
    If you’re looking to increase exposure for your brand, you’ll need a different approach than if you’re hoping to increase sales, and it’s important to be honest and clear about that before you enlist the help of PR professionals.

    1. Know your inventory. 
      Through there is some truth to the idea that scarcity increases the appeal of a product, you have to know how to play that game for it to work in your favor.

    2. Make your own content. 
      This is a big one: Over the last twenty years or so, the news industry has changed dramatically, with journalists becoming an endangered species, overworked and underpaid. So, any work you can do to lessen the load is much appreciated and will likely get you quicker and more affirmative responses. You don’t have to be a great writer, Pressler says; you just need to know a publication’s style. Better yet, provide some photographs (with the proper permissions, of course).

    3. Don’t be lazy. 
      Don’t send mass pitch emails—send them  individually. And before you send those emails, make sure you know what recipients cover.

Pressler had to run after her presentation (to another PR event, naturally), but she left behind business cards and encouraged the audience to reach out with their questions. Left in the capable hands of MC Lemay and Allie Rivenbark, owners of LR Design, the two told us about their furniture company that utilizes reclaimed materials to create both custom and commercial pieces.

Lemay’s welding space served as a backdrop during Pressler’s presentation, and the couple led us through their space, which they share with Panoply, another Portland Made brand. When asked about the reclaimed wood taking up the majority of their headquarters, Rivenbark stated, without pausing, that she knew exactly where each piece came from. 

As with all of our makers, the passion and drive was evident when Lemay and Rivenbark spoke about their work. And their warmth and generosity with their space, along with the frequent greetings from shop dog Ella, made for the perfect ending to the 2018 cycle of Maker Meetups.

Maker Meetups will be back in January—stay tuned for details soon, and don’t forget to come see us at the second annual Creator Market on December 6.


Words by Katey Trnka

Photography by Sarah Toor