by Dustin Nelson
“I’ve always known that I wanted to be a professional juggler.”
While my lack of hand-eye coordination has kept me from pursuing a literal career in juggling, my passion for juggling multiple projects led me to the metaphorical PR circus that is public relations. It’s often difficult for me to explain to friends and family what exactly a public relations professional does and that’s exactly what I love about it. Working in PR allows me to be many things at once, from a writer (my first passion), to a branding consultant, to a crisis manager.
Hailing from the town of Missoula, Montana I studied journalism at the University of Montana where I took a four-year crash course in balancing my many passions and academic and professional impulses. While I discovered journalism wasn’t exactly the direction I wanted to take professionally, what I learned was that I love people and writing.
After graduating this spring, my passion for food, wine, and PR brought me to Portland.
At heart, I’ve always felt more like a city boy trapped in the country, albeit beautiful country, so my journey to Portland was a smooth transition. While I expected the great food and wine that your fair city delivered to my ever-expanding waistline, what I didn’t expect was how much I would love the people of Portland.
For a big city, Portland has a sense of community that rivals many of the 3,000 population Montana towns I’ve visited.
From the time I pretended to be some random girl’s boyfriend to help rid her of an unwanted drunken suitor at a beer festival, to the staff at Thai Noodle who know our orders like we’re family, building relationships with the folks around here has been easy. I’ve known since I stumbled off the airplane at PDX that I wanted to help tell the stories of this community in whatever forms they take.
Everyone has a story to tell, and while some people put it into words, others tell their stories through the things they create, businesses, products, food, and art. A public relations professional gets to be the gatekeeper to such stories, we help businesses communicate their stories to help shape the way people live their lives and interact with their community. It may be a circus in this new world, but to me, the strange is familiar and I can’t wait to learn some new acts.