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The Big Move

Connecting Silicon Valley with the Silicon Forrest

Where the heck is StrategicLee?

It seems a bit old news by now, as some of you know, I bought the farm. No, I'm still alive. I just moved to Southern Oregon and bought a small 5 acre farm. And it is amazing! But you probably know all that from the constant farm, mountain and cooking posts. Recently someone asked me if I was still PR consulting or just farming now. So I thought I would write a quick post to tell you what I have been up to and why Southern Oregon.

Welcome to the Rogue Valley

Now if you are an outdoors person and have never been to the Rogue Valley you are sincerely missing out. Some of you might know Ashland and the International Shakespeare Festival but the Rogue River has some of the best fishing, camping, hiking and white water rafting in the country. It's just an hour over the CA border and a recreational heaven. So if outdoors is your thing - get here in Spring. But why move a tech PR agency to Grants Pass? Lots of reasons!

  • I have lived in San Francisco for 22 years  - It was time for a change of scenery to get the creative juices flowing. It was also time for a more healthy lifestyle.  Knowing that I can do PR from anywhere I picked the prettiest place I could find.
  • It's an hour plane ride to the Yay Area - Yup you heard me. It is just one hour to fly from here to SFO. This means I can commute to the Bay Area at the blink of an eye.  As a matter of fact that is what quite a few people up here are doing, commuting to the bay during the week.
  • I'm bridging the gap - While not many people know it, Southern Oregon has a growing tech scene.  Smack in the middle of Silicon Valley and the Silicon Forest, Eugene, Bend, Medford, and Ashland are creeping up on the tech radar.  If you are looking for companies to invest in or a more affordable place to build your startup, this area should be on your radar.  From a PR perspective this is an opportunity for me to connect Silicon Valley with the Silicon Forest by working with the companies in between.
  • New tech is everywhere - From a personal passion perspective, I am really interested in water and natural resource management and the future of sustainably living on this planet.  From drones to fight forest fires, to bots that monitor salmon fisheries and using machine learning to track and predict water resources, climate change and even timber harvests, this area is taking tech to new places and industries and helping address some of the world's biggest challenges. And I want to be involved. I want to bring 20 year of journalism, marketing, PR and startup advisory experience to companies who are changing the planet from agtech to natural resource monitoring and management. Right here is where I want to be!
  • Expanding my PR reach -  Of course I still love traditional B2B PR. But sometimes Silicon Valley loses touch with the actual companies that are buying these technologies. Towns like Grants Pass are where the rubber meets the road. Real customers in healthcare, insurance,  government, education, manufacturing,  construction, natural resources and mining, these are the companies that are leveraging AI, looking to cloud infrastructure, building new applications, optimizing productivity, adopting robotics and freaking out about disaster recovery.  As a matter of fact, I have recently done a few case studies for clients with customers in the area. And understanding what is happening in the customer lifecycle is key. 

So what have I been doing?

Well for the last two years I have been heads down working with NVIDIA. Working with such an amazing client is always eye opening. Seeing the speed of innovation and execution at a company of that size gets your heart pumping. And what an awesome team! If there is a client that has taught an old dog some new tricks, it is this one. Still working on the B2B side, the team and I were able to work on exciting PR and marketing programs surrounding AR/VR, AI/deep learning and virtualization. And the stories - from medical discoveries to geospatial mapping, understanding black holes, real-time VR streaming and even delivering large applications to mobile phones in the middle of the desert! This was a PR dream! What was even better, was that I got to test the new StrategicLee client model. I was able to work from the farm (yup that's the view from my office above), bring together a crack team that was also from across the country and when needed hop to the Bay Area, Portland , Las Vegas and LA in under 2 hours. And most importantly we were able to deliver the same value and quantifiable results StrategicLee has always delivered. Not too shabby!

So what is next?

Well it is business as usual for StrategicLee. We turn 16 years old at the end of the month. And I am incredibly thankful for all the clients, partners and PR colleagues that have gotten us here! We are also expanding and looking to leverage our skills in a host of new industries. So while I might be wearing a straw hat and muddy boots when working, my hoodie and jeans are still on and you can always count on StrategicLee to tell your story. Need some help or advice? Contact us!

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