Hannah Smith

Runquist Joins CFM, Deepens Firm's Writer's Bench

Justin Runquist, who has worked as a reporter for The Columbian, The Oregonian and The Spokesman-Review, has joined CFM Strategic Communications as the firm’s communications counsel.

Justin Runquist

Justin Runquist

A graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, Runquist deepens CFM's bench for storytelling, story pitching, content creation, presentations and social media.

"Justin brings a fresh eye and contemporary experience in the media to meet client needs," said Gary Conkling, CFM’s president and co-founder. "He knows how to tell a story, sniff out a good story angle and leverage digital resources.”

Runquist most recently worked for The Columbian, where he wrote about local government, business, education and the marijuana industry in Clark County. Prior to that, Runquist worked for The Oregonian, covering government, business, crime and education in Lake Oswego, Wilsonville, West Linn and other parts of the Portland metro area. 

Three years ago for The Oregonian, Runquist covered the Washington State Legislature during a historic session as gay marriage became legal in the Evergreen State.

Runquist joins the CFM communications team, but he will also provide support for the firm's state affairs and research practice areas.

"Working for CFM appealed to me because of its range of public affairs work for corporations, nonprofits and public agencies," Runquist said. "This will translate into more diverse experiences and challenging work."

Conkling said, "People with journalistic experience do well in the world of public affairs. They understand policy issues and political processes. They also know that timing is everything."

Runquist also will play a key role in CFM's content-forward marketing efforts. 

"This is a company that shows what it can do through its widely shared thought leadership and case studies,” he said. “Clients know what they get when they hire CFM."

Runquist's arrival coincides with the departure of Hannah Smith, who has worked at CFM for seven years after graduating from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications. Smith and her husband are departing soon for a dream experience of an extended stay in Southeast Asia.

CFM Staff Member Prepares for a Zombie Apocalypse

Everywhere you look, from the the cinema to the small screen, there they are – zombies. The undead seem to be everywhere, with their unquenchable thirst for brains. It’s clear the zombie apocalypse is right around the corner. Are you prepared?

CFM Digital Strategist Hannah Smith recently completed a program through Hands on Greater Portland, a local organization that connects Portland residents to volunteer opportunities. The program titled, The Zombies are Coming! Dig into Disaster Preparedness, consisted of a series of volunteer and educational activities all pertaining to the theme of disaster preparedness. These ranged from packing carrots at the local food bank to a presentation by Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Teams.

“I really enjoyed participating in Teamworks,” said Smith. “It was a great program, and I feel much better prepared for a natural disaster.” Smith plans to participate in future Teamworks programs and would encourage other Portland residents to do the same.

“The great thing about Teamworks is you’re able to do a series of activities with the same group of people,” said Smith. “It really makes the experience so much more fulfilling.”

When asked specifically about a Zombie Apocalypse, Smith seemed more sure of her fate, replying “I would definitely be one of the first ones to go if that happened.”

New CFM Expert Section

The CFM website now sports a new expert section showcasing the expertise of individual staff members.

"You can read our bio and blogs, but still not know on what subjects we're experts," explained CFM President Gary Conkling. "This section is organized to make that recognition easy."

The expert section offers a convenient package of staffer background, expertise, recent media mentions and selected blog posts.

"It is designed to help news media find a credible source for their stories," Conkling said. "But it also is for clients and prospective clients who want to know more about our team members."

"We intend to keep the section updated," says CFM Digital Specialist Hannah Smith, who designed the expert section and is featured herself. "As we develop new areas of expertise, we will add those."

"And we will share the passionate hobbies and avocations of our team members," Smith adds.

CFM Pros Pose as Portlandia Extras

Fred Armisen and crew member on location in North Portland. CFM Account Executives Hannah Smith and Suzie Giacomelli got a taste of show business last month as extras in the hit TV show Portlandia. Smith and Giacomelli drove by the shoot, parked and did a little exploring. A staffer said they looked like extras. Before they knew it, they were part of the action.

“We stood in a long line of Portlanders committeed to getting in to a popular brunch spot. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein crowd surf to the front of the line when their names are finally called. I’ve been part of similar scenes in my everyday life, so it wasn’t a big stretch. We Portlanders love our food,” said Smith.

“We said ‘hi’ to Fred Armisen and took direction from staffers. The extras – volunteers – were excited to be part of the action. It was a hot day by Portland standards, but morale was high,” said Giacomelli.

Giacomelli and Smith plan to watch the episode at a local pub to see if they’re in the final footage and relive their experience. Give them a shoutout on CFM’s page on Facebook if you catch them on the small screen.