Written by The Business Journal Staff
Rae Pardini Matson,
Owner, RPM PR
What we do: According to Rae Pardini Matson, RPM PR is a boutique public relations firm that strengthens lifestyle brands through authentic and innovative communication. See our website at RPM-PR.com
Education: Graduated from University of Southern California (USC) with a bachelor’s degree in economics, minor in sociology. (Although I majored in econ, all of my work experience has been in the entertainment, editorial, publicity and marketing industries.)
Family: Husband Michael Matson, Jr.; parents Liz and John Pardini; sisters and brother-in-laws Alicia & Blake Fisher and Tara & Connor Wagner, and proud aunt to two nieces (Adriana and Kylie) and two nephews (Mason and Madden).
Tell us a little about your career to your current position, Matson.
As a graduate of University of Southern California (USC), I began my career in Los Angeles working for editorial publications, People and Cosmopolitan magazines. My experience in storytelling and determination to finish the job no matter how long it took led me to working in national publicity for Columbia Pictures films, an entity of Sony Pictures Entertainment. In working at Sony Pictures for a few years, I returned home to Fresno to be with my family after the sudden loss of my triplet brother. After returning to the Valley and navigating the opportunities for PR here, I had the pleasure of working in marketing at a local advertising agency, overseeing marketing and PR for a group of restaurant franchises, and then received an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse — to handle development and communications for a local nonprofit organization under the leadership of a mentor of mine at Marjaree Mason Center. Simultaneously, I continued to do freelance event planning and PR. In recent years the freelance PR work continued to grow, so in 2015 I took a leap of faith and decided to pursue that fulltime. This organic growth led me to officially establish RPM PR, and bring on team members to support me, in the summer of 2015.
What made you decide to start your own agency, Matson?
Shadowing my dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic paired with my love for growing brands through PR are what gave me the strength to start my own business. I personally have an invested interest in health, wellness, lifestyle and beauty brands — hence why I’ve decided to work with brands in that spectrum. I wanted to create a culture that provides clients with brand representatives that take a holistic approach to their business, while providing RPM PR team members with creative freedom and flexibility.
What can new clients expect when they approach you for help, Matson?
The RPM PR team takes a holistic approach to representing your brand, acting as an extension of your team and really focusing on branding from the inside out. My background in national publicity in the entertainment and publishing industries, paired with my drive to build awareness through strengthening community and media partnerships, makes for a fresh and dynamic approach to influencing target audiences. RPM PR’s strategies cover all medias; especially as social media influence continues to rapidly increase.
The initial consultation with RPM PR is at no cost. From there, the team develops a custom scope of work proposal that fits your brand’s goals.
What are some pitfalls business owners can run into when they do their own public relations work, Matson?
From my experience, the major pitfall that business owners run into when they do their own public relations work is that they’re too close to their own brand. They have a different level of personal, professional and financial investment in their company, which can skew their view of the brand and may be different than that of their consumers. This is why it’s important to hire professionals in the PR industry to provide their expertise from their vantage point.
What was the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve received, both personally and professionally, was from my late grandfather, Melville Willson. He said, “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today.”
What are your roots in the Central Valley, Matson?
Born and raised in Fresno, Went to school at Malloch Elementary, Tenaya Middle School and graduated as a Bullard High School Knight. I then moved away to college in Los Angeles at USC, and worked there for years after college in the entertainment industry. After the sudden passing of my triplet brother, JW Pardini, I returned to the Central Valley to be with my family. My business and life are now rooted here, as my husband and his family business are also based in Fresno. I’m now a “lifer” here in Fresno, as they say.
What are some causes/organizations that you support and why?
My recent work at Marjaree Mason Center as the director of development and communications has left a soft spot in my heart for all of those affected by domestic violence, especially in our community.
As a USC alumni, I’m active with the USC Alumni Club of Central California, which supports fundraising for scholarships for Valley Trojans attending the university.
What was your very first job and what did you learn from it, Matson?
My very first job was as a server at my dad’s catering company, Grand Occasions Catering. I learned from working with my dad what hard work, dedication and entrepreneurship were all about.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a strong interest in fitness and health/wellness. When I’m not working or spending time with loved ones, you’ll catch me doing some sort of fitness activity. I love working out, and try to every day. The Bar Method, indoor cycling, yoga, cardio are just a few of my favorite activities.