It's impossible to be a condensed matter physicist that cares about outreach and scientific literacy, and not think about why condensed matter physics has taken such a back seat, comparatively, in the popularization of science. It is easy to argue that condensed matter physics has had more direct impact on the daily lives of people living in modern, technological societies than any other branch of physics (we could get into an argument about the relative impacts of the transistor and the laser, but I think the CM folks would win). So, how come there are specials and miniseries on PBS and Discovery Channel about string theory, the LHC, cosmology, and astrophysics with considerable regularity, people like Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene and Neil DeGrasse Tyson show up on The Daily Show, and the closest condensed matter gets to the public consciousness is a BBC special from several years ago about the Schon scandal? Is it just that there is no charismatic, telegenic champion of the cause? I think it's more than that.
First, there is the issue of profundity. High energy physics makes an obvious play toward people's desire for answers to Big Questions. What is mass? What is everything made out of? How many dimensions are there? How did the Universe begin, and how will it end? Likewise, astrophysics talks about the history of the entire Universe, the birth and death of stars, the origin of galaxies, and literally heaven-shaking events like gamma ray bursts. Condensed matter physics has a much tougher sell. In some ways, CM is the physics of the everyday - it's the reason water is wet, metals are shiny, diamond is transparent and sparkly, and the stuff in sand can be used to make quasimagical boxes that let me write text read all over the world. Moreover, CM does look at profound issues (How does quantum mechanics cross over into apparently classical behavior? How do large numbers of particles interacting via simple rules give rise to incredibly rich and sometimes amazingly precise emergent properties?), just ones that are not easy to state in a five word phrase.
Second, there is the problem of accessibility. CM physics is in some sense an amalgam of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. People do not have everyday experience with either (at least, the vast majority don't realize that they do). It's very challenging to explain some of the very nonintuitive concepts that crop up in condensed matter to lay-people without either gross oversimplification or distortion. There can be a lot of overhead that must be covered before it's clear why some CM questions really are interesting. An awful lot of CM issues literally cannot be seen by the naked eye, including atoms. Of course, the same can be said for quarks or colliding neutron stars - this is not an insurmountable problem.
Third, there is perceived relevance. This is complementary to profundity. People are naturally interested in Big Questions (the origins of the stars) even if the answers don't affect their daily lives. People are also naturally interested in Relevant Questions - things that affect them directly. For example, while I'm not that into meteorology, I do care quite a bit about whether Tropical Storm Bonnie is going to visit Houston next week. Somehow, people just don't perceive CM physics as important to their daily existence - it's so ubiquitous that it's invisible.
These issues greatly constrain any attempt to popularize CM physics....