Rachel J. Newman
MGSandbox@gmail.com | @CoolBeansRae (IG, T, P) | www.Facebook.com/RaeNewman | www.RaeNewman.Wordpress.com 

Results focused communications and entertainment industry trailblazer with a concentration on strategic branding; effective internal/external organizational outreach; robust digital media presence across all online mediums; and forging collaborative corporate and community partnerships.  Excellent record of performance and skilled at developing innovative solutions, organizational restructuring, elevating visual presence, and enhancing an organizations local, national and global impact.  Strategist with a proven track record of building innovative teams, inspiring progressive creativity, creating various PR, social media, marketing and event-based campaigns (including grass roots, guerilla, street, community, corporate, for profit, non-profit and government); in an effort to produce excellent outcomes that exceed expectations and goals.

 

Accomplishments
Handled various social media accounts, with a significant increase of analytics including users, impressions, etc.

  • Single-handedly increased the DC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) twitter (@dcdpr) followers from 1800 to over 10.2K in 3 years with no marketing or outreach support from the Agency. Also, revamped the agency’s Facebook account and introduced other accounts such as Instagram, Periscope, Klout & FourSquare. (DCDPR)
  • DPR – In 2012, named by ActiveNet as “The Top 10 Social Media Parks & Recreation Twitter handles” (based on followers); and “The Top Ten Social Media Accounts to Emulate” (specifically cited for “effective retweeting & follower engagement).
  • DPR – Mentioned and recognized in 2012 & 2013 for highly effective SMEM (Social Media Emergency Management) on social media.

Orchestrated citywide, significant and Mayoral projects and events and served on various committees:

  • Citywide, Significant and Mayoral Projects
    • DPR: Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Fit DC Initiative – Agency & Dc.gov Website lead, Social Media
    • DPR: Agency website migration team from vignette to drupal. Agency Lead to take the website to responsive design.
    • DPR: Former Mayor Vincent Gray’s Grade.DC Initiative – Lead User/Agency Representative – Selected as the “First 5” agencies to test trial an initiative measuring social media feedback and customer service interaction/resolution.
    • DPR Agency Lead – DC Rally at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington Citywide Committee
    • DPR’s Open Government Coordinator – 2014 & 2015
    • Lincoln Theatre: Maintained a government / donor subsidy budget and a yearly departmental budget of 100K to be presented to Senior Management, Board Members and City Officials
    • Lincoln Theatre: One of three P.O.C.’s for the Theatre’s Capital Improvements Renovation Project – phase 1. Theatre served as the general contractor on the project, I was on the GC team.  Ten million dollar budget involving production, operations and facilities (including HVAC, Roof & Building Restoration).
  • DPR Committee memberships:
    • DC HSEMA Special Events Task Force – 2014
    • DPR’s Special Events Task Force – 2014
    • DC HSEMA THIRA & DC EMA PIO working group – 2014
    • One City Summer Citywide Committee – 2012 & 2013
    • One City Summer Communications/Marketing Committee – 2013 & 2014
    • DC Free Summer Meals Marketing Committee – 2013 & 2014
    • One City Youth Marketing/Communications Committee – 2014
    • District’s Crisis Communications Strategy Working Group – 2014
    • DC HSEMA’s Citywide PIO think tank – 2014
  • Major Events | Production Manager (Short List):
    • The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Ground Breaking Gala Dinner and Concert featuring performances by Gladys Knight, Brian McKnight and Michael Bolton (2006 – Kennedy Center)
    • The Hispanic Heritage Awards Dinner & Post Awards Gala (2006 – Kennedy Center)
    • The Mark Twain Awards Post Gala honoring Neil Simon (2006 – Kennedy Center)
    • Annual Kennedy Center Open House (2006 – Kennedy Center)
    • Washington Metro Scholars Awards Dinner featuring Wycelf Jean (2006 – Kennedy Center)
    • Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam (2004 – Lincoln Theatre | Television Credit)
    • ESPN Tuesday Night Fights (2002 & 2003 – Lincoln Theatre | Television Credit)
    • NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – Live (2002 – Lincoln Theatre)
    • NBA All Star Game (2001 – MCI/Verizon Center: Sound Engineer, Press Conference Room)
    • Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra featuring guest conductor – Quincy Jones (2001 – Lincoln Theatre)
    • HBO Presents Dave Chappelle’s “Killin’ Them Softly” (2000 – Lincoln Theatre | Television Credit)
    • Major Concerts include: Bruce Hornsby – Sigur Ros – Gian Marco – Wynton Marsalis & the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – Hugh Masekla – Erykah Badu – and more. (Lincoln Theatre)

 

Representative Clients

Publicist/Consultant – Archie Beslow: Author, Youth Coach & Motivational Speaker  |  2015
Worked with local author to create and enhance his author brand.  Created press releases and media advisories; handled media pitching and bookings/appearances (in store, public speaking engagements and hosting); handled specific website content editing and social media; created alignments with various local, regional and national organizations, mentoring events, relevant sports celebrities and authors.

DC Publicist/Consultant for “Dark Girls” – independent film by Co-Director Bill Duke  |  2012
Created Electronic Press Kits, press releases, media advisories, media pitching, handled multi-level press junket tours, local market social media, secured and oversaw all in-person and phoner DC & select National media interviews (print, radio, online and blogs), created and executive media interview schedules and all appearances, coordinated all media at the DC film premiere and assisted with media in the Philadelphia & New York markets.  Submitted reports to the national PR team.  Secured interviews with the Washington Post, The Root, Huffington Post, Radio One, Washington Watch with Roland Martin, various urban radio station, film journalists and more.

 

DC Publicist/Strategist for “Ghetto Physics” – independent film by Director E. Raymond Brown  |  2011
Created Electronic Press Kits, press releases, media advisories, media pitching, social media strategies, secured and oversaw all DC media interviews and some national media interviews (print, radio, online and blogs), coordinated the DC media screening (securing venue, inviting media, VIP’s, etc.), 5-day director’s press junket Congressional Black Caucus week, attended all film showings with the Director, conducted audience post-film interviews & focus groups, created local and national social media campaigns.  Booked “Screening and Q&A’s with the Director” at Howard University’s Fine Arts Dept. Secured interviews with urban radio stations, local film media/press and handled all media buys.  Assisted the Philadelphia team with local press outreach.


Talent Producer/Event Consultant – National Dance Day DC   |  2010
Worked with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s staff to produce the first annual National Dance Day on the National Mall hosted by Congresswoman Norton and Nigel Lythgoe.  Booked all performance talent, created run of show, event flyer and consulted with the Congresswoman’s staff regarding the overall event.  (Pro-bono)


Content Editor – “Healthy You Now” (HYN) online magazine  |  2009 – 2010
Healthy You Now – a monthly, online magazine dedicated to promoting healthy living, with insightful articles focusing on healthy eating/recipes, fitness and mental health.  Tonya Lewis Lee, wife of filmmaker Spike Lee, is the magazine’s founder, Editor in Chief (EIC), and the spokeswoman for the National “Healthy Babies/Infant Mortality” initiative.
Responsible for working with the Editor in Chief, web designer and assistant to create the overall website design, content, look and functionality; pitching magazine topics/themes to the EIC, relaying each month’s selected theme to the magazine’s 4 contributing experts, working with them on article concepts and reviewing/editing their article submissions on a weekly basis.  Identifying and interfacing with 2 guest contributing experts per issue, creating article concepts and reviewing/editing their article submissions.  Selecting all photo/video images for the magazine and oversaw social media for the online magazine.

 

Publicist & Event logistics – 23rd Annual Mayors Cup Amateur Boxing Tournament  |  2008
Responsible for all public relations and event production for the event including: creating press releases, media advisories, event fact sheets and run of show; media pitching; secured the venue; press conference; VIP handling (invites, media interviews and day of event); and production / day of show logistics (including opening ceremony, awards presentation and post event reception) for the annual, 3 day tournament.


Publicist – “Swing Fore Change” – Obama Fundraising Golf Tournament  |  2008
Created press releases, media advisories, fact sheets; handled press and media inquiries for Swing Fore Change – Golf Tournament, Fundraiser and Silent Auction for “Obama for America” at Lake Presidential Golf Course (MD).

 

Production Manager – Dimensions Entertainment  |  2006 – 2008
Handled concert production for major DC promoter Bill Washington, owner of Dimensions Entertainment.  Duties included “day of” production management for shows in various markets including DC, Atlanta, GA and Hampton, VA.  Ensuring that all vendors (backline, catering, the venue, etc.) uphold negotiated contracts, interfacing with union/house stewards and all talent/performers, coordinating sound checks and run of show with artists and venue, overseeing and signing off on union/house labor and assisting Mr. Washington and the Dimension team with relevant production issues or concerns.


Publicist, Booking Agent & Consultant – Saafir, West Coast Rap Artist and Actor  |  2005 – 2008
Creating media kits, press releases, album exposure, facilitating press & media interviews, creating industry (music and film) buzz, managing all social media accounts, booking acting and guest appearances, media pitching and pursing any and all professional endeavors (such as television, film, guest album appearances, etc.).  Saafir appeared in the film “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop – The Story of Kody “Monster” Scott” as the lead role of Kody ‘Monster’ Scott; coordinated and secured BET “American Gangster” series interview regarding the film role; appeared in “Menace 2 Society”; was featured on the Training Day (Denzel Washington film) and Street Fighter soundtracks; former artist on Quincy Jones’ Qwest label and has an extensive discography.

PR & Events Management – “Rumble on the Main Line” Boxing Series for ‘5 for Life Entertainment’  |  2003
Created all press releases, sponsorship packages, event schedules, fight cards, securing media coverage and interviews, and submitting logistical layouts for the monthly boxing series held at the Adams Mark Hotel. Handled logistics for press conferences, fight night set up, sponsors materials, press/media on the day of fight, event photographers, media and celebrity notables.  Coordinating the Budweiser VIP Pre fight room and interfacing with sponsors.

 

Professional Experience

A Creatives Incubator (ACI)   – Washington, DC                                          2016 – present
Strategist
Founded in August 2016, ACI seeks to help up and coming artists, musicians, film makers, publicists, technology and entertainment industry hopefuls with advice, relevant events, mentoring, careers and more.  (Pro Bono)


DC Department of Parks and Recreation – Washington, DC                              2012 – 2017
Office of Communications:
Public Affairs Specialist: 2015 – 2017

  • Project manager/lead to revamp DPR’s facility locator map to an interactive GIS, mobile responsive map. Responsibilities include coordinating with divisions to verify agency inventory, working with OCTO (Office of the Chief Technology Officer) to populate and create the map and scrubbing all current information.
  • Event lead on the 2016 National Green Festival (Convention Center).
  • Responsible for the look, functionality and engagement of DPR’s website, working with the newly formed social media team and for creating agency social media outreach & campaigns.

Information Tech. Specialist (Website & Social Media) and Public Affairs Specialist (PIO): 2014 – 2015

  • Responsible for the Agency’s social media portals, primarily Twitter and Facebook; but also including Instagram, YouTube, Klout, FourSquare, Yelp, Flickr, Tumblr, Dropbox, HootSuite. As well as DPR’s presence on google and relevant search engines.
  • In 3 years, more than quadrupled the number of social media follower across key portals. Responsible for a core team of DPR employees who engage on behalf of the agency on social media; and for engaging with sister agencies, key stakeholders, governing organizations (i.e., NRPA) online.
  • Coordinated and supervised DPR’s first successful Twitter Town Hall and the Director’s Budget Town Hall for FY2015. Event lead on the 2015 National Green Festival (Convention Center).
  • Responsible for the look, functionality and engagement of DPR’s website and for creating agency social media outreach & campaigns.
  • Project lead on “Agency Responsive Design” project. Working with OCTO to ensure a smooth transition of the website to ensure the DPR website was responsive on mobile devices.

Writer/Editor and Agency PIO: 2012 – 2014
Writer/Editor: 2012 – 2012

  • Responsible for the Agency’s social media portals; writing all press releases and media advisories for the agency and the Mayor’s office (average 12 a month); reviewing, revamping, editing or creating all collateral materials (flyers, manuals, SOP’s, divisional brochures – average 40 a month).
  • Managed media requests for interviews, articles, etc. as a back up to the Chief of Staff. Handled media, interfaced with reporters, at key events, ribbon-cuttings, groundbreakings, etc.; and approved media access at DPR locations.
  • Member: DPR’s Special Events Task Force. One of 40 agency representatives at the 2013 National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Conference in Houston, TX.
  • Key advisor to the Director, Chief of Staff and Senior Staff on sensitive media, Council, EOM or constituent related matters. Spokesperson and/or presenter at orientations for the Communications Department in the absence of the Chief of Staff.
  • Worked with contractors and created marketing Statements of Work. Created media scripts, campaigns, agency advertising, and signed off on various agency campaigns (Spring, Fall, DC Free Summer Meals and Ask Me About DPR campaigns).
  • As an essential, emergency employee – in the event of a natural disaster, weather situation, etc.; cleared to report to the JIC to work with the agency Director, Chief of Staff, the Mayor’s Communications staff and all key sister agencies and DPR staff.
  • On the project team to take the DPR website from vignette to drupal. Worked with DPR’s IT Manager & his team to design the new site look and to prep information.


The Examiner.com – Washington, DC                                                                       2010 – 2012
Freelance Writer
Covered the “DC Music Events” beat for the Examiner online, writing about a wide variety of music events in the metropolitan DC area including America’s Got Talent, Nickelodeon Network & Let’s Move! Worldwide Day of Play on the National Mall, and Truckeroo; and interviewed a host of recording artists including Anthony Hamilton, Estelle, Kindred, Bell Biv DeVoe and more.
The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – Washington, DC         2006 – 2007
Production Coordinator, Special Events and Millennium Stage
Special Events:

  • Responsible for interfacing with every department in the Kennedy Center, especially the Special Events Department, Renters/Clients, the President’s office, and other divisions to technically support all internal and external events. Average, 40 special events per month.
  • Provided leadership and oversight of all production elements (sound, stage, lights, aesthetic look, scenery, staging, etc.) and coordinating with the Center’s internal “events” departments such as RA (catering), ADA, Security and more.
  • Successfully managed IATSE contracts, production meetings, creating event schedules, billing estimates, labor schedules, payroll, equipment billing & invoicing and more. Overseeing all event components and for larger events, assigning a crew chief.  Managed crews up to 40 stagehands/personnel.

      Millennium Stage:

  • Responsible for working with Performing Arts For Everyone (PAFE) Staff to ensure all Millennium Stage production elements (renting requested backline, scheduling stagehands, run of show/production schedule, interfacing with artists/artists managers, billing, payroll, etc.) are flawlessly executed.
  • Millennium Stage operates 365 days a year.


Consultant / Contractor – Washington, DC                                                        
2001 – present
Serve as an advisor to various organizations, brands or individuals in several capacities with a primary focus, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Concert/Festival Production
  • Entertainment Industry
  • Event Producer/Director
  • Grass Roots/Guerilla Campaigns
  • Innovative Solutions
  • Innovative Solutions
  • Organizational Management
  • Political Conferences
  • PR/Media Campaigns
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media Strategies
  • Special Events Management
  • Sporting Events
  • Strategy & Branding
  • Theatre, Film & Music

Client types include, but are not limited to:

  • Book Authors
  • Film Directors
  • Media Personalities
  • Motivational Speakers
  • Musical Artists
  • Online Magazine
  • Performing Arts Venues
  • Political Organizations
  • Production Companies
  • Public Relation Firms

Ichypom – Washington, DC                                                                                            2001 – 2005
Founder & Co-Owner
An extremely versatile Entertainment Production & Special Events Management company that provided all-inclusive event production, management and public relations services; managing a variety of clients in DC and Philadelphia.  Clients included Minnesota Avenue Day Festival, Real Men Cook, Rumble on the Main Line Boxing Series and more.

The Lincoln Theatre – Washington, DC                                                                     1999 – 2006
Production Manager: 2000 to 2006

  • Responsible for advancing production for all shows, events, plays and productions and taking the production lead on all “in house” productions. Interfacing with promoters, 3rd party vendors, and show production staff.
  • Handling/generating staff payroll, event schedules, systems reports, hiring & firing of all production staff (including department heads & assistant department heads), creating SOP production manuals, budget forecasts, created and oversaw the RFP process for production and operations vendors. The Lincoln operated as the general contractor.
  • Responsible for overseeing a $750,000 production department capital project budget for the complete overhaul of the theater’s technical systems and a yearly budget of $150,000. Maintained a government / donor subsidy budget and a yearly departmental budget, which was presented to Senior Management, Board Members and City Officials as requested.
  • Supervised the department heads, assistant department heads and all stage hands in the Sound, Lighting and Stage/Rigging departments. Managed crews up to 60 stagehands.
  • One of three P.O.C.’s for the Theatre’s Capital Improvements Renovation Project – phase 1. A ten million dollar budget involving production, operations and facilities (including HVAC, Roof & Building Restoration).
  • Handled a variety of event types included: Boxing; Ice Skating; Awards Shows; Films; Stage Plays; Concerts; Graduations; Mayors State of the District Address; Television Specials; Children’s Events and Touring Shows.

    Non-Working Steward: 2000 to 2000
    Steward & Head of Audio Department: 1999 to 2000

Professional Organizations/Memberships
WGR – Women in Government Relations | State Relations Task Force Committee (2016 – present)
AWM-NCAC – Alliance for Women in Media – National Capital Area Chapter  (2016 – present)
NPC – The National Press Club (2014 – present) | NPC Communications & Marketing Committee (2015 – present)
NARAS / The Grammy’s – National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (2000 – present)
St. Augustine Catholic Church – Member | Eucharistic Minister | Lector  (1995 – present)

IAAM – International Association of Assembly Managers (2005 – 2007)
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s (D-DC) Arts Committee (2004 – 2011)
DCCC – DC Chamber of Commerce (2004 – 2006) | Economic Development Committee
BBB – Better Business Bureau (BBB)  (2004 – 2005)
NCNW – National Council of Negro Women (2003 – 2007)
WNDC – Women’s National Democratic Club (2003 – 2006)
Board Member – Oceana Rising (Non-profit arts organization)  (2002 – 2008)
DCCAH – DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities | Grants Selection Committee (2002 – 2006)
IBEW – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers | Card Member (1996 – 2000)
IATSE Local 22 – International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (1996 – 2008) | Card Member (2001 – 2008)
NABET – National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians | Card Member (1995 – 2000)


Speaking Engagements
Panelist – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Health Care Town Hall (DC)  (2009)
Panelist – CMJ Conference (NYC) : Speed Mentoring Session : General Music Business  (2008)
Panelist – African American Girls & Women’s Conference at Bowie State University (Bowie, MD) :  A Circle of OnenessTopic: Youth, Hip Hop and the Entertainment Industry  (2007)
Panelist – Can A Sista Roc A Mic Festival (DC) : Women Speak! Making a Difference and Counteracting the Dominant Representations in the Entertainment Industry (2007)
Panel Moderator – Capital Catwalk Fashion Symposium (2007)
Panelist – CAPE League (DC) : Careers Behind the Scenes: The Entertainment Industry  (2006)
Guest Lecturer – The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council  (2005)

Education
University of Southern California – Electrical Engineering (1989 to 1991)
Skills

  • Skills | PR, Management & Events

Public Relations

  • Press Releases, Advisories & Bio’s
  • Creating Social Media Campaigns, Looks, etc.
  • Media Pitching
  • Program Layout/Design
  • Strategy & Branding
  • Media & Electronic Press Kits

 Management

  • Organizational Management
  • Creating Databases, Budgets, Projections, etc.
  • Entertainment Consulting
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Presentations & Public Speaking
  • Theatrical Consulting: Tech & Mgmt

Special Events, Logistics & Production

  • Festival, Venue & Stage Mgmt
  • Live Concert, Sports & Television Production
  • Talent/Artist/Media/VIP Handling
  • Galas & Political Conferences
  • Routing/Advancing Tours
  • Media Lead, Run of Show, Schedules
  • Union, Contractor Negotiation


Skills  |  Social Media & Web

Social Media

  • Facebook – Expert
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter – Expert
  • YouTube
  • FourSquare
  • Snapchat
  • Periscope – Advanced
  • Pinterest
  • Hoot Suite
  • Instagram – Expert
  • MySpace – Expert
  • Klout
  • Blogger & WordPress – Expert

Web (Content Editor)

  • Drupal – Advanced
  • Vignette – Intermediate
  • Joomla – Beginner
  • Content Editing – Expert
  • Html Code

Skills | Computer

  • Mac & PC
  • Excel – Expert
  • Publisher – High Proficiency
  • MS Word – Expert
  • Constant Contact – Expert
  • Gov Delivery – Expert
  • PowerPoint – High Proficiency
  • Visio
  • AutoCAD
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro – High Proficiency
  • Adobe Acrobat – High Proficiency