Ideas

Hi, CI! Rachel Parks, Office Manager/Operations Associate

September 1, 2017

Hi, CI! is our monthly series featuring the best team we know - the Capacity Interactive team! You will learn more about the people who help arts organizations market smarter. This month, we're featuring our Office Manager/Operations Associate who is a logistics pro, a music lover, and former stage manager.


Rachel Parks
Office Manager/Operations Associate

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How long have you been at CI?
I started as CI's first intern back in the fall of 2012 - so going on 5 years. It was just Erik and one other team member in a small office space in NoHo. I found the posting on Playbill.com for an intern to assist with their 2nd annual Digital Marketing Boot Camp for the Arts, and the rest is history.

Where are you originally from?
I grew up near Stony Brook, Long Island, about 50 miles east of Manhattan. My dad was a theatre critic for Newsday for 30+ years, and I'd say that going into the city to see Broadway shows at a young age certainly shaped my career path. The first show I remember seeing was Damn Yankees - a show about a middle-aged fan of the Washington Senators baseball team who sells his soul to the devil for a chance to play on the team and help them to victory. My family is all originally from Maryland, so that show is still very near (and dear) to me. Bonus points if you get that last reference.

What were you doing before joining the CI team?
I graduated from The University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in Theater and a focus in Stage Management in 2011. The summer after graduation, I stage managed a Dada show created by Pointless Theatre, a DC-based theater company of which I am a founding member and current Director of Digital Marketing. I moved back to New York for a production internship at Ars Nova, where I fell in love with their staff and their mission, and still volunteer there whenever I get the chance. After that, I did some very boring temp work at colleges and hedge funds and banks, and that's when I discovered CI.

You’ve been a part of CI from almost the very beginning. You’re the keeper of all historical CI knowledge. How do you do it?!
My Myers-Briggs is ISFJ, which means that I am loyal, conscientious and that my memory best serves me with things that I am passionate about. I have always been very organized (I was known to clean up all the rogue toys in the waiting room at the pediatrician), which certainly helps, but for me the passion is key. My position at the company really allows me to embrace that natural skill-set.

What’s it like running logistics for a big conference like Digital Marketing Boot Camp for the Arts? Does your stage management training come in handy?
I love it! As with the rest of my job, there are LOTS of spreadsheets. It is a stage manager's job to organize and coordinate with all departments and ultimately maintain the performance. With Boot Camp, the director is Erik, the production team is CI's operations team and the TimesCenter staff, the performers are the speakers and panelists, and the designers are the graphic designers/marketing team. I love having a hand in every aspect of a production, from start to finish. This is what drew me to stage management and what helped shape my current role at CI. I am constantly working with our Director of Operations to finesse standard operating procedures so that the 'show runs smoothly' if you will.

You’re a systems pro. Do you have any tips to help people stay organized with the nitty-gritty event details?
I said it once and I'll say it again - spreadsheets. I use Google Docs constantly. There's no such thing as too much detail. Lay everything out in the same platform so that you leave no room for misplaced information. I also use folders upon folders - in Dropbox, Gmail, etc. Try to have a consistent naming procedure for your files. CI started using Slack last year and I have also found that incredibly useful. It keeps my inbox free of internal 'chatter' and has handy features such as pinning important messages/documents to threads and the Slackbot, which I can set to remind me about a follow-up item at a specific date/time.

What drew you to work at Capacity Interactive?
Except for that brief moment as a kid when I wanted to be the next Jane Goodall, I have always wanted to work in the arts. My college studies were more on the creative end of the performing arts world, so I knew that if I were to succeed in this field, I needed more experience on the business side of the industry. CI has taught me everything I know about marketing in the digital age. We have established an intro program for all new hires called Capacity Interactive University (CIU), and while that started way after my time began here, I consider every day at CI a learning experience. I consider myself very lucky to have discovered this company when I did.

In addition to being our fearless Office Manager/Operations Associate, you coordinate our Leadacity software. What’s a cool feature of Leadacity that people might not know about?
Leadacity is our lead-generation software, which allows you to collect email addresses and Facebook likes from your website at a scalable, per lead cost.

Leadacity allows you to create multiple targeted campaigns that can automatically feed into a specific email list - so you can get really specific with your language and get users to receive the exact messaging that they want. You can also pick and choose frequency and location of the ask - so you can say 'only show this 5 pages into a user's visit' or 'hide this from our ticketing pages'. Most plugins don't allow for this type of flexibility or specificity.

We heard you’re a huge live music fan. How many shows have you seen in the last 2 years? What’s your favorite venue in NYC?
I see more live music than any other art forms combined. I'd say upwards of 50 concerts in the last two years. Last year I started volunteering for HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that helps people to register to vote at concerts. My favorite venue is Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side - I even have a tattoo of the "R" stamp they used to give you at the doors.

Who’s your favorite band or artist?
This is the hardest question you have asked me. I’ve been on a rock kick lately and my latest favorite is Matthew Logan Vasquez. He wrote/recorded/produced/mixed/mastered/designed/promoted most of it on his own and I find that super admirable. Keeping with the Maryland theme, my last live concert was J. Roddy Walston & The Business (est. Baltimore). It was my first mosh pit and the men’s restroom line was longer than the women’s.

What's something about your job that makes you excited to come to work every day? What motivates you?
The people. Everybody is so smart, supportive, curious, diligent, and kind. I've used this word a few times already, but it is really vital to our mission and our success: passion. It’s very important to be passionate about the work we do, and the organizations we partner with.

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Capacity Interactive



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