RAPJAB does brilliant, beautiful branding.
Here's where you'll find our project and event updates,
plus our team's insights on the art of engagement.
It’s been a little over three months since Daniela Capistrano joined the RAPJAB crew as our first-ever Communications Strategist and has since hit the ground at full speed from our headquarters at Propeller, advising on digital and social strategy across a range of client needs.
Before relocating to New Orleans, Louisiana from New York, New York in 2013, the California born and bred Capistrano spent some time in the Crescent City in the summer of 2012. “Besides the obliterating heat, what struck me about New Orleans was the many beautiful layers of culture, which reminded me of my 10 years in NYC, but was its own completely distinct identity,” explained Capistrano. “Every city has its own rhythm, and I was seeking a place that would be a 180° switch from what I had known on the East Coast. I wanted to live in a major city with a small town, community vibe. I got that in New Orleans.”
We hid Daniela’s laptop for a few minutes so she would answer these questions.
RJ: You’ve been here about three years now–long enough to have some favorite places. What are yours?
DC: Most of my favorite places and events in New Orleans have something to do with my geeky interests. My friend Terri co-runs the monthly Too Trill Trivia night at Ace Hotel New Orleans, and that is now my favorite trivia night in the city. I also enjoy Tuesday nights at Kajun’s Pub on St. Claude because that is typically when my kind of karaoke people turn up (intensely enthusiastic). I’m a fan of Twelve Mile Limit’s “Bear w/ Me” comedy open mic on Monday evenings–plus they usually serve free food. Community Book Center is a great place to find BIPOC-empowering literature (plus it’s close to Domino Sound Records, where I–SURPRISE–look for rare vinyl). I like to meet my pals of all genders for cocktails at Bar Tonique on N. Rampart… I think that’s enough information to reveal that I’m a geeky and low key bougie hipster.
RJ: We noticed you didn’t mention any restaurants. Thoughts?
DC: This interview could easily pivot into Daniela’s Tips For Eating Your Way Through New Orleans if you want–there’s so many places I’ve been fortunate enough to find on my own, or to be introduced through to friends and colleagues. I feel like most of my life in NOLA is centered around experiencing delicious food–either homemade at my friends’ homes, or in local restaurants and bars–and I’m honestly OK with that. I will say that I love the crawfish and turkey necks I get from a spot in the East and the gator balls at Buffa’s on Esplanade. Can one be addicted to alligator meat? Asking for a friend.
RJ: What do you like about working at RAPJAB?
DC: This past weekend, I was at the Guy’s Po’ Boys fundraiser on Magazine with our client-partner, Parkway Bakery and Tavern, documenting the event in real-time and helping out in other ways. We/I had worked with Parkway on a campaign to inspire as many people as possible to attend and to draw press coverage. Over 800 people showed up, despite the pouring rain. I was witnessing community in action. This type of experience is why I wanted to step away from solo entrepreneurship for a while–to be a part of a team connected to local institutions and to help stimulate the local economy. I’m fortunate to be able to apply my skills in ways that can help New Orleans communities and working with RAPJAB has made that possible. I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself and much more connected to the city in meaningful ways.
Was that good? Can I get a raise now?
RJ: In 140 characters, explain why we hired you–then punch it up with a sentence or two. Go!
DC: I pitched/launched/managed @MTVNews’ first social channels. Excellent client facing skills. Worked on international brands. Karaoke Star.
I enjoy doing things like leading webinars called “SEO & Content Marketing: Leveraging Your Brand’s Story To Meet Revenue & Engagement Goals” for New Orleans Women In Tech (WIT) and was the featured entrepreneur in a recent edition of New Orleans Startup Digest, so you see, I’m everywhere–kind of like Batman, if he was a queer chicana sci-fi and tech lover.
RJ: What do you know about zines? Explain it in The Simpsons “Comic Book Guy” voice.
DC: There’s no emoticon to describe how I feel about zines. Actually, my passion is really for anything that falls under the umbrella of independent materiality as a praxis for resistance knowledge and that has been a lifelong interest. Consequently, I founded the POC Zine Project in 2010 and it has been a six-year-and-running experiment in art, activism, and community through materiality. Through POC Zine Project, I’ve produced events in over 20 cities across the country, been a guest speaker at over 10 universities, and collaborated with hundreds of volunteers. The POC Zine Project mission is to make zines by people of color easy to find, distribute, and share. I’m working on putting over 300 zines from the POC Zine Project physical archive online so they can be accessed for free via an online community archive website and mobile app. It’s basically the most awesome thing you’ve ever heard of. If anyone wants to help make it happen, they can email [email protected] because I’m looking for developer partners and funding resources.
But seriously, I feel incredibly lucky to have met so many amazing people through the POC Zine Project and I’m constantly inspired by people all over the world, of all backgrounds, who are makers / creators. The POC Zine Project is just my way of being a part of that conversation and challenging it in some ways.
My POCZP work has made it possible for me to learn a lot more about managing online communities and what “works” on social across different platforms. I can now say that I’ve successfully led digital strategy and audience development for international media brands, startups, mental health organizations, and my own grassroots nonprofit… not too shabby for a self-taught wizard.
Very soon, Daniela Capistrano will be taking the reigns of RAPJAB’s own social channels and blog to share information about our projects, as well as valuable resources for branding and design communities. Hold onto your knowledge butts, because they are about to get consensually kicked up a notch.