Hi, I'm Margie Newman. I blog about public relations, social media, careers, productivity and geek stuff.

I totally started a business with my spouse.

san diego public relationsThe first thing people ask when I tell them I’ve started a PR and CSR firm with my husband is, “you like each other that much?” Yes, actually, we do!

We proudly announced today that Dave’s digital mind and my PR savvy are at your service as Intesa Communications Group, LLC. We’re based in San Diego, serving clients from coast to coast.

While the economic climate remains a challenge for most companies, the time is ripe for business leadership to take a deep breath, assess its current reputation and social responsibility efforts, and craft a plan to generate social and financial dividends.

Who should call Intesa?

Intesa clients include businesses, non-profits, corporations, foundations and high-wealth individuals seeking to manage their reputations, while generating the most value for society and the bottom line. If you or someone you know fits this bill, we should talk.

In the meantime, you can check out the latest Intesa news on our blog and by following us on Twitter. And thank you for your support and encouragement this summer! Oh! And if you ever are in downtown San Diego, please stop by our office; we’ve got a fabulous view:


Team Newman, San Diego bureau

Here we go again! Team Newman is headed west to beautiful San Diego, California. Dave and I have been offered an opportunity to work together—doing what we love for clients we believe in. The details are still in the works; we will share them with you soon.

It was just three and a half years ago that we announced Team Newman’s move to our Nation’s Capital. We hit the ground running in D.C., thanks to friends like Joe Flood. There was hardly a happy hour/networking event we didn’t grace. Then, we started our own.

Let’s Recap
D.C. has been good to Team Newman. Since May 2009, we have:

  • made lifelong friends;
  • had a baby;
  • left the well-respected companies we worked for better than we found ‘em;
  • ran a 5k (well, my first is this weekend…)
  • (I) learned to ride a bike; and
  • survived a blizzard.

And those are just the first few fun things that come to mind.

It was also a pleasure serving on the Washington Women in Public Relations board. Folks, if you are looking to connect with some of the most talented, sincere women in town, you had better join this group.

Let’s Stay In Touch
We truly are excited about sharing this new adventure with you. If you’d like to be kept in the loop, join the Team Newman mailing list! We promise we’ll never spam you; and we’ll never share your information with others without your permission.

Wish us luck!
–Margie and Dave Newman


Tin roof, rusted: a FlackRabbit pregnancy guide (Months 1-5)

Oh, the times I’ve preached to bloggers-to-be about the importance of regularly scheduled posting. Yet, weeks have gone by since my last FlackRabbit musing. I’m sorry.

I have a fabulous excuse though: I am making a tiny human. Squeal! I know, I know! And it’s a girl! Squeeeeee!

Indeed, the newest addition to Team Newman will arrive March 10-ish—which is like, tomorrow. Yikes. Yes, we are acutely aware this due date means we cannot attend SXSW Interactive. There’s always 2013…

Despite this awesome baby news that has taken over every fiber of my being, loyal FlackRabbiters need not worry: FlackRabbit will not become a mommy blog. I promise. I just wanted to publicly let you know that my blogging absence isn’t because I don’t love you; it is because I have been kind of busy trying not to vomit at work. Or I’ve been sleeping. I’ve also been preoccupied with red meat, oatmeal cream pies, sweet tea and Zulily.

Yet, in the spirit of “this is one of the only times I’m going to blog about pregnancy on my public relations blog,” please accept (or excuse) my tiny contribution to the Internet’s generous provision of resources for the first-time-pregnant, working gal: 

FlackRabbit’s Pregnancy Guide | Months 1—5


Alpha Mom’s Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty, by Amy Corbett Storch: I will not attempt to articulate its awesomeness, because I will fail.

Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy, by Vicki Iovine: laugh out loud funny and so very helpful—but not scary. Have now read it twice.

Pregnant Chicken: informative and hysterical. Plus, there are give-a-ways!


A fun pregnancy iPhone app: although I have seven of them on my phone, this one by Smiles Factory is my favorite. I like this one, too, by OB on the Go; it has a fun hydration counter thingy.

This maternity pillow: girl, I know it’s $100; worth every freakin penny. Do it.

Dresses: lots of them. And this from the gal who likes to wear suits every day.  But about six weeks into your pregnancy, those fitted suit pants of yours will.not.button. And there is nothing as awesome as a cotton dress when you’re pregnant. Well, besides eating an entire bag of BBQ chips… Read More…


SXSW 2011: so much better than SXSW 2009

There’s no shortage of SXSW Interactive 2011 “reviews.” Give it a Google; you’ll find all sorts of contradictory soap boxes, from SXSW has “jumped the shark” to O M G, it was “awesomesauce.”  Other than the mediocre panels, tsunami of street-marketers and QR codes, and an on-again-off-again AT&T 3G signal, three things about this year’s conference stand out:

1. We should all talk to strangers more. Seriously. It wasn’t the panels or keynotes that rocked my world, (could have skipped most of them, honestly) it was the limitless conversations with talented people. There were talkative geeks at every turn. And this wasn’t just a “shake hands and be on your way”-type of networking, these were hour-long talks where you walked away a smarter, more motivated person. I hated leaving before the closing party because I kept wondering not what, but WHO/WHOM, I’d miss.

2. You can solve your Meetup location crisis using only an iPhone and tha Twitter. About a week before the conference started, Dave had this great idea for us to declare a Meetup for DC-area folks attending SXSW Interactive. We called it DCxSW. He made a website; I filled out a Twitter profile, started a #DCxSW hashtag and got to spreading the word. We immediately saw a positive response from DC-ers, including retweets and offers to help.

The problem came about five hours before the event was to start, when I discovered that our venue, Shakespeare’s Pub, had been bought out by Maxim. Thanks, guys. But I didn’t have my laptop with me; Dave was at the hotel with the Team Newman iPad; all I had was an iPhone and a panicky feeling. How would I tell everyone? Where would we go?! Less than 10 percent of an iPhone 4 battery later, a new location at the Driskill Hotel bar was secured, the DCxSW Twitter profile edited and DMs and @ replies sent to every RSVPing person. Except Tod. Oops. Sorry, man. It really proved to me how powerful that tiny little Swiss Army Knife of a phone actually is. Oh, and 45 folks showed up! And Tod eventually found us.

3. The New York Times, Verizon and Quora need to have a frank talk with their marketing folks. I’ll sum this up this way: Read More…


South by Southwest Interactive 2011: #winning

South by Southwest Interactive–the geeky stepchild of the acclaimed SXSW Music and Media Conference held each March in Austin–is just around the corner. By this time next week, we’ll be neck-deep in geek swag, product launches and free parties. The Team Newman system of taking every-other-year off seems to be working out quite well.

Scan me!

There’s a lot I’m looking forward to at SXSWi 2011: talking to strangers, karaoke, random Guy Kawasaki sightings, stickers, morning Yoga, and learning more about new stuff like QR code marketing, #hashable and Quora.

Fortunately, the actual conference lineup looks great, too. I’ve already got Offline America: Why Have a Digital Divide; Social Policies and Company Culture; and Nonprofits and Free Agents in a Networked World on my schedule.

If you’re headed down to Austin, too, let’s connect! If you’re not, take heart: if you follow the #sxswi hashtag on Twitter, you’ll be hearing and seeing everything we’re seeing in real time. Then, you can go online and watch the podcasts of each session. It will be like the real thing, only sans hangover and outrageous hotel bill! Read More…


See you there: South by Southwest Interactive 2011

As you know, Team Newman has had a crush on South by Southwest Interactive since 2006. We took 2010 off (the thought of attending one more Twitter-focused conference was too much for us) but will be back with geeky bells on this March.

They’ve got a list of confirmed (but subject to change) key notes and sessions here. Blessedly, this year there are plenty of great topics that do not revolve around Facebook and Twitter.

Are you going? If so, let’s connect over at SXsocial. Looking forward to meeting you–and to the Chris Brogan and/or Guy Kawasaki sighting(s), free beer, stickers and the sea of hooded-sweatshirt-wearing-Apple-toting geeks.

From the FlackRabbit Archives:


How to communicate with your Web guy

I am excited about my October Her Nashville Magazine column: Clear Channel. These 700 or so words will give you the do’s and don’ts of an effective Web designer relationship.

Since I’m married to a Web guy, I like to think that you can trust me on this one. The Do’s in this column really do work. And if you ignore the don’ts, you’re likely setting yourself up for failure. Or at the very least, you’ll end up working with a disgruntled geek. That is never fun. Here’s a teaser:


Your homework. Only engage a web guy after you have complete and thoughtful answers to the following questions: Who is your audience? How much information do you need to communicate on the site? Who is going to write your web copy? What do you want visitors to be able to do on your site? What is your timeline? What is your budget? What are some examples of websites you love/hate? Do you need a mobile version of your site? What are your search engine optimization goals? Are you seeking social media integration? Do you want to make your own website edits? Sure, it’s a lot to think about, but your answers help the web person build the most appropriate product.


Engage in condescending bargaining. “My cousin says he can do this for free” is never a good way to start a web guy relationship. If the web guy is smart, he’ll tell you to go hire your cousin, and he’ll likely mutter something about another place you can go. Read More…