Rare Bird Strategic


Passion. Experience. Diligence.

About Dawn Hagin

Dawn is a "wouldn't it be cool if" kind of thinker. She wakes up with ideas in her head and can't wait to share them. Prior to founding Rare Bird Strategic, Dawn was a founding partner, chief marketing officer, and brand creator of Lark Hotels, one of the nation’s fastest-growing boutique hotel collections. Under her purview, the collection maintained year-over-year revenue growth for all hotel properties, even with a streamlined marketing budget of 2-4%. Dawn also founded and served as publisher of the group's On a Lark magazine and managed brand partnerships with other, dynamic, growing companies. 

As a communications consultant, Dawn led re-engineering communications campaigns for Blue Shield of California and Union Bank of California. She crafted and launched the first email marketing campaign at Cellular One of California in the mid-90s. In 2001, she co-founded Rare Brick, one of the first luxury inn/hotel branding, web design, and photography firms to use immersive rich media and large format photography to evolve lodging websites from simple online brochures to visually compelling sales tools.

She lives in Portland, Maine with her husband, Adam, and would rather travel than do just about anything else.


Dawn on one of her better hair days.

Dawn on one of her better hair days.

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Recent Projects & Clients


Portland Wine Week

CASE STUDY: Rare Bird Strategic was instrumental in launching a successful new wine fest, Portland Wine Week, in Portland, Maine in the summer of 2018. Founder, Erica Archer of Wine Wise, had always dreamed of founding and holding a wine festival in the dynamic seaside town where she had built her successful wine education and events business. Even with incredible restaurant, wine distributor, and local business connections and a keen marketing background of her own, she needed additional help. With a thriving business and a packed schedule, she wanted someone with vision to help her craft the brand, market it, and keep her on pace with her massive “to do” list. Rare Bird Strategic created the identity and brand voice; conceived, structured, and wrote the website, all collateral and a weekly email newsletter; oversaw the talented design team; spearheaded the digital marketing strategy; conceptualized, wrote, and handled all Portland Wine Week branded social media content and advertising; found and negotiated with the media sponsor (Down East Magazine); handled press/media outreach (with hits in the Portland Press Herald, Boston Globe, Yankee Magazine, and more); strategized and coordinated video content development with the video crew; assisted with large event conceptualization, planning and set-up; and generally helped a very busy Erica pull off an incredibly successful first-year weeklong festival.

TESTIMONIAL: "Dawn is an amazing talent on so many levels. When she signed on to help me with Portland Wine Week I had no idea to what lengths she would go to to help ensure its success. It never would have been as professional and well-crafted without her. Her impact was HUGE." — Erica Archer.


Portland Food Map

CASE STUDY: Portland Food Map (a website and social media feed), is the definitive news and information resource covering and chronicling Portland Maine’s thriving food community and restaurant scene. Late in 2017, founder and editor, Anestes Fotiades, received a sponsorship offer from a local credit union. Anestes knew he wanted to redesign and improve his website, but he wasn’t sure if this was the best use of the money offered, nor was he sure how to promote the relaunch to get maximum buzz. Rare Bird Strategic helped negotiate the agreement with the sponsor, brought on a talented graphic designer to work on the project, and worked with Anestes and the very skilled website development team in crafting the new website. Rare Bird Strategic also conceived of, wrote copy for, and negotiated additional sponsor money for an accompanying pocket-sized printed map to serve as a promotional tool for the brand. This provided an additional point of news for press outreach, and will now become a revenue source for Portland Food Map.

TESTIMONIAL: "It was great experience working with Rare Bird Strategic on the relaunch of Portland Food Map.  Dawn took the time to understand where I wanted to take the business, and identified and moved forward initiatives that made the launch a huge success. She also pushed me past the point where my own blind spots were getting in the way of achieving my goals. I'd work with her again in a heartbeat and you'd be crazy not to." — Anestes Fotiades


ZeroCelsius Wealth Studio

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CASE STUDY: Over the last 8 years, wealth counselor and financial advisor, Ross Gott, redefined his business and built ZeroCelsius Wealth Studio, a successful financial services practice in New London, NH. By crafting a client-focused brand and bringing a design philosophy to wealth management, Ross had increased his business by 66% in that time. But he had an additional goal. He wanted to expand his business throughout New England through outreach and partnership with talented wealth counselors in the early stages of their careers. He just didn’t know exactly how to go about it without help. Rare Bird Strategic is currently serving as a sounding board, questioner, editor, facilitator, and taskmaster to help Ross achieve his vision. Stay tuned.