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Marketing & Communications Highlights
The latest news from Destination DC's Marketing & Communications team.
- During the first government shutdown (Jan. 20-22), DDC returned to its “DC is Open” campaign. The comprehensive campaign included a dedicated landing page on washington.org that featured things to know about the shutdown, free things to do, shutdown specials from members, a #DCisOpen photo gallery, winter content and places to eat. An alert was also posted on the washington.org home page that directed users to the landing page. DDC promoted content on its social media channels with the #DCisOpen hashtag. The effort also included media interviews, editorial pitching, a printable one-pager and updates via visitor information specialists and the Washington, DC visitor hotline. DDC also prepared for a subsequent shutdown that did not substantially materialize on Feb. 9.
- During morning rush hour on Feb. 1, DDC created buzz for the Date Nights DC campaign with a consumer activation at six metro locations: Gallery Place, Metro Center, Union Station, L’Enfant Plaza, Farragut North and West, and McPherson Square. The team greeted commuters with 3,000 free cake pops from Baked by Yael that featured a date idea pointing to datenightsdc.org. The activation was also promoted on social media with the #DateNightsDC hashtag.
- DDC’s spring advertising campaign will run from Feb. 26 – April 30 in the New York and Philadelphia markets. Print placements include Southern Living, Philadelphia Magazine, The New Yorker and New York Magazine. Other placements include broadcast and cable television spots, digital video distribution of DDC’s spring commercial, custom e-mail blasts, rich media mobile interactive digital units, a sponsored travel listing with Travelzoo and out-of-home placements on Amtrak trains covering the Northeast region. Impressions are expected to surpass 15.2 million.
- DDC is dedicated to bringing DC’s dynamic arts and culture scene to the forefront in 2018 by creating a video series that features five hosts who are experts in their fields – theater, music, museums, street art and dance. Each host will elaborate on where he or she finds inspiration in DC, showcasing authentic experiences and in turn, highlighting why the city is a great destination for arts and culture enthusiasts.
- In an effort to tailor website content to potential site visitors depending on their interests and location, the department has teamed up with MMGY, the agency that redesigned washington.org in spring 2016, and Bound, a personalization platform. The project will launch in early spring. The goal is to increase site engagement by providing relevant content to users, and to improve the user experience for the website’s many audiences, including leisure travelers, locals, groups and meeting planners. Additional goals for the project include increasing lead generation, guide orders and email newsletter sign-ups.
- From March 7-9, DDC will host its annual spring New York City media mission and consumer event in its top domestic visitor market to promote travel in the year ahead to Washington, DC. On March 7, DDC and 15 partners will engage with approximately 70 influential New York-based journalists during a luncheon and reception, pitching what’s new in the city to inspire coverage of DC. On March 8, DDC will open a pop-up spring experience at Grand Central Station from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. The event will inspire social media moments, highlight spring through cherry blossom-themed activations and include giveaways. On March 9, the team will “take over” the plazas of The Today Show and Good Morning America from 5-9 a.m. by holding up spring signs and working to engage with anchors of each show.
Recent stories we’ve pitched
Domestically, DC’s response to the January government shutdown, expected visitor spending from IPW 2017 and the city’s best journalist hangouts were all featured topics. The New York Times also published a glowing feature on the city. Internationally, DC was prominently featured in French and South African publications, and on the industry side, the government shutdown’s effect on meetings in the city was covered.
InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf was featured in USA Today’s hotel roundup.
USA Today, Jan. 2: January roundup of hot hotel openings
Vogue focused on the District’s most popular hangouts for journalists, inspired by the new film, The Post.
VOGUE, Jan. 7: Inspired by The Post: A Guide to D.C.’s Journalist Hangouts, Past and Present
DC was featured in a Condé Nast Traveler piece on great winter destinations in the U.S.
Condé Nast Traveler, Jan. 17: 9 U.S. Cities That Are Even Better in Winter
Robert Draper of The New York Times wrote a glowing review of the District, calling it “a great American city.”
The New York Times, Jan. 18: 36 Hours in Washington, D.C.
Sawubona, the South African Airways in-flight magazine, published an extensive feature on Frederick Douglass and his ties to the District, as well as a sidebar of DC highlights. Members mentioned include The Wharf, Museum of the Bible, International Spy Museum and the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler galleries. The upcoming MLB All-Star Week was also highlighted.
Sawubona, February 2018 Issue: Remembering Frederick Douglass
Tour Hebdo, a French publication, featured DC’s vibrant cultural scene, new restaurants and hotels, and an interview with Elliott Ferguson. Members mentioned include the National Air & Space Museum, the Heurich House Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Darcy, Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.
Tour Hebdo, January 2018 Issue: Shoot De Culture
Katie Arcieri of Washington Business Journal details the expected increase in visitor spending in DC post-IPW.
Washington Business Journal, Jan. 23: 2017 IPW Conference in D.C. to generate $1.6B in visitor spending over three years
Washington Business Journal highlighted DDC’s “DC Is Open” campaign in response to the government shutdown.
Washington Business Journal, Jan. 20: The shutdown begins: D.C. stresses it remains open for business
Elliott Ferguson was quoted in Meetings Today about how a government shutdown would impact meetings in the District.
Meetings Today, January 2018 Issue: How a Government Shutdown Would Impact Meetings