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Marketing & Communications Highlights

Theater and Performing Arts in Washington, DC - Couple walking under the Warner Theatre marquee in downtown DC

The latest news from Destination DC's Marketing & Communications team.

  • DDC is running two influencer marketing campaigns. The first, through Washington Post Brand Studio (March, May and July), features custom content pieces promoted on washingtonpost.com that highlight local DC influencers. A profile on Isabelle De Leon (musician) was published on March 12, while Tobias Dorzan (chef) and creative couple Kelly Towles (mural artist) and Virginia Arrisueño (owner of Steadfast Supply) will be featured in upcoming pieces. DDC is also working with the New York Times-owned HelloSociety agency on a campaign (March-April) that brings influential Instagrammers from DC’s top drive markets to the city. After their visit, each influencer will share Instagram posts and stories with their audience. The influencers are campaign Danielle Cooper (@shesagent), Dayna Bolden (@daynabolden) and Jenny Lopez (@lopezjennylopez).
     
  • DDC’s washington.org chatbot is now live. The content team has worked with MMGY to develop the tool and will continue to improve upon it as it develops a more nuanced understanding of traveler requests. The primary objective is for the website to be more responsive when assisting visitors with their DC-related inquiries. The chatbot will help reduce call volume to DDC’s front desks during peak periods and will connect visitors with relevant content on washington.org while assisting in the trip-planning process.
     
  • The Date Nights DC campaign had a successful run. From Nov. 1 – Feb. 28, the landing page for the campaign on washington.org saw a 46% increase in pageviews year-over-year, while unique visits were up 67%. Users who came to the site via paid media traffic viewed 16% more pages per session and stayed on the site 30% longer than the average user. Landing page traffic from SEO and DDC’s paid search campaign was also encouraging, with organic search leading to 17,921 sessions and paid search adding 10,978 sessions, an increase of 174.31% year-over-year. These users read more and stayed longer. On the advertising front, Date Nights DC saw a 54.7% increase in impressions, a 262% increase in clicks to washington.org and 2,596,208 total engagements, up from 351,753 last year. Cost per engagement came in at $0.03, a drastic improvement from the year prior, when the cost was $0.56.
     
  • DDC’s annual Travel Rally, held in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association during National Travel and Tourism Week, will take place on May 7. DDC will announce DC’s 2018 domestic visitation and tourism’s economic impact on our city during this event. More details to come.

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Domestically, spring cherry blossoms and NCAA’s March Madness attracted coverage. Internationally, the city’s free things to do were highlighted. Within the industry, Elliott Ferguson’s appointment to national chair of the U.S. Travel Association was showcased.

Domestic Media

DC was highlighted in a Travel + Leisure international rundown of the best spring break vacations for families.
Travel + Leisure, March 1: The Best Spring Break Trips for Families

Thanks to the city’s hosting of March Madness, DC locales were showcased in a piece published by the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times, March 16: March Madness must list: Where to eat, drink and have fun in NCAA host cities

CNN’s Lilit Marcus wrote a feature on the best museums in the nation’s capital that showcases a wide range of the city’s offerings.
CNN, March 25: The best museums in Washington, D.C.

A syndicated feature from Angela Haupt highlights some off-the-beaten-path locations for cherry blossom enjoyment in the District.
Chicago Tribune, March 25: 6 spots to enjoy the cherry blossoms around D.C. – without big crowds

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International Media

Sakaal Times in India, which has a circulation of 170,000, published an in-depth story on all the free activities in Washington, DC. Members mentioned include the Smithsonian National Zoo, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Library of Congress.
Sakaal Times, March 3: Free-Ly Explore

The Dutch edition of National Geographic Traveler showcased DC’s neighborhoods, dining scene, museums and monuments. Members mentioned include The Line DC, Capital Bikeshare and the National Air & Space Museum.
National Geographic Traveler Netherlands, March 2019: Washington, DC

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Industry Clips

Black Meetings & Tourism covered DDC president and CEO Elliott Ferguson’s appointment as national chair of the U.S. Travel Association.
Black Meetings & Tourism, March 2019: U.S. Travel Association Welcomes Destination DC President and CEO Elliott L. Ferguson II as National Chair

DDC’s fourth annual volleyball tournament held to raise funds for the American Experience Foundation was pictured in the Washington Business Journal.
Washington Business Journal, March 8: The Back Page

Travel Market Report ran an in-depth piece on all that’s new and worth seeing in the District as a result of DDC’s New York Media Mission.
Travel Market Report, March 13: Six New Reasons to Visit Washington, D.C., in 2019