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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.

  • In the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019), the DDC social media channels saw a total of 821,110 engagements, bringing the FY2019 total to 3,130,568 engagements and 111.81% of the goal for the fiscal year. In September, the #MyDCcool hashtag surpassed 550,000 uses on Instagram. Instagram engagement grew 7.9% year over year from FY2018, while Facebook engagement grew 67%.
  • DDC’s website,, posted outstanding numbers for FY2019. The website received 34,006,034 pageviews (98.96% of FY2019 goal) and 10,591,873 unique visits (111.98% of FY2019 goal), which represents a 5.23% increase in pageviews and a 19.82% increase in unique visits year-over-year. Organic search accounted for 69.22% of site sessions and the number of organic search sessions increased by 19.14% year-over-year, while paid search accounted for 12.21% of site sessions and the number of paid search sessions increased by 48.17% year-over-year.
  • DDC’s new advertising campaign, “Stay Local DC,” will serve as a new way to reach target audiences during a need period by focusing on locals in DC proper and the surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. DDC will still use romantic messaging surrounding Valentine’s Day, but feel that the broader message of Stay Local DC will be more appealing to consumers over a longer period of time than the previous campaign geared towards this need period, Date Nights DC. Stay Local DC will run from November 17, 2019 – February 29, 2020. With an extended campaign length, DDC members can submit a wider breadth of deals and discounts for users on The Stay Local DC campaign will focus on deals in November, adjust the rhetoric in January to “treating yourself,” and then transition to planning special outings in February to align with Valentine’s Day. The ad buy includes a mix of high impact digital video units, paid social, paid search, an Expedia co-op and a specialized restaurant-focused placement.
  • DDC’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, Robin McClain, recently presented at The Travel & Tourism Research Association’s Marketing Outlook Forum, which was held from Oct. 7-9 at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency. The forum is considered the industry’s leading strategic travel forecast conference. Robin presented during an Oct. 8 session on culinary tourism, in which she discussed how DDC has embraced the strategy in a city with a strong and ever-changing restaurant dynamic and diverse neighborhoods.
  • For further details on the marketing and communications team’s plans for FY2020, visit the Member Extranet to view our Department Dish webinar.

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Domestic Media

DC was featured in an Essence article that focused on last-minute Labor Day destinations.
Essence, Aug. 29: 8 Last Minute Labor Day Destinations You Can Still Book Today

New York Lifestyles Magazine showcased shopping, restaurants, hotels and culture in the District in their September issue. The magazine has a circulation of roughly 200,000.
New York Lifestyles Magazine, Sept. 2019: Destination D.C. discussed iconic DC food and where to find it. Members mentioned include Ben’s Chili Bowl, BLT Steak and Succotash., Sept. 5: Half-Smokes, Pupusas And Mumbo – Oh My! D.C.’s Iconic Foods And Where To Find Them

Travel + Leisure ran an outstanding piece on lesser known “corners” (think: neighborhoods) of DC, including Columbia Heights, Anacostia, Cleveland Park and more. Members mentioned include the International Spy Museum, The Line DC and Officina.
Travel + Leisure, Sept. 24: Venture Beyond the National Mall to See Some of Washington D.C.’s Most Compelling Corners

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International Media

Latte Luxury News, an Australian publication, ran this article on DDC’s recent street activation in Sydney, which enticed consumers and excited travel agents.
Latte Luxury News, Sept. 6: Washington DC Brings The Lincoln Memorial To Sydney’s CBD

Italian publication Modalita Demode ran this feature on all there is to see in the nation’s capital. Members mentioned include the Hirshhorn Museum, the Library of Congress, The Wharf and the National Air & Space Museum.
Modalita Demode, Sept. 8: Cosa vedere nella capitale degli USA

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Industry Clips

Group Tour Magazine highlighted an array of free and lesser known things to do in the nation’s capital.
Group Tour Magazine, Sept. 2019: Washington, D.C.

Venue improvements that make hosting conferences in DC even easier were discussed in Conference & Meetings World. DDC president and CEO Elliott Ferguson was quoted.
Conference & Meetings World, Sept. 2019: DC: Developing for Conferences

DC’s appeal to SMERF meeting planners was showcased in Association Convention & Facilities Magazine.
Association Convention & Facilities Magazine, Sept. 12: SMERF Numbers Add up to Big Business for Destinations, Hotels and Venues