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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.

  • For the first time, DDC created a series of social media videos to accompany a campaign, specifically for the Stay Local DC push. The first video, “Super Tourist” launched on Nov. 22. The second video in the series, “Escaleftor,” launched on Dec. 10 and generated an incredible reaction (both positive and negative) from followers and local media. On Twitter, the video amassed 100,000 views and generated nearly 25,000 engagements. The video was almost solely responsible for the 32,687 engagements on Twitter in December, which marked the highest monthly engagement on Twitter for both FY2019 and FY2020. The final video, "Be a Staycation Hero," launched on Wednesday, Jan. 15. 
  • The Stay Local DC landing page is live, offering users staycation deals and discounts, weekend guides to DC activities through the end of February, free things to do, date ideas and weekly and monthly event roundups. In addition to supporting the ongoing local advertising buy that aims to drive hotel nights during a need period (through February), the page also showcases attraction and city passes and TodayTix discounts for visitors, as well as DDC’s new The Real DC video series.
  • In order to embolden and accentuate its Discover the Real DC campaign messaging, DDC has crafted The Real DC, a five-video series that guides viewers through an array of only-in-DC adventures, complete with expert hosts and filmed in documentary style. Trey Sherard, a biologist and guide with the Anacostia Riverkeeper organization, takes viewers on the Anacostia River and to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Yards Park. Contemporary hip-hop artist and DC native Christylez Bacon breaks down DC’s music scene and its history and visits Howard Theatre and Eaton Washington DC. For an in-depth look at Rock Creek Park, DDC enlisted Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a naturalist who made her career exploring the urban oasis. Owner and founder of the ZAAF Collection, Abai Schulze, details DC’s spirited Ethiopian culture and community. The city’s distillery craze is distilled by Alex Laufer and Sandy Wood, co-founders of One Eight Distilling in Ivy City. Distribution of the video series will entail digital-first media buys in FY2020 in an effort to reach DDC’s defined persona audiences for the Discover the Real DC campaign.
  • During PCMA Convening Leaders in San Francisco, Ca. (Jan. 5-8), DDC announced its new Connected Campus sales initiative. Connected Campus shows planners how to use non-traditional spaces to expand the footprint of the convention center and create a diversified meeting layout that showcases the authentic DC. M&C is supporting the initiative through web content, media outreach, advertorials and dedicated materials, including the Connected Campus booklet.

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Domestic Media

The New York Times named Washington, DC the top place to visit in 2020 on its annual “52 Places to Go in 2020” list. Editors cited the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and DC’s vibrancy beyond the federal government among the reasons for the nod. DC also ranks among the top places to visit from travel authorities Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, the LA Times and Hemispheres.
The New York Times: “52 PLACES TO GO IN 2020”
Lonely Planet: “Best in Travel 2020CNN Travel:
20 best places to visit in 2020
LA Times: “Ten great destinations to consider in 2020”
Hemispheres: 20 Reasons to Travel in 2020

The New York Times detailed how retailers are using hotel lobbies as pop-up shops. Members mentioned include The St. Regis Washington, D.C. and Conrad Washington DC.
The New York Times, Nov. 27: Stores Catch Holiday Tourists Before They Even Leave the Hotel

The Washington Post covered DDC’s promotional ‘Escaleftor’ video, produced to promote the Stay Local DC campaign.
The Washington Post, Dec. 12: D.C. boosters want you to act like a tourist and be an ‘escaleftor’

AFAR touched on the incredible range of activities to enjoy in the District during the holiday season.
AFAR, Dec. 13: Why You Should Go to Washington, D.C. This Winter

Lexington Herald Leader highlighted DC’s outstanding dining scene. Members mentioned include Charlie Palmer Steak, Bourbon Steak and The Watergate.
Lexington Herald Leader, Dec. 16: Capital cuisine: Washington D.C. is now a world-class dining destination too

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International Media

Condé Nast Traveler published this women-focused look at DC’s arts and culture scene. Members mentioned include the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Air and Space Museum.
Condé Nast Traveler, Dec. 12: Mujeres al poder (del arte)

DDC partnered with Brand USA to host the new UK food show, Tom Kerridge’s American Feast, in the District. The program follows the popular British chef as he travels through American cities to discover real food culture and histories.
December 2019: Tom Kerridge’s American Feast (Washington, DC episode)

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Industry Clips

The Meeting Professional dedicated its ‘5 Questions’ section to Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.
The Meeting Professional, December 2019: 5 Questions

Travel Weekly highlighted events as well as hotel construction, openings and renovations to look forward to in the nation’s capital.
Travel Weekly, Dec. 9: Washington, D.C. – Refining A High-Profile Destination