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Destination DC Promotes Robin McClain to Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
(Washington, DC) – Destination DC (DDC) is pleased to announce that Robin McClain has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing and communications for the organization effective immediately. McClain leads the team responsible for creative, advertising, social media, editorial, website and content creation for Washington, DC’s official destination marketing organization, charged with bringing more business and leisure travelers to the nation’s capital. Washington, DC had a record-breaking 22 million visitors in 2016.
“In DC, it’s important that we focus on our image above and beyond the political and historic elements that our city is often associated with and try hard to wow visitors with DC’s cool factor,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “Robin has assembled one of the top destination marketing and communications teams in the country to help make that happen as she has expertly led the development of DC’s brand, DC Cool, which continues to resonate with travelers.”
McClain joined DDC in May 2011 as director of communications and was promoted to vice president, marketing and communications in May 2013. Prior, she worked for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board for several years as the senior director of media relations. She is a native of Gaithersburg, MD and graduated from the University of Maryland. After beginning a career in broadcast journalism locally at WTTG FOX 5, she went on to work as a news reporter in Salt Lake City, UT at KSTU FOX 13 and in Phoenix, AZ at KNXV ABC 15.
Under McClain’s guidance, DDC launched DC Cool as an advertising campaign in December 2013. Soon after, Forbes recognized the nation’s capital as “America’s Coolest City.” The campaign has evolved into the brand of Washington, DC and the umbrella for all marketing channels. In FY2018 (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018) McClain will leverage a $5.2 million advertising budget to create impactful seasonal campaigns, the largest being summer, seen throughout DC’s top visitor markets along the East Coast, Los Angeles and Chicago. According to the most recent ROI study by Destination Analysts, for every $1 spent on DDC’s 2016 spring and summer advertising campaign there was a $2.97 return to the city in taxes, up from $2.65 in 2015 and a figure that has consistently grown year-over-year.
“Coming back home six years ago was the best decision I’ve ever made. I get to promote the city I love for a living, work with amazingly talented people who share the same passion and help drive real economic impact for the District,” said McClain. “The DC Cool campaign is all about what sets DC apart throughout our dynamic neighborhoods. We’ve brought that authenticity to everything we do, from our insider’s perspective on washington.org to social media to editorial coverage that showcases DC’s homegrown creativity.”
Milestones under McClain’s leadership include the redesign of washington.org in 2016, which received more than 30 million pageviews and 8.5 million unique visits in FY2017. On social media, #MyDCcool was launched to show what visitors and locals love about DC and inspire real-time travel inspiration. The hashtag has been used more than 200,000 times, an increase of more than 200% year-over-year. Earned editorial coverage has grown to be valued at more than $73 million in FY2017. DDC was the first destination marketing organization to partner with Chefs Feed to create a suite of neighborhood dining videos hosted by top chefs including José Andrés. The organization recently launched a series of 40 immersive 360-degree videos with virtual-reality capabilities on washington.org.
The marketing and communications department also serves as an internal agency for DDC, working to support initiatives from sales and services, tourism and partnerships and alliances. DDC has created collateral and web content to promote the sales team’s platform that positions the District as a knowledge hub in technology, biotechnology/pharmaceutical, education and medical. Bold and consistent branding helped welcome IPW to the nation’s capital for the first time this past June. Robust materials also complement the tourism department’s efforts to welcome more Chinese visitors, DC’s top overseas market. Nearly 1,000 members benefit from marketing assets including listings and events on washington.org and in official publications.
In her new role, McClain will continue leading her department in implementing cutting-edge marketing tactics to advance the organization’s mission. She will also drive DDC’s strategic marketing initiatives to further leverage the reach of DDC marketing efforts, support DDC’s president and CEO and collaborate with other departments to help identify and promote ROI for sales mission, programs and events.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity ahead and look forward to leading the next chapter of our marketing and communications strategy,” she said.
About Destination DC: Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org.
Danielle Davis, Director of Communications
202-789-7046; 202-603-2093; danielle.davis [at] destinationdc.com