The organization formerly known as the Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation (WCTC) serves as the official tourism arm of the nation’s capital. During my tenure, I was in charge of the agency’s online marketing initiatives, which included Washington.org, microsites and email marketing campaigns. These programs targeted not only tourists, but also meeting planners, travel industry professionals, journalists, and local residents.
Digitally Transforming Washington.org
With the rebrand to Destination DC, an overhaul of marketing efforts was required, including redesigning the main website. As the eMarketing Manager, I was tasked with researching and executing this initiative, creating a better online experience for a site visited by more than 5 million people monthly.
The previous incarnation was powered by the Drupal content management system and not only was difficult to update but lacked important integrations with critical third-party platforms.
I successfully managed the $300,000 redesign from start to finish, including gathering internal stakeholder requirements, overseeing the bidding process, project managing production, and leading the launch. Working closely with chosen creative and development partners, I navigated wireframe and design approvals, content creation, technical challenges, and the selection of a hosting provider.
The redesigned Washington.org saw the integration with the Destination 3000 CRM platform that housed data about our member organizations. With this achievement, we were able to better promote local accommodations, restaurants, meeting facilities, attractions and event spaces from throughout the region. Additionally, this capability allowed us to build an itinerary tool that let visitors customize their trip.
The new Destination DC site was powered by Joomla’s content management system. A third-party booking engine provided by ARES was also featured prominently throughout the site to give travelers a convenient way to book their next stay.
I also managed Destination DC’s email program, developing communications for various audiences — consumer travelers, media organizations, travel planners and our community members.
I collaborated with cross-functional teams, such as marketing and communications, membership, sales, and others, to create email newsletters and event invitations by integrating provided content into templates. After securing stakeholder approval, I imported the HTML into Constant Contact for seamless distribution to targeted audiences. At times, the process involved setting up an event registration page powered by Cvent.
I also produced many websites for campaigns, such as individual large meetings, city-wide events like Restaurant Week, the Springtime Cherry Blossom Festival, and the theatrical premiere of “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.” I worked with Destination DC’s marketing, partnerships, and sales teams to promote the benefits of visiting the nation’s capital. For the “National Treasure” campaign, I collaborated with the marketing team to create an online scavenger hunt with an interactive map, email marketing, and a podcast that gave fans an immersive experience while visiting attractions in Washington, D.C.