WASHINGTON: Burson-Marsteller has joined the team working to bring
tourists back to Washington, DC.
The PR firm was retained by the Washington, DC Convention & Tourism
Corporation (CTC) as part of its campaign to restore consumer confidence
in visiting the nation's capital.
Burson was called in shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11
to work on short- and long-term messaging, said Brian Ullmann with the
convention and tourism group. Burson was selected because it had worked
with the group in the past and, he added, will continue to support the
CTC at least until the end of the year.
The tourism group is assembling a "dream team" comprised of people from
its in-house PR staff, Burson, and Eisner Communications, which will
The team will be augmented by Vicky Isley, the organization's new
director of marketing and communications. She was previously with
Florida's Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The first marketing effort, which started last weekend, is designed to
improve local hotel occupancy rates.
The thrust of the campaign will be to use upcoming events to position
Washington, DC as a unique place to visit. This will be accomplished by
promoting the Marine Corps Marathon, the Veterans Day celebration, and
the Pageant of Peace, which includes the lighting of the national
The multimillion dollar promotional effort will be sensitive to
prevailing sentiment in the country, Ullmann said. "It is not
appropriate for a hard sell. It will be a very inspiring, patriotic
"The plan is to start locally, then go regionally before going
national," he said. The bottom line is that DC must change the
perception that "we've closed down," he added.