Burson-Marsteller joins in plans to boost DC tourism

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

handle advertising.

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

Christmas tree.

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.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in