Friday, May 7, 2010

May Lunch: The Link Between Reputation Management and Social Marketing

WHEN: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 from noon - 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bar Louie, 701 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
COST: $22

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently taking on the massive effort of enumerating the entire American population as is constitutionally mandated. Part of this effort is an unprecedented social marketing campaign to increase awareness of the Census with the ultimate objective of ensuring that people fill out their census forms.

This effort is an excellent case study of the interplay between social marketing and reputation management. On the one hand, the media exposure must be sufficiently consistent to ensure that the message gets across and 'sticks' in people's minds. On the other hand, the messenger must be credible in order to ensure that the message will not be summarily discounted. In other words, social marketing and reputation management go hand-in-hand.

May's speakers will discuss the social marketing campaign being conducted by the Census Bureau and then take a step back to look at reputation and reputation management from a conceptual standpoint, using the 2010 Census as a case study.


RSVP required: CapitalCommunicator (at) gmail (dot) com

Thursday, May 6, 2010

April Lunch Recap: Tourism Communications and Reaching New Audiences

CCG members were treated to a lively luncheon talk in April with Pat Wheeler, Director of Marketing, Cultural Tourism DC; Barbara Bahny David, Director of Public Relations, InterContinental Hotel Group and Danielle Piacente, Publicist, & Manager for the National Cherry Blossom Festival who’s with Linda Roth Associates.

All three speakers focused on one of their newer challenges: tourism marketing and communications that no longer focuses just on reaching the out-of-towners. Each shared tips and hints about how they're really rooted in letting locals know what's going on. One reason for the change in focus? All of us locals play host to out-of-town family and friends who want to know "what are you taking me to see and do in D.C. when I visit?"

Pat kicked off by sharing the host of opportunities to experience the history and culture of D.C. and the tactics they employed including visible signs posted throughout the city highlighting the DC Heritage Trails. She also talked about what sort of events the local community turns out for, such as the Passport DC program. A wonderful partnership with Ben’s Chili Bowl owners resulted in Cultural Tourism DC being gifted with space for a visitor center. (You never know how a partnership can benefit you!)

Barbara built on this discussion of partnerships by explaining their anniversary celebration strategy. To demonstrate the reach of the Willard as an icon of D.C. she worked with organizations such as the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the National Building Museum and the American Institute of Architects to host off-site events but all focused on the Willard, including a costume gallery, building renovation talks and artistic photo gallery of the Willard. These events-around-town successfully demonstrated the status and role of the hotel within the D.C. society. Barbara also spoke about keeping this sense of community strong with programming designed to be inviting to all ages from holiday festivities involving local choirs performing free concerts to wine tastings with local bands. She advised leveraging the myriad of talented people in D.C. who could bring something special to your event.

Barbara also addressed using social media (Facebook and Twitter) to reach those in town and out-of-town and advised that communicators pay attention to ensuring a company's brand goes across all channels. For example, on Twitter, each tweet from the Willard imparts the personality of an ageless, worldly, sophisticated grand dame, a hip aunt sharing advice with her circle of friends.

Danielle rounded out the presentations by first sharing interesting statistics about the percentage of people visiting the Festival are actually within the D.C. Region. (Hmmm, I must run into the other 45% who are out-of-towners on the Metro then!) She talked about their efforts to highlight a host of activities under the Cherry Blossom Festival umbrella that appealed to those interested in the history, rich culture of the event but also to all ages from families to the young hipster crowd. Connecting to the community that calls D.C. home, she mentioned tree plantings (hyperlocal!) and the local restaurants embracing of cherry-infused and inspired cuisine -- ingraining the Spring time celebration into D.C. culture.

You can follow our April speakers/organizations on Twitter at @dcculture,
@willardhotel and @CherryBlossFest.

Thanks to our speakers and Elephant & Castle!

And make sure you check out the blog post from member Susan Rink that talks about this lunch!