April Breakthrough Results at DCI: Putting Clients Across The Globe on The Map

May 6, 2015

Every month, DCI engages staff in a friendly competition known as the “Breakthrough Contest” to reveal the latest and greatest examples of economic development and tourism marketing. Three to four contenders face off, showing off their creativity in a two-minute presentation. A staff poll determines the winning team.

Making it to the Breakthrough Contest is no easy feat. Teams’ marketing results must meet at least one of the following requirements to enter the ring:

  • Build strong brand awareness through media relations, social media, content marketing and additional marketing tactics.
  • Generate leads through investment or visitor attraction.
  • Significantly boost the value of the client organization and its leaders in the eyes of key shareholders.

These four teams demonstrated their skills in the place marketing arena with the following results for their clients:

Team #1

Travel and Leisure Placement jpeg


Ranked as the #4 wine destination in the United States by Trip Advisor, Finger Lakes Wine Country is well recognized for its scenic and notable vineyards. To further promote the region’s tourism offerings beyond wine, Naureen Kazi and Megan McHale secured a placement in Travel + Leisure about the Corning Museum of Glass and the attraction’s new expansion.

Team #2


North Dakota – a state known for its expertise in drone technology – recently made several monumental announcements, including the FAA expanding North Dakota’s test site to become the largest available test location for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flying anywhere in the U.S., and Grand Forks Air Force Base creating the nation’s first UAS business park. Susan Brake, Nicole Marshall and Kendra Walker launched a successful campaign to share this North Dakota Department of Commerce news, and their efforts resulted in 200 websites picking up a press release and coverage in outlets including Associated Press, the Washington Times, Fox Business News, ABC News, CBS News and Yahoo News.

Team # 3

USVI Tourism Media Event

Recently, twelve VIPs from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism including the territory’s new Governor, Kenneth Mapp, went on a mission to New York hosted by DCI’s Maureen Haley, Daniella Middleton, Brittani Wood, Pam Balakian and Jamie Claudio. This all-star DCI team arranged a reception for media, meeting planners, USVI ambassadors and partners, to which an impressive 80 people attended. The New York mission additionally included a luncheon for meeting planners and multiple desk-side media appointments. It proved to be very successful in introducing Governor Mapp to top travel journalists.

And the winner is… (Drum roll)

Jordan Robinson, Rebecca Gehman, Hanna Porterfield and Patience Fairbrother coordinated and hosted a “Disney to Data” mission for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission in New York City, which revealed that Orlando is not only home to Disney, but also a growing hub for technology. Their efforts earned their client nine media appointments, which included slots withFox Business News, CNN Money, Popular Mechanics, Advertising Age, Bloomberg Radio, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Street and Bloomberg West.

The winning DCI team also held a media reception that attracted 50 guests, including 12 site selectors, reporters from the Wall Street Journal and Business Insider, as well as the Consuls General of Portugal, Cyprus and Finland.

Sarah Reinecke

Written by Sarah Reinecke

Sarah Reinecke is a Senior Account Executive at DCI. Since joining the staff in 2013, she’s worked to tell the economic development stories of places that span from Salinas, Calif., to Wake County, N.C., and Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to the state of Indiana.

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