DCI’s October Breakthrough Contest

October 30, 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 recently competed to demonstrate their skills in the place marketing arena, outlining the following results for their clients:

Team #1

Tasked with getting top-tier reporters to attend an Invest Japan seminar, Jordan Robinson and Hanna Porterfield delivered. Despite competing with the UN General Assembly – which took place on the same day – DCI secured 12 media attendees, including Fortune & Bloomberg, and four site selectors to attend the event. This resulted in live tweets from the journalists, five media placements, and Bloomberg live streaming the event.



Team #2:

To readdress Raleigh’s destination plan strategy, Daniel Guerrero revealed the brand through three strategic phases, by delivering a comprehensive research and brand strategy program over 12 months. This was presented to more than 600 stakeholders, and the client indicated it was the best work he’d ever seen in his 32 years in the business.



Team # 3

In an effort to deliver broadcast coverage for U.S. Virgin Island’s Gov. Kenneth Mapp and generate interest in the U.S. Virgin Islands for New York-area residents, Maureen Haley, Elliott Davis, Tara Barnes, and Andy Levine secured a live segment on Fox 5’s Good Day New York morning news show. What was expected to be a three-minute interview for Gov. Mapp turned into a 12-minute segment featuring not only Gov. Mapp, but Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, USVI native recording artist Pressure and the Caribbean Ritual Dancers.



Drum roll, please, for the winner:

Team #4

Jordan RobinsonRebecca Gehman, Hanna Porterfield and Patience Fairbrother secured interest from the International New York Times for a feature story on the new Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama, leading to an in-person visit by the reporter. After four months of follow-up, the result was a feature article in Sunday’s New York Times, on the front page of the business section titled, “Wings for an Economic Revival.” The story totaled eight pages online, and highlighted the region’s advantages and key messaging.



Sarah Reinecke

Written by Sarah Reinecke

Sarah Reinecke is an Account Manager 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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