Marketing & Programming

The Marketing & Communications Program works to promote a vibrant and diverse Downtown image through advertising, public relations, partnerships, events, community relations and other promotional materials. The overarching goal is to position Downtown as a place with BIG personality that embraces everything people love about Houston.

  • Establish Downtown as the preferred destination to live, work and play through a proactive advertising and branding campaign
  • Raise awareness and generate ongoing positive media coverage for Downtown and the Downtown District
  • Create a work, live and fun environment where people enjoy the urban lifestyle with an interesting, exciting and inspiring range of activities and experiences
  • Provide effective and useful tools such as the web portal, weekly email blasts and comprehensive marketing materials
  • Reinforce that Downtown is a friendly, easily accessible, affordable and safe destination, both day and night
Advertising Campaign

Following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Downtown District is launching a new campaign that communicates a sense of urgency for Houstonians to experience the community of people, places, food and stories that make up Downtown.

We Are Downtown tells the stories of business owners, office workers, weekend staycationers, happy hour seekers and everyday people that keep the city running. It’s not just a pretty narrative — it’s a visual call to action with an important message: This is our city. We are all a part of this. So, let’s show up for Downtown businesses and for each other.

Our media plan for 2021 will consist of print, digital and social media, environmental graphics located in the tunnels and in the public realm and a TV partnership with KTRK Ch. 13.

We Are Downtown Campaign

A little background on the "why?" behind the campaign and strategy moving forward.

Resources

In addition, the marketing programs that we have in place are a great source of information to businesses as well as local Houstonians and visitors to our great city. Resources include:

Downtown Magazine

We produce a quarterly publication called downtown magazine, available both in physical and digital copies. Part city magazine, part guide, you'll find interesting and topical editorials and profiles as well as a comprehensive dining guide and datebook sharing info on what to do and where to go Downtown. Our target audiences are Downtown workers, residents, and visitors, both local and out-of-town. We currently distribute 50,000 magazines per quarter.

Web Portal

The Downtown District produces and manages the Downtown Houston website, downtownhouston.org, which serves as a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about Downtown Houston. The most popular sections for visitors include our calendar of events and guide sections, a stories section that features in-house articles, news links and videos and a comprehensive doing business section that includes a multitude of reports and links to helpful information.

Interactive Downtown Parking Map

Although there is a large supply of public parking Downtown, it still can be confusing. We created the Downtown Interactive Parking Map to make it faster and easier to find a spot. Garage, on-street, surface and valet parking are all listed as well as useful tips that will help make you a Downtown parking expert!  Make sure you add this handy tool to your favorites.

Locals Guide (Coming spring 2021)

This digital destination will act as an insider’s guide to Houstonians and out-of-towners. It will live on DowntownHouston.org as an “owned asset,” but will be promoted throughout the city. Leveraged through Downtown hotels, residential buildings, real estate agents and all those who come into contact with potential Downtown residents and visitors, the guide will expand reach and give anyone who reads it new insight and a curated, first-person perspective into the Downtown experience.

Weekly E-Newsletter

We produce a weekly e-newsletter, The List, which goes out to approximately 14k subscribers every Wednesday morning. The eBlast includes weekly happenings that vary from concerts to theater performances to new restaurant openings.

Social Media

In addition to the outlets mentioned above, we also manage the official Downtown Houston Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. With over 130k followers, we help spread the word about Downtown businesses, events and newsworthy tidbits.

SMS Campaign

In 2020 we implemented the use of text messaging to push out “insider” info such as events around Downtown and deals for restaurants, bars and other businesses.

Videos

As video consumption online continues to increase dramatically, so does the importance of including rich media as part of a content marketing strategy. We’ve intensified our storytelling through the production of short and long video forms (30 seconds to three minutes) which we use in a variety of ways.

Stakeholder Work.Page

We created a live toolkit in 2020 as a way to present regularly updated data, presentations, announcements, press releases and other relevant and seasonal messaging that stakeholders can access 24/7 and use for social, their website and even share by word of mouth.

Resident Welcome Packets

Distribute a Downtown branded bag for new residents which includes welcome letter, maps, magazine, Market Square Park events calendar and partner info. 

Maps & Misc.

Lastly, we produce a variety of maps and other materials promoting Downtown Houston including our most popular piece, the Downtown Above & Below Map. Holiday Guides and more round out our inventory.

Programming

The Downtown District aims to enhance Downtown public spaces by creating thoughtful and innovative programming that enlivens unique areas throughout Downtown Houston, specifically on nights and weekends.

Market Square Park

Over the past ten years, the Downtown District has successfully operated and programmed Market Square Park, and the result has been transformative for the Historic District neighborhood.

Around Downtown

Moving forward, we are taking the Market Square model and will replicate it in other areas of Downtown. In 2021, we will focus programming efforts on the More Space: Main Street footprint with activations such as public art, markets and smaller pop-up programming. In addition, we produce events throughout Downtown through programs such as DIY Downtown and our annual Downtown Home Tour.

Art Blocks

The Art Blocks program brightens Downtown Houston through temporary and semi-permanent art while creating a sense of identity and memorable experiences for all who live, work and visit. The goals are to activate underutilized spaces; enhance the area for office workers, residents and visitors; inspire dialogue and educational opportunities through themes and immersive art; advance Downtown as a culturally conscious destination.

Unwrap Downtown

To support holiday happenings, we created the Unwrap Downtown campaign which includes promoting events via press materials, online holiday guide, Downtown mailer, social media and digital advertising. We also produce Thing-A-Ma-Jingle, a new signature annual holiday event along Main Street.