DH 2018 Year in Review

tyler tullis

Tyler Tullis
Director of Marketing

Dec 17, 2018

2018 was a big year for our firm, our clients and the marketing industry. So, we wanted to share a recap of some of the biggest projects, industry news, best practices and other big events from the year.

Global learnings from IPREX

Andrei Mylroie is in his second year as Global President of IPREX, our network of agencies from more than 100 cities around the world. As part of his role, Andrei has the chance to speak to and listen to international best practices. Here’s what Andrei said about his learnings from sister firms this year:

  • The world is small. We had the opportunity to meet in Dubai this year. This is one of those cities I’ve read a ton about, but a part of the world I’d never visited. In person, I was blown away. The scale of development, the international presence (85% of the people in the emirate are expats), the focus on the future, and its importance as a hub of international commerce and the gateway to African markets was staggering. Socially and economically, it’s a place I highly recommend visiting and working to understand, even if your current business or organization is more locally-focused.
  • The rise of influencers. At our Americas meeting in Raleigh, we heard a lot from partners that have experimented and succeeded in activating industry and social media influencers. One misperception that many of our clients have is that influencers are limited to fast moving consumer goods. Not true. Hearing from our partner agencies inspired me to collaborate and make sure we do more on this front in the coming year.
  • IPREX is growing. I’m proud to say that combined, we’re now a $420 million network. Yes, we’re all independently owned, but the level of thinking, resources that directly benefit DH and our clients, and exposure to new ideas…it’s truly inspiring.

You can check out more about the spring global IPREX meeting in Chicago that Hayley and Andrei attended in May.

New Client Feature — Genentech

Genentech is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. We worked with their marketing team on internal engagement, including this tongue-in-cheek launch kit tied to a key marketing program. We’ll be doing more work together in 2019 — we’re excited to share more soon.

A Year of Social Marketing Campaigns

Not social media (though we did a lot of that too). We’re talking about campaigns to raise awareness and drive societal behavior change.

We worked with Washington State Health Care Authority to build Washington State’s first opioid misuse and abuse prevention campaign that launched earlier this year. You can read more about how we built the campaign to reinforce positive social norms.


We continued our work with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to reduce traffic fatalities due to speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving. Our work was hyperlocal to specific counties in Washington along with statewide for Click-It or Ticket initiatives. Check out some of our campaign creative.
We developed a brand identity for King County’s new employee wellness program, Balanced You, and rolled it out to employees in all sorts of different roles. Read more about the unique approach


Building Brands

We helped organizations making a difference across our community and our state rebrand and reposition this year. Take a look at a few of our biggest projects:

Digital Experiences

We also helped our clients manage online reputations, drive audience engagement and increase conversions as we built out online campaigns and new web experiences for clients like:

Grant County PUD: Our “Powered By” campaign to reintroduce this public utility to its community culminated with a newly designed website that just launched last month. Learn more about our work with Grant PUD.

Gonzaga University: Our university admissions campaigns contributed to a 20% increase in admissions and a 700% increase in web traffic.
Virginia Mason: Our brand campaign heavily increased web traffic in 2018. Check out videos running in Western Washington.

We also built and launched websites for:

+ more

We grew our team. And had fun.

Our team grew to 28 DHers this year! Have you met some of our newest friends? Swing by our Team page to get acquainted. Check out a few of our exploits from the year.

2019 Forecast

Big projects. We’re expanding the scope of HCA’s opioid abuse prevention campaign across Washington state to target more specific special audiences. And, we’re excited to be helping the Department of Commence promote their ABLE savings program for individuals with disabilities across Washington. Transit remains a large focus for the firm as well — we’re continuing work with King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Whatcom Transportation Authority and Spokane Transit Authority

Our community leaders. Next year, Michelle will be serving as the incoming GSI Board Chair, Andrei will continue his presidency at IPREX, Christine will be PRSA North Pacific District President and Sara will continue serving on the Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association board. Check out our blog to see a snapshot of DH community impact including 44 boards and 11 presidencies in the last three years alone. We’re proud of our team for giving back!

The Desautel Scholarship. Jim and Cher Desautel, the original zealots and founders of DH, started a scholarship for communications students at Eastern Washington University (EWU). You can learn more about it and make a donation here! http://ewu.edu/desautel

Trends to watch. The old cliché that “content is king” keeps finding new ways to ring true each year. Did you know that 30% of online users are expected to have ad blockers installed on their devices in 2019? Even in the hyper-targeted digital realm, it means marketers can’t afford to rely on pure advertising alone and must integrate more value-based content marketing, influencer marketing and conversational owned media in channels where audiences are taking in content. Follow our blog to read more about our analysis and predictions for industries like transit, hospitals and public health heading into the new year.

Drop us a line about how your year went and what you’re working on in 2019! We’re excited to hear from you.

Cheers to the new year.

-The DH Team

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