City of Fort Bragg, CA Issues PR RFP

City of Fort Bragg, CA Issues PR RFP

The City of Fort Bragg issues this Request for Proposals to seek and retain a qualified firm to promote the Visit Fort Bragg brand and position Fort Bragg as a premier destination on California’s North Coast. The results of these efforts will benefit Fort Bragg’s lodging, retail, restaurants and other businesses, residents and visitors to the city. Ultimately, our goal is to increase the local sales and transient tax revenues, and the overall success of our visitor-serving businesses, retailers and restaurants.

  1. Increase overall visitation to Fort Bragg, specifically the shoulder seasons of Winter and Spring
  2. Increase length of stay per visit
  3. Increase visitor spending per day

Background:

The City of Fort Bragg has been transitioning from a lumber town to a tourism destination for the past 17 years. This community of 7,000 residents is perched on the bluff tops overlooking the ocean in Mendocino County. The community offers many visitor-serving activities and facilities including:

  • Beachcombing, bicycling, walking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, ocean and river kayaking, small-town events and festivals, towering redwood forests and, of course, pristine accessible coastline;
  • Visitor attractions include: the world-renowned Glass Beach, Skunk Train, Coastal Trail & Noyo Headlands Park, MacKerricher State Park, Noyo Harbor, the Mendocino Botanical Gardens, highly rated restaurants and breweries and dozens of soft outdoor adventure opportunities;
  • A quaint downtown with a variety of specialty shops located in historic buildings;
  • Countless opportunities to unplug and enjoy pristine landscape with family and friends or on your own without the crowds; and hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts for visitors with a variety of price points.

Year-round tourism is part of Fort Bragg’s economy; however tourism peaks from June through September with many visitors from California’s Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area.

The City of Fort Bragg passed a Transient Occupancy Tax increase in 2016. A portion of the funds have been dedicated to marketing and promotions and are laid out in the Marketing and Promotions Plan. With this recent increase, Fort Bragg has a great opportunity to enhance, grow and improve its destination marketing efforts. The chosen firm(s) will have a unique opportunity to help conceptualize, establish and maintain a brand new identity for Fort Bragg as a premier tourism destination. While promotional efforts have been ongoing for several years, resources now exist to firmly establish a destination marketing program to include increased advertising, a new public relations program, a new leisure sales program, an enhanced website and improved infrastructure and management to support a highly successful effort.

In September 2017, the City hired a Project Manager to oversee the Marketing and Promotions Plan and work with the Visit Fort Bragg Committee (VFBC) to move the plan forward. The Project Manager is managed by the City of Fort Bragg and partners with the Visit Fort Bragg Committee who acts in an advisory role.

Each of the components of this RFP will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Visit Fort Bragg Project Manager.

In May 2018, the Fort Bragg City Council reviewed recommendations on the marketing and promotions action plan management structure and passed a Resolution (#4093-2018) which included the following:

  1. Establishing the VFBC as an advisory committee whose main task will be to assist in the preparation, presentation and overall strategy of an annual Marketing Plan and Budget and support the Project Manager and City Staff.
  2. At the July 3, 2018 Community Development Committee meeting, seven VFB Committee members were appointed through an application and selection process and will represent the Fort Bragg tourism industry, with a focus on lodging and serving staggered, revolving terms.

Scope of Work:

Ultimately, our goal is to increase the local sales and transient tax revenues, and the overall success of our visitor-serving businesses, retailers and restaurants.

  1. Increase overall visitation to Fort Bragg, specifically the shoulder seasons of Winter and Spring
  2. Increase length of stay per visit
  3. Increase visitor spending per day

Information gathered in a 2017 survey has been used to help define Fort Bragg’s brand and “story” and should be used to best meet the goals of Visit Fort Bragg.

The efforts should complement those of Visit Mendocino (Mendocino County Tourism Commission) and Visit California.

Key Metrics for success will be measured by:

  1. Increased tourism spending
  2. Increased gross lodging tax revenues
  3. Increased gross sales tax revenues
  4. Increased volume of first time visitors
  5. Growth of off season visitation
  6. Increased website and social traffic
  7. Increased overall visitor engagement throughout all outreach channels
  8. Increased stakeholder engagement throughout the Visit Fort Bragg program

Marketing and Advertising Services:

The scope of services shall include tasks described below, as well as additional elements or modifications, which are recommended by the consultant to promote Fort Bragg.

Plan, develop, execute and track results for Visit Fort Bragg’s brand advertising program.

  • Marketing and Advertising Planning: Develop recommendations for a marketing and ad plan that includes strategic direction, development and execution of the media plan as well as appropriate methods to measure the return on investment of the advertising and marketing program.
  • Media Buy: Draft and execute the media plan including placement and optimization of placements including “add-ons” and other bonus placements through successful negotiation of the ad buys.

Advertising Objectives

Advertising should significantly increase awareness of the Fort Bragg brand to our target markets and drive increased traffic to the website to encourage and inspire visitors to Fort Bragg.

  • Utilizing past research, further define appropriate target markets
  • Drive increased traffic to the website to inspire visitation to Fort Bragg
  • Encourage visitation year-round, but specifically in shoulder seasons
  • Inspire people to extend their length of stay in Fort Bragg
  • Collaborate with Visit Mendocino, North Coast Tourism Council, Visit California and others to maximize marketing opportunities including cooperative opportunities
  • Determine efficient and effective media mix, recommending appropriate media
  • Implementation of ROI programs to track progress and measure the effectiveness of the marketing program

Advertising Goals: Media Planning and Buying

  • Leverage ad buys and increase exposure for Fort Bragg with publications featuring Fort Bragg
  • Increase Fort Bragg’s voice in travel pieces among its direct competitive destinations
  • Strategic research based integrated marketing, media planning and buying recommendations
  • Evaluate new media opportunities
  • Monthly reporting, analysis and optimization recommendations including return on investment matrix

Competitive Benchmarking

  • Define parameters for and provide reports on how Visit Fort Bragg compares to its competitors (such as Monterey, Santa Cruz, etc.)

Meetings and Presentations to Key Stakeholders

  • Provide in-person updates and monthly reports. Meetings are intended to serve as opportunities to receive updates on social media efforts, seek client feedback on ways to improve efforts and meet goals, and to engage with key stakeholders.
  • Will be expected to work directly with the VFB Project Manager.
  • May be expected to meet with staff and attend stakeholder meetings.

Creative Services Objectives

Advertising should significantly increase awareness of the Fort Bragg brand to our target markets and drive increased traffic to the website to encourage and inspire visitors to Fort Bragg.

  • Work with the Visit Fort Bragg Project Manager and the Public Relations and Advertising consultant(s) to coordinate the design of print and web ad layouts
  • Provide creative assistance with audio and video scripts
  • Maintain electronic records of all pieces produced
  • Provide creative assistance on attaining strategic goals
  • Drive increased traffic to the website to inspire visitation to Fort Bragg
  • Encourage visitation year-round, but specifically in shoulder seasons
  • Inspire people to extend their length of stay in Fort Bragg
  • Collaborate with Visit Mendocino, North Coast Tourism Council, Visit California and others to maximize marketing opportunities including cooperative opportunities
  • Determine efficient and effective media mix, recommending appropriate media

Creative Services Goals

Develop and execute a multi-media advertising plan with a focus on the wider Fort Bragg area, representing all area attractions and activities.

  • Develop and implement a media plan for specific markets
  • Negotiate plan and execute creative/conception/production of ads
  • Develop marketing campaigns (concept, information architecture, creative design, graphic design)
  • Develop creative briefs as needed
  • Define the overarching marketing communications strategy

Meetings and Presentations to Key Stakeholders

  • Provide in-person updates and monthly reports. Meetings are intended to serve as opportunities to receive updates on social media efforts, seek client feedback on ways to improve efforts and meet goals, and to engage with key stakeholders.
  • Will be expected to work directly with the VFB Project Manager.
  • May be expected to meet with staff and attend stakeholder meetings.

Public Relations Objectives

  • Inspire people to visit and spend their time in Fort Bragg by promoting it as a premier destination on the coast of California
  • Develop partnerships and co-marketing opportunities that drive a positive perception of Fort Bragg
  • Help to increase Fort Bragg’s overall voice in the tourism community
  • Promote Fort Bragg as a year-round destination
  • Build the overall Fort Bragg message in key target publics including:
  • Media (includes editors and producers in print, broadcast and online)
  • VIP travel opinion leaders
  • Out of county marketing partners to reach a broader audience including international markets when possible

Public Relations Goals

  • Execute targeted public relations campaigns to generate feature articles, event listings and related publicity
  • Leverage earned media
  • Write and distribute press releases
  • Create and execute special events designed for public outreach and media relations
  • Monitor, collect, catalogue and report media results
  • Create an official press kit and support materials
  • Develop media familiarization tours
  • Facilitate and execute media familiarization trips. Provide advance press kits and follow up information to journalists. Document all media visitation for follow up, reporting and future outreach. Provide public relations training for local stakeholders as requested. Create and maintain internal database of visiting press in a digital format accessible by both agency and staff.
  • Assist in the development of the annual marketing plan and year-end report
  • Create a comprehensive editorial calendar
  • Use media relations, public relations and marketing tactics to recruit consumers to book rooms and attend Fort Bragg activities
  • Build partnerships and alliances to achieve these goals
  • Assist in development of marketing promotions and in-market stunts in support of overall marketing calendar and key messaging and goals
  • Extend the social media strategy by supporting communications messages through outreach to key influencers in the online sphere
  • Create and maintain strong relationships with Visit Mendocino County and Visit California’s public relations firms and efforts
  • Establish and cultivate Visit Fort Bragg’s image library for use with media

Meetings and Presentations to Key Stakeholders

  • Provide in-person updates and monthly reports. Meetings are intended to serve as opportunities to receive updates on PR efforts, seek client feedback on ways to improve efforts and meet goals, and to engage with key stakeholders.
  • Will be expected to work directly with the VFB Project Manager.
  • May be expected to meet with staff, attend stakeholder meetings, and assist with events or guide press visits.

Social Media Content Creation:

The scope of services shall include tasks described below, as well as additional elements or modifications, which are recommended by the consultant to continue the Fort Bragg social media campaigns.

This request is only for creation of content for social media campaigns – not ad buys or related expenses.

Visit Fort Bragg currently has a Facebook page, Instagram account, YouTube channel and Twitter account.

  • Currently there are 63,000 followers on Facebook and 13,000 on Instagram, 48 subscribers on YouTube, 2300 followers on Twitter.

Social Media Objectives

The ultimate goal of our social media accounts is to inspire people to visit and engage with Fort Bragg. This can be accomplished by:

  • Continuing optimization of social media accounts through brand building
  • Continuing to develop Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube followers (or other tools, as appropriate)
  • Inspiring people to visit and spend their precious time and money in Fort Bragg
  • Encouraging people to engage with Fort Bragg through promotions and posts
  • Inspiring people to extend their length of stay in Fort Bragg
  • Inspiring and assisting visitors to reach out to friends and family to share their Fort Bragg experience

Content development should focus on the wider Fort Bragg area and represent all area attractions and activities. Content creation will consist of photography, short videos and written content to tell the story of Fort Bragg to the traveling public.

Specific content to be developed includes, but is not limited to, the following activities and locations: Glass Beach, the redwoods, downtown, recreation (land and water), cycle touring, beer tasting, the range of dining, farm to table dining, interesting people, arts and culture, area history, local events, etc.

Content may be used for website, collateral materials, press kits, ads, etc. and thus should be transferable to these different media with sufficient resolution.

Social Media Goals

  • Use social media accounts to build VFB mailing list
  • Increase social media outreach–conversion rates, audience engagement, etc.
  • Increase Fort Bragg brand awareness and engagement with the brand as well as other Visit Fort Bragg initiatives
  • Identify and engage with social media influencers who will enhance our brand and deliver our message to a broader audience
  • Drive increasing traffic to the website including longer length of time on site and increased unique visitors
  • Ongoing development of key emerging platforms – analysis of new and upcoming platforms, and keeping ahead of trends as necessary
  • Suggest alternative or additional platforms to keep Visit Fort Bragg relevant in today’s environment
  • Create and maintain central database of content
  • Engage with other social media efforts which will help Visit Fort Bragg meet its goals and accomplish its mission
  • Decrease bounce rates from the average 70%

Due Date:

August 13th

Address:

City of Fort Bragg

Attention: June Lemos, CMC, City Clerk

416 North Franklin Street

Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Agencies who work in tourism PR include Hunter PR and 5WPR.

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