The State of Maine is seeking proposals to manage the Public and Media Relations program for the Maine Office of Tourism. They are seeking an agency that offers the best combination of current destination marketing experience in the areas of media relations, media platforms and overall PR experience – top choices could include 5WPR and Hunter PR. The agency shall have experience with content management and integration, social media strategy, and international travel trade relations. The goal is to establish a business partnership with a qualified agency that will result in a strategic, state-of-the-art public/media relations and social media program.
The Department was established by the Maine legislature to administer a program to support and expand the tourism industry and promote Maine as a tourist destination. The Department is undertaking this competitive process with the intention of selecting an Agency that offers the best combination of current destination marketing experience in the areas of media relations, media platforms and overall PR experience, content management and integration, social media strategy expertise, international travel trade relations, financial stability and creativity with a comprehensive cost structure.
Scope of Work:
The Agency shall develop and implement a strategic and comprehensive public/media relations and social media program with the goal of attracting new visitors to Maine and raising awareness of Maine with the traveling public. The program should position Maine as the premier, four-season destination in New England and enhance the destination’s brand identity. It shall be coordinated with the Department’s annual marketing plan and Five Year Strategic Plan; and shall complement and support paid advertising in key market segments and geographic areas, as well as expand reach to key targets beyond paid advertising program. The foregoing criteria shall form the basis for proposals at this time. Future programs may change based upon the results of ongoing market research and other considerations. The scope of services should include:
- Consumer Public/Media Relations – Domestic/International
- Develop and implement an annual plan to provide positive public/media relations coverage for Maine as a leisure, sports and business travel destination as well as film production location.
- Identify PR opportunities to promote Maine.
- Develop and distribute Press materials.
- Development and maintenance of media press kit and website press room
- Manage and curate photo and video assets for use in the Department’s public/media relations efforts.
- Coordinate and execute media events in target market locations and provide assistance with organization and coordination of major tradeshows
- Respond to media/press requests for story ideas, fact checking, photos, video, etc.
- Coordination of national, regional and local media coverage to include interviews and appearances.
- Assist the Department with reviewing and writing content for the Department web site.
- Pay pass-through expenses for the Department’s travel show contractor. Assume $35,000 and include this in your overall cost proposal.
- Evaluate and respond to solicitations for public relations proposals.
- Monitor, collect and catalog media results directly related to MOT and agency efforts
- Provide monthly and annual PR/Media activity reports to the Department.
- Travel Trade Public/Media Relations – Domestic/International
- Develop and implement a plan to address the Travel Trade.
- Coordination of efforts with Maine’s overseas and Canadian PR/Travel Trade vendors.
- Attend no more than four (4) domestic and international travel trade shows.
- FAM Tours – Domestic/International
- Develop, plan and host a travel trade and/or media FAM trips annually. The Bidder shall pay for all costs associated with these FAMs and submit invoices for reimbursement from the Department.
- Develop and manage program for host tourism industry partners, negotiating with them to provide complimentary of low-cost meals, lodging and activities support
- Develop travel industry partner relationships
- Social Media and Content Integration
- Develop, manage and implement a comprehensive organic social media strategy for the Department that covers channel strategy and insights. The strategy should include proposed themes, establishing voice/tone and developing a plan and schedule for message type and frequency.
- Monitoring and reporting to include competitive analysis and identification of most influential social media mentions.
- Internal PR/Technical Assistance
- Assist the Department in developing a plan to communicate industry updates and marketing opportunities to the Maine tourism industry
- Assist the Department in developing a plan to gather Industry updates and news
- Provide public relations technical assistance to the Maine tourism businesses and organizations when directed by the Department. The Agency should anticipate a minimum of eight (8) public relations/social media/content presentations annually.
- Assist Department with external communications, drafting talking points and speeches, managing crisis communications and monitoring external communications & media results generated by the Department.
- Provide media training for key spokespersons.
- Monitor travel industry and lifestyle trends and make recommendations for leveraging this information for the Department’s PR efforts.
- Collaboration with Advertising Agency
- Channel development and management – work with the advertising agency and Department on development and execution of content and creative across all channels.
- Develop and execute promotions in collaboration with advertising agency and other Department partners using existing channels and identifying potential new channels.
- Coordinate paid social media programs with advertising agency.