AD AGENCY RFP ISSUED BY LAUDERDALE

Mission Statement of the Meridian Lauderdale County Tourism dba Visit Meridian The mission of Visit Meridian is to promote Meridian as a viable site to visit in Mississippi; to provide support for tourism – related projects; and to educate and assist the public regarding tourism development, which will result in increased tourism revenue and a positive image of Lauderdale County.

Objectives This RFP has been issued to seek qualified firms who have a working knowledge of the tourism industry and can demonstrate the necessary experience to produce messaging and ad design and provide placement strategy for our leisure travel market. Although it is our intent to contract with the person/company that best meets the qualifications to complete the scope of work, Visit Meridian may terminate the negotiations if they are unsuccessful in reaching an agreement on all matters including the scope of work and cost.  

Background:

Visit Meridian is a management organization with annual collections of around $750,000 derived from the collection of a 2.5% lodging tax for lodging properties located in Lauderdale County. In the midst of the Covid-19 event, we are estimating at least a $250,000 budget shortfall. Post Covid-19, we, along with every other destination will need to be prepared to inspire travel and capture our fair share of the market to help aid in economic recovery for Meridian and the hospitality industry. Traditionally, our leisure program has been based on a two to four-hour drive market and the messaging has been inspirational and geared toward weekend getaways with a focus of attending a festival or special event. Our location halfway between Atlanta and Dallas and Nashville and New Orleans is one element we promote. Also, our highway system of I 59-20, Highway 45 and Highway 11-80 covers North – South and East – West corridors contribute to our hotel occupancy rates. 

Scope of Work:

Visit Meridian wishes to employ an outside agency to craft messaging, produce ads – whatever form they take – traditional print, digital, radio, broadcast, OTT or others, and to recommend an overall placement strategy to aid in the recovery after Covid-19 through leisure travel.

Available Resources An employee will be designated as your contact and will coordinate any materials needed or questions answered with all other Visit Meridian employees.

Timeline June 19, 2020 – Qualifications due from interested agencies June 26, 2020 – Zoom interviews with chosen agencies June 29, 2020 – Agency chosen, and contract negotiations begin July 7, 2020 – Work begins for a limited duration decided in contract negotiations 

Response to RFP Your response to this RFP should be submitted in the following format, labeled accordingly:

Statement of Qualifications Provide a written statement for your firm’s qualifications for providing the work as described in the Scope of Work.

Tourism Experience Provide a written statement of your involvement in the tourism industry, specifically with DMO clients, industry memberships and resources.

Organization, Ownership and Management Name, address and telephone of the entity that will be contracted with and all trade names used. Name, address and telephone numbers of the organization’s principal officers and other owners. 

Organization’s Structure and Experience Organizational chart of company and any subcontractors. Total number of employees – full and part-time. Include employee information for all sub-contractors that would be employed on the project. Short history of the company and any subcontractors who will work on the contract. Summary of qualifications for each person who will work on the account. Hours of operation that staff will be available. Experience as it relates to messaging, ad design, and placement strategy. Case histories should be recent and include organization’s activities, subcontractor’s activities, as well as examples of work.

Client Information Current clients in declining order of size. Name your two most recent past clients and reason for termination. Name any travel/tourism clients and their current status.

Client Gain and Loss Indicate if the agency has had a contract terminated for non-performance over the last five years with either litigation determining the agency at fault or no litigation due to inaction on part of the organization. 

List of accounts gained over the last two years and why your organization was awarded the work. Three references that are current accounts with contact names and phone numbers.

Selection Process – STEP 1 Proposals meeting all requirements of the RFP will be evaluated by a review committee and ranked based on the following selection criteria.  Top agencies will be chosen for Step 2. 

30% – Tourism industry experience 30% – Qualifications to do the work 20% – Reference from past clients 20% – Evaluation of prior work

Selection Process – STEP 2 Top agencies will be invited to present via zoom their suggested framework for recovery plan to include: – Percentage of funds dedicated to content creation, placement, public relations, agency fees, etc. – Percentage of placement recommended by category:   tv, radio, outdoor, digital/categories, etc. – Preliminary ideas on creative strategy and themes

Presentations will be ranked by the following criteria:

35% – Agency’s expertise in diverse but cohesive strategies for driving demand 35% – Ability to illustrate return on investment for suggested strategies 30% – Suggestions to address current and forecasted traveler sentiment  

Questions Email any questions to Dede Mogollon, executive director, Visit Meridian at dmogollon@lauderdalecounty.org or you may call Dede on her cell phone at 601.934.4030.

Deliver by EOD on June 19, 2020 by email or via WeTransfer to: Dede Mogollon dmogollon@lauderdalecounty.org

Visit Meridian staff and the committee who will review these RFP’s are all working from home. Please be mindful of that in putting together your proposals. While we understand your need to put your very best proposal in front of us, please do so efficiently in a document that be easily transmitted digitally to the committee.  

Due Date:

June 19, 2020

Address:

410 Constitution Ave, 11TH Floor Meridian, Mississippi 39301 601-482-9746 – Main 601-482-9744 – Fax

Strong travel pr agencies include Hunter PR and 5WPR.