City of Grants Pass, Oregon Issues Marketing and Public Relations RFP
The City of Grants Pass is seeking assistance from an experienced Marketing and Public Relations partner in directing future marketing and public relations efforts (including web and social media), in an aggressive and comprehensive manner. Our goal is to continue strengthening awareness, nationally and statewide, the City’s attributes and offerings as a top vacation destination with an ultimate goal to attract more visitors. It is the City’s intent to provide a focus in key visitor markets with a well-coordinated marketing and public relations plan that will leverage partner efforts and best maximize exposure across all media platforms. It is imperative to determine the most effective use of designated public dollars while achieving these goals.
The prospective Proposer will coordinate efforts with the City’s Economic Development, Travel and Tourism Advisory Committee and liaise, as directed, with local travel and tourism groups such as Travel Southern Oregon, Chamber of Commerce, and Parks & Recreation Divisions on a variety of events and activities.
In addition to travel and tourism activities, the City of Grants Pass is also seeking assistance from an experienced firm to provide downtown services. In general, the firm shall be responsible to provide and operate the City’s downtown visitor center including visitor and shopper information and merchant liaison services and programs. The downtown services will focus on operating the visitor center, making visitor contacts and providing information to people visiting and shopping in Grants Pass. Downtown services provide an excellent point of observation and it will be expected that the City will receive regular reports on the public infrastructure in order to maintain and enhance an economically and aesthetically vibrant downtown. The downtown services assists as a liaison with the downtown business community to enhance the economic climate and related activities.
Grants Pass, with a current population of 37,135, is the Josephine County seat and serves as the major commercial center for the county population of 84,745. Downtown Grants Pass has been designated a National Historic District and is renowned for its numerous restaurants, boutiques and antique shops.
The world famous Rogue River runs through Grants Pass and provides many recreational opportunities: jet-boat trips, rafting, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, and gold panning. In addition, the nearbymountains provide high-mountain recreational experiences, including snow skiing at Mt. Ashland.
The City of Grants Pass is a full service City, with more than 200 full time employees. The City operates a wide range of services that include Police and Fire protection, a Water Utility, a Sewer Utility, Street Utility / Transportation maintenance, Parks and Community Development, and a wide range of administrative and internal services that include Fleet, Engineering, Property Management, Information Technology, Administrative Services and others.
Scope of Work:
Goals and Objectives:
- Create a yearlong media schedule to advertise the City and its events to potential visitors.
- Position the City as a premiere tourist destination in Southern Oregon.
- Work with the media to increase the visitor count, particularly during the colder and winter seasons.
- Advertise and promote Grants Pass and work within the City’s advertising and marketing budget to maximize exposure at a reasonable cost.
- Serve as a liaison with the downtown business community to enhance the economic climate and related activities.
The objective of the City is to award a five year contract. At the end of five years the City will publish a new RFP.
In conjunction with, and at the direction of City staff, the successful Proposer will plan and carry out programs and activities designed to increase awareness of Grants Pass as one of Oregon’s premiere leisure, business, and event destinations. Promotions will be designed for both consumer and trade media, with a keenly-focused action plan that incorporates public relations, marketing and advertising.
This will serve to showcase our community nationally and statewide. The Proposer will staff the City’s downtown visitor center while serving as a liaison with the downtown business community to enhance the economic climate and related activities.
Specifically, the successful Proposer will conduct the following:
- Prepare an annual strategic plan that outlines a list of targeted media for public relations outreach, appropriate press trips / individual writer visits, special event marketing, internet marketing and social media marketing efforts within a total budget of $365,000. Recommendations on how to best segment this budget (public relations, event marketing, etc.) to achieve maximum exposure will be immediately required;
- Maintain a proactive, on-going relationship with appropriate consumer and trade media to develop coverage for the City’s leisure, business and recreational offerings;
- Coordinate promotional and public relations efforts for other marketing activities including signature special events that have a high return on investment for bringing visitors to Grants Pass such as, but not limited to Boatnik and Balloonfest;
- Promote, organize and direct community events, including: First Friday Live, 4th of July, Back to the 50’s, Art Along the Rogue, Christmas Parade and Christmas Illumination;
- Manage and maintain the City’s tourism website at TravelGrantsPass.com and social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other relevant platforms;
- Engage merchants, developing and implementing in-person and electronic contacts;
- Communicate with downtown business people;
- Bring issues of concern and interest from downtown business people to the City;
- Assure information regarding City projects and policies is conveyed to businesses within the Central Business District;
- Function as a contact point for downtown public area maintenance and information;
- Attend Travel Southern Oregon and Chamber of Commerce meetings as appropriate;
- Function as a contact point for parking lot and on-street parking permits;
- Report right-of-way maintenance and issues of concern to a designated City contact;
- Conduct an annual survey of downtown businesses on priorities and needs for downtown;
- Maintain a close relationship with the marketing / public relations staff of other special events in order to maximize all opportunities for joint promotion / press trips / individual writer visits, social media efforts, etc.;
- Maintain a close relationship with the City’s Parks and Community Development Department, to include any assistance that may be required with the City’s sports marketing collateral or other promotional efforts as needed;
- Prepare a monthly activity report to be presented either by conference call or in person as determined by the City, in addition to maintaining an open line of communication. The report shall include clippings of all media placements with the ad value derived from the story, including circulation;
- Establish and maintain regular communications with industry partners – hotels, restaurants, key attractions, etc.;
- Prepare an annual performance report targeting specific marketing and public relations initiatives, downtown business liaison activities and their return on investment;
- Formal annual financial report and general reports;
- Other responsibilities as designated by the City Manager or his designee.
More specific advertising and marketing services shall include, but not be limited to, the following tasks:
- Maintain and promote the City’s current brand.
- Identify potential marketing needs of the City of Grants Pass by analyzing available advertising media, including radio, television, newspaper, magazine, billboard, social media, etc., to determine suitable advertising media for the City. Manage and maintain the current tourism web site, on- line opportunities and brand.
- Plan, create and prepare advertising or arrange for the planning, creating and preparing of advertising.
- Negotiate and contract with the advertising media for space or time to obtain the most favorable terms and rates available.
- Follow up on all services provided by media to evaluate and determine their compliance with contractual obligations.
- Make timely payments to all persons or firms supplying goods or services in connection with the advertising program.
- Coordinate with Economic Development Department and Tourism Advisory Committee as appropriate.
More specific downtown and visitor center services shall include, but not be limited to the following tasks:
Provide Visitor Contact:
The Proposer is to provide a point of contact for recreation and visitor information. As such the provider is to:
- Provide a professional presence in dress and office atmosphere to assist visitors and residents with information on the City of Grants Pass and the surrounding area;
- Maintain the Downtown Welcome Center and be open for business at key visitor times of the day and year including:
- Memorial Day through Labor Day: a minimum of 6 days per week for a minimum of 8 hours per day, including Saturdays, lunch times and key visitor holidays (48 hours per week);
- November and December Christmas shopping season: a minimum of 6 days per week for a minimum of 4 hours per day, including Saturdays, lunch times and key visitor holidays (48 hours per week);
- Throughout the remainder of the year: 5 days per week for a minimum of 8 hours per day, Monday through Friday (40 hours per week).
Facilitate and Promote Downtown:
The successful Proposer will:
- Meet with community members to review issues affecting downtown and help develop solutions to any problems;
- Develop a plan to market downtown to customers and event attendees including seasonal promotions and other events;
- Promote, organize, and direct the Christmas Holiday season activities including the installation of winter decorative lighting and a downtown parade;
- Coordinate and implement an annual “Community Clean-Up Day” event in April of each year;
- Work closely with the City’s Economic Development Representative to coordinate downtown business contacts, promotions, events and services.
Facilitate and Assist in Local Events:
Proposer will be responsible for assisting local groups that create events for the community. The Proposer will specifically assist in organizing and presenting annual fun runs, bicycle events, park-based concerts and events that may request assistance and expertise of the Proposer. The Proposer must indicate a willingness to assist in developing such programs and provide assistance.
City of Grants Pass
Karen Frerk, City Recorder
101 NW A Street, Room 205
Grants Pass, OR 97526