The purpose of this Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) is to solicit proposals from an agency to identify and select a partner agency to provide representation, marketing services and public relations (PR) services in China. The selected agency will provide travel trade, PR, sales and marketing services for VISIT FLORIDA for the 3 to 5 next years.
VISIT FLORIDA is the State of Florida’s official tourism marketing corporation. VISIT FLORIDA has been repeatedly recognized as one of the leading destination marketing organizations (“DMOs”) in the United States.
VISIT FLORIDA services more than 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including destinations, attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Florida. The selected agency will be expected to play a role in securing event participation, creating cooperative advertising, and building promotions that support VISIT FLORIDA’s required match.
Scope of Work:
A. Administrative Services:
- Provide VISIT FLORIDA a physical office located within China. This facility shall include a mailing address, a telephone system, and all other necessary office equipment, including computers, necessary to perform the functions contracted for herein. The agency must be equipped with a virtual private network (VPN) to send and receive data with VISIT FLORIDA. The facility described herein shall be capable of showing PowerPoint presentations with integrated high-definition video files and audio.
- Provide account management oversite with dedicated account representation needed to fulfill VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing objectives and plan. VISIT FLORIDA should be provided direct access to all persons servicing the VISIT FLORIDA account. Administrative support must be provided for handling accounting and monthly reporting tasks.
- Participate in regular status calls with VISIT FLORIDA, at the direction of VISIT FLORIDA. Status calls should include budget updates for all projects, updates on projects, tasks, and services, and any material updates.
- Provide translation services for websites, brochures, press releases and other documents as directed by VISIT FLORIDA.
- Assist with physical storage, fulfillment, and distribution services of VISIT FLORIDA’s publications and promotional materials, including, but not limited to, storage and shipping of such materials to events.
- Provide annual budget support with preparation of a plan and budget detail for China market that includes a list of proposed activities/projects. General overhead costs will be itemized as well. Budgets are prepared in January/February for next fiscal year (July – June) and all budgets must be approved by VISIT FLORIDA.
- Prepare necessary revisions, as needed, to current budget for VISIT FLORIDA approval prior to proposed activities. Approved budgets are authorizations for the agency to incur costs on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA, however failure to obtain VISIT FLORIDA approval on revised budgets may cause the agency to be financially responsible for budget overages.
- Plan and coordinate programs/events as outlined in Section 4.0 B and 4.0 C, which shall include monitoring revenue and expenses in accordance with approved budgets.
- Maintain database and develop contacts with key consumer travel media and social media influencers that will increase positive exposure for VISIT FLORIDA. Provide VISIT FLORIDA the database or contacts each month with monthly report.
- Respond to all inquiries within 3-5 business days.
- Assist VISIT FLORIDA with crisis management, including strategy and communication services.
B. Public Relations Services:
- At the direction of VISIT FLORIDA, the agency will develop goals and objectives for VISIT FLORIDA’s PR initiatives for each fiscal year. PR initiatives will include:
a. Plan and execute public relations campaigns targeting specific audience segments;
b. Plan and execute in-market event activations;
c. Plan, organize/facilitate, execute and/or attend:
- Media familiarization (FAM) tours
- Individual press trips
- Media missions
- Media receptions
- Press conferences
- Media appointments
2. Identify and recommend to VISIT FLORIDA select Chinese media to attend and cover VISIT FLORIDA’s priority events, which include, but are not limited to: Florida Huddle, U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, etc.
- Prepare an editorial calendar around major themes and market insights.
- Create a strategy to garner coverage in Tier-1 publications.
- Produce and proactively pitch monthly press releases to garner earned media impressions in both traditional and non-traditional media outlets.
- Provide market insight and guidance, based on facts and research, to help grow awareness and visitation to Florida.
- Provide creative input and ideas to develop tactics, propose strategy that drives awareness, engagement and conversion among target audiences.
- Develop relationships with key media in-market.
- Respond to media inquiries and influencer inquiries within 3-5 days, and share the nature of such inquiries and any results and responses with VISIT FLORIDA in Contractor’s monthly reporting
- Build and/or maintain a database of in-market consumer media and facilitate introductions between the media and VISIT FLORIDA PR staff via email, phone calls and/or desk-side appointments. Agency will be expected to set up interviews with in- market media and VISIT FLORIDA’s executive staff.
- Work with VISIT FLORIDA’s destination and industry partners, as needed and as directed by VISIT FLORIDA, especially in planning itineraries for press trips.
- Work with VISIT FLORIDA’s other agency partners including, but not limited to, domestic agency, domestic social media agency, China social media agency, and other international markets’ agencies, in order to develop strategies, plans, execute elements of a campaign, align messaging, or for other reason(s) approved by VISIT FLORIDA.
- Collaborate with VISIT FLORIDA’s staff outside the PR department, as needed.
- Speak on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA, as directed by VISIT FLORIDA.
- Vet foreign media and media requests on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA, by providing qualifying profiles on media contacts and media outlets: including impression numbers, examples of work (if available), and letters of assignment from editors, if applicable.
- Monitor editorial calendars of China outlets for travel story opportunities and proactively pitch story ideas to media in China via phone, email or in-person meetings.
- Contractor should schedule and attend at least 6 appointments per quarter with in- market publications and secure at least 2 stories and/or press trips as a result of these meetings. Contractor must include details and results in its monthly reporting to VISIT FLORIDA.
- Assemble and fulfill traditional and electronic press kits, as needed, and develop, maintain, assemble, and fulfill an evergreen press kit.
- Create an editorial list, complete with journalist names, titles and email addresses, of the top 25 publications in China that align with VISIT FLORIDA’s international in- market strategy.
C. Marketing & Sales Services:
- At the direction of VISIT FLORIDA, the agency will develop goals and objectives for VISIT FLORIDA’s Marketing & Sales initiatives for each year. Initiatives will include collaborating with the VISIT FLORIDA travel trade, marketing & sales department to promote Florida as a desirable tourism destination to media, consumers, tour operators, wholesales, travel agents, airlines, meeting and incentive professionals. Contractor’s services shall include:
- Coordinate and/or attend the following, as needed:
- Coordinate/Participate trade or consumer events in country or United States;
- Coordinate educational outreach programs (Roadshow) to include road shows and workshops for travel agents, meeting and incentive professionals, tour operators, wholesalers, and special interest groups;
- Conduct sales and media calls throughout the year with top trade and media contacts (sales calls); and
- Coordinate travel agent, tour operator and wholesaler familiarization (FAM) tours.
- Solicit/Secure tourism industry support for activities and keep industry informed of event details through regular communication and updates.
- Identify and recommend to VISIT FLORIDA buyers and media for Florida Huddle and travel trade product managers to attend Florida Huddle.
- Create, review and edit travel trade and consumer collateral for international publications.
- Develop relationships with in-country industry partners and other travel associations to increase brand and destination awareness.
- Assist with management of VISIT FLORIDA’s E-Learning Program, may include updating collateral, questions or information for relevancy.
- Promote E-Learning program to tour operators and travel agents and provide assistance in reviewing and editing content for the program.
- Provide local market insights and intelligence on travel trade trends, distribution, consumer confidence and competitor analysis.
- Provide support for development of airline relations and activities that support existing airline routes and encourage route development to Florida, in addition to promoting VISIT FLORIDA’s Air Team Florida initiative.
- Identify new initiatives to promote Florida to consumers and the travel trade industry for future budget planning.
- Identify key travel trade accounts and develop strategies and tactics to cultivate leisure business from the accounts.
- Work with VISIT FLORIDA’s destination Partners on various projects, as needed.
- Work with VISIT FLORIDA’s other agency partners, when appropriate or assigned, in order to develop strategy, plan, execute elements of an integrated campaign, align messaging, etc.
- Collaborate with VISIT FLORIDA’s internal departments, as directed.
- Speak on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA, as directed.
D. Advertising, Digital and Promotions:
- Online Marketing – At the direction of VISIT FLORIDA manage China market activities, which may include maintaining, hosting, updating content and translation of content on VISITFLORIDA.com. May include collaboration and coordination with VISIT FLORIDA’s agencies.
- Advertising – At the direction of VISIT FLORIDA coordinate cooperative advertising (co-op) programs that involve leveraging resources with top-producing brands and key VISIT FLORIDA industry partners. All advertising programs require VISIT FLORIDA’s approval. VISIT FLORIDA co-op programs allow industry partners to leverage momentum of VISIT FLORIDA’s investment for their own marketing efforts to create an impact for Florida. VISIT FLORIDA’s advertising is primarily partner-focused and does not promote “VISIT FLORIDA” as a brand, but the Florida brand.
- Promotions – Provide or share promotional opportunities with VISIT FLORIDA. Opportunities may include promotions/sweepstakes in conjunction with VISIT FLORIDA for major trade and consumer shows, social media and co-op advertising. Promotions allow VISIT FLORIDA industry partners exposure and brand awareness through multiple and varied channels such as print, radio and digital by contributing trip giveaways.
May 7th, 2018