Maldives Seeks Australian Public Relations Agency

Maldives Seeks Australian Public Relations Agency

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation is seeking a PR firm in Australia. MMPRC is the national tourism office of Maldives responsible for carrying out promotional activities to become the most preferred island destination of the world under the slogan of Maldives . . . the sunny side of life; whilst adhering to its mission to promote quality and sustainable growth in the local tourism industry to deliver long term economic, social and cultural benefits to the country.

Tourism has been described as the driving force of the Maldives economy. If both its direct and indirect impacts are combined, it is responsible for a high percentage of the country’s GDP. The volume of international visitor’s arrival has risen from 42,000 in 1980 to over 1.2 Million in 2015, which is a huge increase. This has been accompanied by an increase in the supply of tourist accommodation from 2,400 beds to 34,105 beds over the same period.

Scope of Work

  1. Monthly market report consisting of two parts,
  2. Market report: (consisting of market research/intelligence information and current economic and market trends as well as competitor activity analysis) and
  3. Activities undertaken during the month: Details of meetings held with stakeholders
  4. Coordinate and execute 1-2 familiarisation trip(s) (media / bloggers / travel trade)
  5. Production & distribution of bi-monthly Newsletter distributed to media and tourism sector including major tour operators.
  6. Managing and updating a media and tour operator database for MMPRC. Database should be shared with MMPRC at a mutually agreed date at the beginning of the contract and updated and shared every six months.
  7. Submit a monthly summary of media monitoring. Media monitoring report should identify PR generated articles (through familiarisation trips and other means) and other clippings of the destination. Monitoring report should give an analysis of general topics of interest about the  destination in the market, identify positive vs. negative articles and include professional advice on recommended actions to diffuse negative impact to the destination that may arise.
  8. Attend and represent Maldives in exhibitions/fairs in the market as well as assist MMPRC to arrange meetings and interviews during travel trade fairs with travel professionals (tour ops/travel agents, airlines, hotel representatives, etc.) + follow-up on major contacts for brochure requests, promotional material, etc. (No additional management costs should be charged to MMPRC. In case if the event is held in a city other than the agency office is located then MMPRC will bear the cost for food, lodging and transport. This cost has to be pre-approved by MMPRC).
  9. Organise and manage 1 Road show during the contract period. No additional management costs should be charged to MMPRC. In case if the event is held in a city other than the agency office is located then MMPRC will bear the cost for food, lodging and transport. This cost has to be pre- approved by MMPRC. Suggestions and recommendations of cities and dates to be pre-approved by MMPRC in advance. All the costs related to hosting the Road show will be borne by MMPRC.
  10. Actively seek out opportunities in the market for promoting Maldives and advise MMPRC. Particular emphasis should be given to identifying traditional PR opportunities to generate positive PR for the destination through non-paid collaborations/barter arrangements and joint campaigns. At least two such high impact campaigns should be carried out throughout the year.
  11. Liaise with tour operators and airlines to develop partnership opportunities and build relationships and handle trade inquiries – an effective information service for the travel trade should  be established. The Agency should be able to answer questions and fulfil inquiries on all Maldives aspects. Trade inquiries will be fulfilled by distribution of fact sheets, product news/information, photos and slides.  Actively seek out and propose at least two opportunities with Airlines for   non-paid joint collaborations (e.g.: social media updates/campaigns, familiarisation trip support in return for exposure).
  12. Assist MMPRC with The Agency know how to establish and maintain close contact to all sectors of the travel trade industry such as tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, incentive and congress organisers, major commercial accounts and other potential organisations.
  13. Maintain media relations to generate coverage of the Maldives.
  14. Suggest most appropriate media to be selected for destination promotion and purchase media slots on behalf of MMPRC (where advised) for Agent rates.
  15. Formulate and execute marketing campaign for Maldives for a 1 year period (as advised and approved by MMPRC).
  16. Serve as a liaison office in Australia between MMPRC/local tourism related companies and Australia tour operators.  Type of inquiries received should be specified in the report.
  17. Assignment of dedicated telephone line for “Maldives” PR and travel trade inquiries. All communications should be via email address created within the visit Maldives domain provided by MMPRC.
  18. Organise in-house presentations with the most important tour operators (2 per year) and incentive houses to increase Maldives awareness and communicate the latest news with presentations (if available). These meetings are to be organised at the tour operator offices during lunch time. This allows to contact all key personnel of the agency in one session (average of 10/20 people)
  19. Sales calls & meetings with tour operators featuring the Maldives and potential tour operators to encourage them to include the destination in their brochure
  20. Sales calls & meetings with scheduled airlines and charter companies servicing the Maldives to develop partnership opportunities
  21. Postage of brochures to travel trade contacts (tour ops, travel agents, airlines, etc.)
  22. Conduct a bi-annual review to identify the number of tour operators featuring the Maldives in their brochure. This comprehensive study should feature the tour operators/product managers’ full contact name and address, the content of the packages (number of room nights, resort category, prices, etc.), the airlines and resorts featured.
  23. PR firm should arrange an annual media event. The purpose of this event is to provide news about the destination and to maintain a close relationship with media. In case of any extra cost it has to be discussed and pre-approved by MMPRC.
  24. To promote the Maldives in all social media platforms of the agency without any extra cost. In addition, the appointed agency is to monitor and maintain social media platforms of MMPRC in English language in consultation with MMPRC.

Scope of work during a Crisis

Further emphasising on the limitation of the role of the PR agency due to lack of budget availability for extensive campaigns out of the scope, it is strongly suggested to include the following vital points within the scope of work to strengthen the current PR role;

1)    Crisis Management: The agency should pro-actively monitor and be the first to alert MMPRC on possible crisis situation which result in negative publicity to the destination. Timely action, professional advice on minimising the impact, formulation of action plan and implementation as advised by MMPRC should be included in crisis management.

2)    Measuring success: Recommend and develop a “measure of success” for the annual PR and Trade plan.

3)    Annual meeting of all PR representatives with MMPRC in the Maldives on a set date by MMPRC  at the beginning of the year. The objective of the meeting would be for all PR representatives of the destination to meet in one place for 1-2 day meeting/workshop to;
a. present MMPRC’s overall destination marketing directive,
b. educate about the latest product information and new developments in the destination,
c. share information about the individual market situations,
d. how to streamline work in spreading consistent PR message across the markets of focus
e. discuss on how to effectively address possible challenges in implementing most effective PR and trade strategy

Proposal due by November 4 to:

Procurement Department,

Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation

Velaanaage 4thFl,

Ameer Ahmed Magu, Male’ 20096, Maldives

Major PR firms with operations in Australia include Edelman PR & Porter Novelli.

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