PUBLIC RELATIONS RFP ISSUED BY STATE OF TEXAS

2022-03-14 by EPR Staff
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The Office seeks written proposals from qualified Respondents in accordance with the specifications contained in this RFP for Tourism Public Relations and Marketing Services in the Target Markets.  Respondents must demonstrate the ability to perform the services specified in this RFP and shall fully understand the Travel Texas program, organization, mission, and targeted audience. Respondents are encouraged to review the information located at https://travel.texas.gov and https://www.traveltexas.com.

Background

Tourism benefits Texans. Travel and tourism continue to be one of the largest industries in the state; for example, in 2019, total direct travel spending was $83 billion and travel expenditures generated a projected $7.8 billion in state and local taxes. Moreover, travel and tourism supported 1.3 million jobs and $63 billion in earnings.

It is the Mission of the OOG’s Travel Texas program to enhance and extend local economic development efforts by marketing Texas as a premier travel destination in domestic, out-of-state, and international markets, generating non-Texan travel to the state and creating revenue and jobs.

The OOG Travel Texas program is organized into three interrelated functional areas: Travel Research, Advertising, and Public Relations and Marketing.  Each area plays a critical role in the overall mission to market Texas as a premier travel destination. Collectively, these areas provide an integrated marketing effort that supports the mission to generate non-Texan travel to the state.

The Travel Research area provides data and information that identifies key consumer travel patterns and trends that drive the OOG’s tourism marketing activities, determining overall marketing strategies and key messages, advertising content and placement, selection of markets, and the development and evaluation of advertising and marketing programs. The Travel Research section also directs important tourism development outreach services, providing Texas communities with information and tools needed to develop tourist attractions and to effectively use tourism as an economic development tool.

Advertising is the OOG’s primary tourism marketing tool.  Advertising efforts are outsourced using a full-service, contracted advertising agency.  Most advertising is conducted outside the state.  Advertising efforts include, but are not limited to, national and international advertising through consumer, digital, national television, and interactive methods.  In the domestic market, the OOG uses the “Let’s Texas” campaign.  This campaign is activity-driven in that it communicates to consumers the “experiential value” that a Texas vacation has to offer by focusing on the state’s many diverse travel activities and experiences. The OOG also uses the “Travel Texas” logo trademark in international markets to effectively market Texas and all of its travel experiences throughout the world under the umbrella of a single, readily recognizable Travel Texas product.   The Advertising area also manages the OOG’s brand and use of its logos in ancillary marketing programs, as well as coordinating with an in-market vendor to provide translation and other services as needed.

The Public Relations and Marketing area conducts tourism public relations activities, both domestically and internationally, to increase travel to the state by marketing and promoting Texas as a premier travel destination to consumers, the Media, and the Travel Trade.  Traditionally, strategies and tactics pursued have included, but have not been limited to the following consumer, Media, and Travel Trade activities: consumer promotions, representing Texas in domestic and international Travel Trade and consumer shows, conducting Travel Trade and Media missions, conducting educational seminars, and conducting Media and Travel Trade FAM tours within Texas to acquaint the Travel Trade and Media with the Travel Texas product. 

Because research shows that domestic travel decisions are primarily consumer driven, Public Relations and Marketing efforts have principally focused on Media and consumer-direct marketing and promotion activities in the United States. However, because the Travel Trade remains an influential factor in international travelers’ travel planning and trip decision process, marketing to the Travel Trade in international markets remains a component of the overall Public Relations and Marketing efforts.  While Public Relations and Marketing efforts are primarily targeted outside the state, in-state activities are also conducted as needed to create awareness among the Texas public, the Texas Media, and Texas Partners about the importance of tourism as a means of economic development in the state.   Examples include but are not limited to, the Texas Travel Summit held in the fall, and National Travel and Tourism Week and multiple Travel Texas activities to encourage in-state travel by Texans to the state’s scenic, historical, cultural, natural, agricultural, educational, recreational, and other attractions.  The Public Relations and Marketing area includes cooperative marketing opportunities that enable the state’s travel industry Suppliers to jointly market their destinations and products with the state in the OOG’s tourism marketing and promotional activities.  Cooperative marketing programs can offer Suppliers cost savings, while extending awareness, reach and exposure of the Travel Texas message and product.  Fees generated from cooperative marketing programs are used to help offset some of the OOG’s costs for conducting Public Relations and Marketing activities.  

Scope of Work

The OOG strives to use the most innovative, creative, and cost-effective marketing and public relations programs to raise awareness of Texas as a premier travel destination.  The scope of work for services sought by the OOG in the Target Markets includes a primary focus on public relations and marketing strategies targeting consumers, Media, and the Travel Trade. The Contractor shall have the following goals while providing public relations and marketing services for the OOG to raise awareness of Texas as a premier travel destination: 

a. generate maximum positive press coverage of the Travel Texas product while expanding perceptions of the diverse travel experiences Texas offers visitors; 

b. develop and implement a robust social media strategy that successfully promotes the Travel Texas product;

c. conduct high-profile integrated consumer promotions; 

d. lead efforts  in promoting and marketing Texas as a premier travel destination to Travel Trade  as directed; 

e. create effective cooperative public relations and marketing programs that provide for maximum partner participation; and

f. generate measurable results from public relations and marketing efforts.

The Contractor shall propose measures and goals to use in evaluating work. Measures will include, but are not limited, to: 

a. leading industry standard measures for traditional and digital media activities and placements including, but not limited to, Advertising Value Equivalency;

b. leading industry standard measures for results of social media strategy and activities;

c. creative integrated consumer promotions which incorporate Media, Travel Trade, and other appropriate partners to generate maximum consumer awareness of the Travel Texas product; 

d. successful completion of agreed upon marketing activities; and

e. generating and maintaining Texas travel packages in Target Markets. 

Proposal Date and Due Time:   03/17/22 no later than 5:00 pm (CST in Austin, Texas)

Point of Contact

Purchasing Office of the Governor of Texas Financial Services Division 512-463-1776 Purchasing@gov.texas.gov