Destination Public Relations: Caribbean Island RFP Seeks UK Marketing and PR

Island Destination Marketing Public Relations

The following RFP outlines the specific criteria for eligible firms to submit a proposal for the provision of consulting services to the St. Kitts Tourism Authority for Public Relation to support marketing and promotion of St. Kitts as a premier warm weather destination in the United Kingdom.

This RFP is divided into six sections: Section I Background Information Section II Consultant Criteria/Capabilities Section III Objectives and Scope of Work Section IV Instructions on Preparations and Submission of Proposals Section V Evaluation Criteria and Selection Timeline

Section I Background Information

The St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA) is the agency responsible for the strategic planning and general destination management for the St. Kitts Tourism Industry. The St. Kitts Tourism Authority was established under the St. Christopher Tourism Act December 31, 2002 under the Laws of St. Christopher and Nevis.

Following the closure of the sugar industry in 2005, Government in its National Adaptation Strategy 2006 – 2013, earmarked the tourism sector along with other sectors, including financial services, agriculture, offshore education and information technology, to transform the economy. It has been well established that Tourism is a major economic driver globally. It should therefore be no surprise that is it has become a key sector for stimulating growth and development for the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis. In 2015 the Tourism Sector accounted for 21.8% of the Gross Domestic Product for the Federation of St, Kitts and Nevis.

The SKTA is responsible for the marketing and promotion of St. Kitts in its primary source markets the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. To be successful, the SKTA must be innovative and maintain a competitive advantage in the tourism and leisure market in order to meet its broadest objectives as outlined in the St. Kitts Tourism Sector – Strategy and Action Plan 2014 – 2019. The SKTA activities nature of the activities executed by the Department include policy development and implementation, international marketing and sales, and industry training programmes.

Objectives of the Global Public Relations Strategy

The following broad objectives have been identified to provide focus and guidance in defining the Public Relation Strategy and managing and promoting the image of brand St. Kitts.

• Promote St. Kitts as the authentic, quint essential Caribbean destination, for the discerning more experienced traveller.

• Support the efforts of the Tourism Authority and all related institutions in promoting St. Kitts.

• Develop and uncover opportunities that drive awareness and positive perceptions of St. Kitts.

• Develop partnerships and co-marketing opportunities, where appropriate, that drive positive perceptions of St. Kitts.

• Build relationships with media houses, journalists and influencers to promote brand St. Kitts.

On-Island Stakeholders include the Ministry of Tourism, The Hotel Tourism Association (HTA), Chamber of Commerce, St. Christopher Air and Seaports Authority (SCASPA), Retail Operators, Restaurants and Beach Bars, Taxi and Tour Operators, Destination Management Companies of the private sector, other Government Departments and Statutory Authorities, Non-tourism private sector partners, the general community and a host of other local stakeholders. The SKTA has a wide cross section of its international stakeholders based overseas, primarily in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and within the Caribbean region itself.

These include stakeholders such as: Supplier Partners (Airlines, Cruiselines, Hotels, etc.); Sellers (Wholesalers/Tour Operators, Travel Agents and Online Travel Sellers); Media (Journalist/Broadcast editors); Regional Governments and Regional Tourism Organizations – Caribbean Tourism Organization (public sector) and Caribbean Hotel Association (private sector).

Section II – Consultancy Criteria/Capabilities

I. Overall

• Relevant experience and understanding of the St. Kitts tourism industry.

• Demonstrated capabilities and understanding of the travel and tourism industry, including air travel, hotels, destination marketing, etc.

• Strong understanding of, and demonstrated success in, developing and implementing fully integrated public relations plans with government entities

• High level of commitment to client service in terms of quality, thoroughness of strategic approach and follow through

• Ability to establish strong rapport with representatives of the SKTA Board of Directors, tourism staff, other source market agencies and consultants and other programme stakeholders (e.g., private sector, industry associations, etc.)

• A strong mix of senior staff and account managers who have clearly worked well together for some time. The firm should be able to consistently identify team roles (e.g., daily contact, senior counsel, support, etc.).

• Desire to exceed expectations and invest in a strong client-agency partnership

• Existing and effective planning and cost control mechanisms

II. Public/Media Relations

• Demonstrated capabilities in strategic media relations with a proven, results-oriented approach.

• Proven existing relationships with key members of the travel media, across all stakeholder groups – trade, consumer publications and newspapers; and special interest and lifestyle media who support the destinations special interest markets – at both national and regional levels.

• Ability to conceptualize and deliver broad public relations and communications programmes designed to inform and influence opinion formers within the global tourism marketing industry, including travel editors, agents, conference planners, etc.

• Strong experience in crisis/issues management preparedness and response

• Proven methodology for measurement/ROI of communications investment – including, but not limited to research services such as media analysis and opinion former research

III. Government Relations

• Proven ability to reach opinion leaders and influencers within the UK tourism, travel and leisure industry.

• Strong intelligence gathering capabilities to be able to decipher and anticipate government decisions and actions and help clients navigate that landscape.

IV. Exclusions

• Agencies which already work for a direct competitor of the St. Kitts Tourism will not be considered within this tender process. Competitive set includes Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Nevis and St. Lucia.

Section III Objectives and Scope of Work

The agency will be expected to manage all public relations for brad St. Kitts in the United Kingdom. Key agency staff will also be asked to make an appropriate investment of time and expense to learn and fully understand the St. Kitts tourism industry and the workings of Government specifically. The SKTA will help ensure a comprehensive and appropriate immersion programme is in place.

Section IV Instructions on Preparation and Submission of Proposals

Proposals should be submitted by 4:30pm (St. Kitts time) on Friday, March 17th 2017. The Proposal should cover a 12-month period beginning May 1st 2017. Proposals should specify exactly how each element of the scope of work will be approached and completed, and should incorporate the following:

• Description and history of the Agency

• Understanding of the scope of work and objectives • Outline of project approach, strategy for carrying out the scope of work and methodology • Brief of relevant prior experiences of the Agency

• Agency team: name and title, and a brief CV/Biography for each member

• Financials – which should be quoted in Pound Sterling

Proposals should have two distinct elements – a creative/technical proposal and a financial proposal – details of which are specified as follows:

a) The creative/technical proposal should outline the specific approach and programme recommendations, including how the agency understands the assignment and intends to break down the work, including staffing and service delivery. Agencies are also encouraged to include as part of their submission considerations which demonstrate their suitability for the assignment. In addition, proposals should outline how and to what extent key agency staff will make an appropriate investment of time and expense to learn and fully understand St. Kitts tourism.

b) The financial proposal should reflect the creative/technical proposal by outlining fees. Please note that all costs should be in Pound Sterling. Include a sample invoice with the standard accompanying information submitted (e.g. activity report, itemisation, etc.). Firms should also include any of their applicable policies, as they relate to their financial proposal.

Depending on the outcome of written submissions, agencies may be required to make a Skype presentation to the selection committee based on their submissions. Evaluation of proposals will be completed and submitted by March 24th 2017 with the possibility of presentations, if required, between March 27 and April 5th 2017. The St. Kitts Tourism Authority reserves the right to exercise full discretion in its evaluation of all proposals against the stated criteria. No single criteria in and of itself will be used to make a final determination and there is no obligation to award the contract to the submission which attains the highest scores in the form of tender.

Timing and delivery of proposals

Proposals must be submitted by email or in a clearly marked envelope including the above-noted RFP reference number and title on the outside of the envelope. The deadline for receipt of proposals is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 17th 2015. Agencies should ensure that they make the necessary arrangements with courier services for submissions to arrive on time. Submissions received after the deadline will not be accepted.

• Submissions sent by email should be sent to UKPublicRelationsRFP@stkittstourism.kn, Subject Line: Attention Chief Executive Officer – UK PR RFP.

• Submissions sent by mail should be addressed to Racquel Brown, Chief Executive Officer, St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Pelican Mall, Basseterre, St. Kitts

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