Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Seeks Tourism Public Relations and Advertising Agency

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The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (“Corporation”) seeks proposals from qualified firms to provide further development and implementation of the State of Rhode Island’s brand to, among other things, (1) promote tourism and (2) provide general advertising services through public relations efforts, advertising campaigns, social media development and digital services media buying.

The results of these efforts will benefit businesses, as well as in-state Destination Marketing Organizations by increasing tourism revenue and, on a larger scale, increasing the employment base for the State.

PROJECT OVERVIEW The Corporation seeks a firm(s) able to develop an advertising campaign; grow public relations strategy; expand social media opportunities, including, but not limited to, content management; manage production and development of creative content that inspires, informs and drives action; evaluate media opportunities; plan media buys; cultivate promotional and strategic partnerships; and provide research and analytics on all marketing efforts. The chosen firm(s) will work collaboratively with website, research and analytics partners, among others.


Tourism is an important driver of the State’s economy. In 2020, Rhode Island attracted 21.6 million visitors and tourism, which contributed $4.9 billion to the State’s economy. It also supported 66,402 jobs, representing 11.1% of all jobs in the State, and provided more than $1.3 billion in tax revenues. The Corporation is committed to growing the State’s tourism industry through: ● increasing traveler trips to Rhode Island; ● increasing traveler length of stay; ● increasing average traveler spend per trip; and ● increasing resident spend on tourism activities. The Corporation promotes Rhode Island in domestic and international markets, leveraging multiple marketing and communications tactics, including, but not limited to, traditional public relations strategies, advertising, social media, group sales initiatives and industry engagement. All of these efforts are directed at the State’s target audience—prospective visitors, previous visitors, Rhode Island residents, transportation partners, tour operators, travel agents, and industry partners.

Scope of Work:

OVERALL SCOPE OF WORK Proposers should outline how they can fulfill a scope of work that includes the following activities: public relations, advertising, digital advertising media buying, and social media services, as set forth below.

  1. PUBLIC RELATIONS The Corporation requires Proposers to provide public and media relations initiatives, including, but not limited to, strategic planning, partnership opportunities, activating media events and programs, content creation and distribution, and to assist other functions of the Corporation as needed. Proposers should have demonstrated relationships with national and regional print and broadcast media. Public Relations Core Services

At a minimum, the Proposer(s) should be able to perform the following services under the strategic direction of the Corporation’s staff: Strategic Planning: Support the development and writing of the Corporation’s communications plan; conduct research for, and provide input to, a multi-year public and media relations plan; establish program key performance indicators and measures; execute required items from the plan as requested; and provide required reporting to the Corporation on performance of the plan. Public & Media Relations: Provide ongoing media relations support, representing Rhode Island’s unique story and targeted media opportunities; align partner priorities to provide direct referrals to regional marketing organizations; maintain strong relationships with a diversity of U.S. media across multiple channels in the tourism, lifestyle and other relevant sectors; review and analyze incoming U.S. media queries for information; proactively pitch based on the Corporation’s strategic plan; provide recommendations to the Corporation and follow up with journalists as required; organize and execute media events and familiarization (fam) tours; arrange and manage media appointments for community representatives in key domestic markets; and secure journalists to visit Rhode Island either individually or in groups.

Content Creation and Distribution: Create and share relevant media materials and messaging; monitor the content being created as a result of the efforts by the Corporation and firm(s). This includes, but is not limited to: creating press releases, backgrounders, story idea pitches and other press materials, key messages, speeches, etc.; identifying appropriate distribution channels (e.g. newswire agencies, trade shows, media distribution lists and networks, etc.); and managing the distribution of content across these channels. Partnership Cultivation: Identify potential projects where the Corporation would be able to work with appropriate media and brands; identify trade shows and consumer events worthy of consideration for the Corporation; and promote and represent the state at relevant events.

Due Date: Monday, November 29, 2021 by 1:00pm


Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Attention: Tourism Public Relations and Advertising Agency RFP 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101 Providence, RI 02908

Relevant agencies to consider for this assignment include MWWPR and Zeno Group.

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