State of Arizona Seeking Travel PR Firm

State of Arizona Seeking Travel PR Firm

The State of Arizona invites sealed proposals from qualified firms for travel industry marketing and media relations representation in the United Kingdom for use by the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT). The objective of this solicitation is to cost-effectively increase British and Irish visitation and spending in Arizona by increasing travel trade, media and consumer awareness about the state’s unique offerings through 1) assisting tour operators and travel agents to develop and promote group and individual tour programs to Arizona and 2) assisting media in publishing stories about Arizona as a world class destination.

In terms of international visitation to the U.S., the United Kingdom was the third largest market with 4.9 million Brits visiting the U.S. in 2015 (source: U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration). According to international visitor volumes for Arizona as reported by Tourism Economics, the UK continues to be a strong inbound market for Arizona ranking number two for overseas inbound travel for four years in a row (2012-2015). AOT has had trade and media relations representation in the United Kingdom since the mid -1990s.

Scope of Services

Media Leads: The Contractor shall conduct proactive media outreach to print, broadcast and online media in the United Kingdom market. From this outreach, a minimum of 24 new media leads shall be generated each year and added to the database. These leads must be qualified media that have the potential to cover Arizona. A summary of new media leads shall be provided in each monthly report.

Fulfillment: The Contractor shall provide information on Arizona in response to requests from the media and consumers. AOT will provide collateral for inquiries and requests contingent on availability. AOT will reimburse the shipping costs for the collateral listed below on a monthly basis with the appropriate back-up documentation.

Individual Media Visits and Group Press Trips: AOT conducts group press trips each fiscal year whose participants include one journalist from each key market. AOT also hosts journalists on individual media visits. The Contractor must qualify and organize a minimum of ten journalists annually for individual and group media tours to Arizona. Qualified journalists are those who are on an assignment to produce an article that will be published within 18 months of the trip in a publication whose target market, reader demographics and circulation meet the requirements of AOT. Only print and online writers are allowed on group media tours. Film crews and radio broadcasters can be accommodated on individual media tours. AOT shall approve all qualified journalists submitted by the Contractor.

Clipping Service: The Contractor shall conduct an on-going clipping service of articles related to Arizona in print publications; online publications, social media platforms and professional travel blogs; and radio and television broadcasts. The clippings (or copies) shall be supplied to AOT each month along with advertising equivalency and circulation, viewership and/or audience. Metrics for tracking social media posts will be agreed upon individually based on channels being used. Advertising equivalency in USD shall be based solely on advertising rates without the use of multipliers.

Annual Editorial Calendar: The Contractor shall provide an annual (12 month) editorial calendar, 30 days prior to the start of AOT’s fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) with topics to be covered each month for newsletters, press releases and social media that are relevant and strategic to reach AOT’s United Kingdom market goals.

Social Media: The Contractor shall develop and maintain a social media presence and/or strategy on United Kingdom’s main social media platforms as recommended by the Contractor. This presence shall be maintained and updated daily, as warranted, in a strategic and focused approach that is consistent with AOT’s United Kingdom market strategies.

  • Reach (organic, paid and viral),
  • Post interactions, (number of Likes, Comments and Shares),
  • Click through and conversion rates,
  • Key influencers and brand ambassadors interacting with the site, and
  • Community growth (month over month).

MEDIA RELATIONS (AS-NEEDED SERVICES) The Contractor shall provide the following services if required and authorized by AOT based on each fiscal year’s priorities and budgets.
Escorted Press Trips: The Account Manager shall organize and escort group press trips to Arizona, with a minimum of six and a maximum of eight qualified writers and/or influencers plus the account manager and driver. Qualified writers are those who are on an assignment to produce an article that will be published within 18 months of the trip in a publication whose target market, reader demographics and circulation meet the requirements of AOT.
Trade Shows: The Account Manager shall assist with and attend key tradeshows on behalf of the Arizona Office of Tourism.
Media Missions: The Account Manager shall coordinate, conduct and accompany a comprehensive multi-day mission for a delegation of Arizona partners. A mission is defined as a series of appointments, an event, and/or series of events that provides opportunities for the delegation of Arizona partners to meet with and educate media representatives.

Protocol Missions: The Contractor shall coordinate and accompany a comprehensive multi-day mission for a delegation of Arizona officials including but not limited to the Governor of Arizona, other political leaders, State of Arizona Agency Directors and/or community leaders. A mission is defined as a series of appointments, an event, and/or series of events that provides opportunities for the delegation of Arizona officials to meet with local leaders.

Strategic Brand Partnerships: Contractor shall identify integrated travel industry and public relations promotional opportunities to support the development and placement of the Arizona brand.

Media Releases: The Account Manager shall write and distribute news and feature releases every other month (6 per year) throughout United Kingdom. Release topics are to be strategic, relevant and approved by AOT prior to distribution. A copy of the release shall be sent with the monthly report in which it was distributed.
Electronic Newsletter: The Contractor shall create, using original content, an electronic newsletter (e-newsletter) and distribute it to key media contacts every other month (6 per year). The e-newsletter shall, at a minimum, cover 4-6 topics per newsletter and include photos, quotes and opportunities to click through to other Arizona destinations and suppliers. The Contractor shall provide a review of distribution of the e-newsletter as a component of the monthly report. The review shall include the following:

  • Total number sent
  • Number of opens
  • Number of bounce-backs
  • Number of opt outs
  • Number of click-throughs to each link.

TRAVEL INDUSTRY MARKETING (AS-NEEDED SERVICES) The Contractor shall provide the following services if required and authorized by AOT based on each fiscal year’s priorities andbudgets.

Escorted Familiarization (FAM) Tours: The Account Manager shall organize and escort tour operator familiarization trips to Arizona, with a minimum of six and a maximum of eight qualified UK trade representatives plus the account manager and driver. A qualified trade representative is defined as a person working for a qualified company who develops packages and/or sells, or has the intent to sell Arizona travel product.

Trade Shows: The Account Manager shall assist with and attend key tradeshows on behalf of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

Sales Missions: The Account Manager shall coordinate, conduct and accompany a comprehensive multi-day mission for a delegation of Arizona partners. A mission is defined as a series of appointments, an event, and/or series of events that provides opportunities for the delegation of Arizona partners to meet with and educate trade representatives.

Cooperative Marketing Campaigns: Account manager shall work with wholesale tour operators, airline partners and industry associations to support the development, placement and marketing of Arizona travel products. Any qualified programs that could be produced for AOT and/or cooperatively with these suppliers should be researched and proposed to the AOT. Direct mail pieces, in-store promotions and electronic marketing campaigns are examples of suitable cooperative marketing programs. A report of the results of any program shall be provided to the AOT within fifteen business days after completion of each project. Ongoing results will be reported in monthly reports. A minimum of two proposals shall be presented to the AOT annually.

Strategic Brand Partnerships: Contractor shall identify integrated travel industry and public relations promotional opportunities to support the development and placement of the Arizona brand.These strategic brand partnerships could be any activity that promotes to a specific type of consumer (golfer, birdwatcher, spa-lover) in a non-traditional tactic. In the past, the AOT has partnered with Crabtree & Evelyn in the UK to promote their new line of spa products along with the fantastic spa products available in Arizona. A report of the results of any program shall be produced at the end of each project within fifteen business days after completion. Ongoing results will be reported in monthly reports. A minimum of two proposals shall be presented to the AOT annually.

Protocol Missions: The Contractor shall coordinate and accompany a comprehensive multi-day mission for a delegation of Arizona officials including but not limited to the Governor of Arizona, other political leaders, State of Arizona Agency Directors and/or community leaders. A mission is defined as a series of appointments, an event, and/or series of events that provides opportunities for the delegation of Arizona officials to meet with local leaders.

Destination Trainings: The Contractor shall present educational programs on the State of Arizona tourism product to qualified groups of travel agents, tour operators and airline reservations and sales staff throughout UK. Qualified groups are those groups which are already selling product to Arizona and need assistance training their reservations staff or other sales staff. Any materials presented shall be approved by AOT prior to use. The Contractor shall provide a report to AOT which will include the details on the audience, material covered and any other information deemed relevant as part of the monthly report. AOT reports the number of trainings as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and will set number for each fiscal year.

Electronic Newsletter: The Contractor shall create, using original content, an electronic newsletter (e-newsletter) and distribute it to key travel industry contacts on a regular basis. The e-newsletter shall, at a minimum, cover 4-6 topics per newsletter and include photos, quotes and opportunities to click through to other Arizona destinations and suppliers. The Contractor shall provide a review of distribution of the e-newsletter as a component of the monthly report.

Due date: May 25, 2017
Address: Arizona Department of Administraion
State Procurement Office
100 N 15th Ave, Suite 201
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Leading travel PR firms include Coyne PR and 5W PR.

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