The OOG seeks written proposals from qualified Respondents in accordance with the specifications contained in this RFP for Tourism Public Relations and Marketing Services in the United States Service Region.
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, creating revenues 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 Texas “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 Target Market. 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. 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:
Public Relations and Marketing Requirements
The OOG strives to use the most innovative and cost-effective marketing and public relations programs to raise awareness of Texas as a premier travel destination. The scope of work for services and goods sought by the OOG in the United States Service Region includes a primary focus on public relations and marketing strategies targeting consumers and Media. Secondarily the scope of work requires assistance with the Travel Texas public relations and marketing activities. With this in mind, the Contractor shall have the following goals while providing public relations and marketing services for the OOG to raise awareness on a national level 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. Assist the OOG 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 Equivalency Value;
b. Leading industry standard measures for results of social media strategy and activities; and
c. Creative integrated consumer promotions which incorporate Media, Travel Trade, and other appropriate partners to generate maximum consumer awareness of the Travel Texas product.
Public Relations and Marketing Initiatives
To meet the OOG’s tourism Mission, as further described in Section 3.2 of Part A of this RFP, and to fulfill the Public Relations and Marketing Requirements, as further described in Section 4 of Part A of this RFP, the OOG is seeking an agency that is capable of providing the following goods and services:
· Conduct public relations activities targeting key consumer and Travel Trade Media in both traditional and non-traditional outlets to generate Media placements of key messages that result in maximum positive publicity of Texas as a premier travel destination.
· Provide market insight and guidance based on demonstrated facts and research to help grow awareness and visitation to Texas.
· Concentrate public relations activities during key travel planning seasons that provide the greatest potential to enhance the effectiveness and extend the reach of the OOG’s planned advertising activities.
Media relations activities may include, but are not limited to:
• proactive Media outreach and pitching;
• organizing, planning, executing and attending:
O Media FAM Tours – individual and/or group;
O Media missions;
O Media/public relations events;
O Media appointments;
O press conferences; and
O interviews and presentations;
• compiling and maintaining a database of consumer and Travel Trade Media and travel influencers to accomplish public relations and Media activities and providing the database to the OOG upon request;
• preparing and distributing regular Press Releases and/or Media pitches to generate Media impressions in both traditional and non-traditional Media outlets;
• responding to Media and influencer inquiries;
• assembling and fulfilling traditional and/or electronic press kits as needed and developing, maintaining, and fulfilling an evergreen press kit;
• producing, storing, and fulfilling of collateral and promotional materials;
• translating of materials as needed;
• clippings services; and
• contracting necessary venues, transportations, and other similar goods or services to accomplish the activities listed above.
Monitor editorial calendars of United States Media outlets for travel story opportunities and create an annual editorial calendar for the OOG. Proactively pitch story ideas to Media in the United States via phone, email, or in-person meetings.
Influencer Campaigns: The Contractor should be able to identify and recommend travel influencers and execute agreements with said influencers to spread awareness of the Travel Texas product and experiences via social media channels.
The Contractor shall develop and implement a strategic plan and brand voice for all of the OOG’s social media platforms. Social media content calendars should be delivered at a cadence agreed upon by the OOG. Ongoing social media activities shall include, but are not limited to, real-time community management, production and management of social media assets including photography and video, monthly and campaign-specific reporting, paid promotions, and additional program support as needed. Reporting should reflect leading industry standard measurements for all social media activity.
Conduct aggressive and creative integrated consumer Promotions to maximize awareness of the Travel Texas product by reaching a mass audience through a variety of Media, Travel Trade, or consumer direct tactics.
The Contractor shall track and maintain records of all of the Contractor’s assisted placements promoting the Travel Texas product. The Contractor shall use up-to-date industry standard measures approved by the OOG and proposed by the Contractor, including Advertising Equivalency Value, to calculate and report on the traditional and digital coverage of Texas generated. The Contractor shall report on the types and amount of Media placements generated.
Travel Trade Relations
The Contractor shall assist the OOG to promote and market Texas as a premier travel destination to key
Travel Trade industry representatives in both the leisure and meetings markets, as directed.
Assistance in Travel Trade activities may also include, but is not limited to, production, storage, and fulfillment of collateral and promotional materials, presentations, brochures, promotional items, newsletters, photographs, Travel Trade FAM tours, sales missions and promotional events, trade show registration and exhibition booth procurement (including registration and exhibit booth procurement and assistance for the IPW and IMEX America Travel Trade shows), product launches, promotions , and related events.
4.5. Promotional Functions
The Contractor shall be responsible for conducting and coordinating promotional functions and providing supporting collateral materials needed to support tourism efforts at local, state, national and international meetings, conferences, and similar events. These materials shall complement the overall Travel Texas public relations and marketing efforts and may include, but are not necessarily limited to, use of computer and interactive technologies. Examples include, but are not limited to, event program sponsorships, experiential marketing, trade shows, conferences, receptions, presentations, committee meetings, and Media and trade missions. The Contractor shall store, maintain, and pre-stage Travel Texas collateral and promotional items as necessary to facilitate the timely delivery of services in the Target Market.
The Contractor shall be responsible for coordinating the production of presentation, promotional and, collateral materials, including but not limited to: Press Releases, collateral, print and digital invitations, photographs, mats, videos, filming, editing, equipment rentals, display materials, brochures, trade show booths, and infographics, as required to meet the Contract performance requirements.
Plan of Action
On or before June 1st of each Fiscal Year of the Contract Term, the Contractor shall be responsible for development and submission of an annual Plan of Action for the services the Contractor proposes to undertake and the goods the Contractor proposes to provide during the upcoming Fiscal Year. The Plan of Action shall include the Contractor’s evaluations and recommendations for all proposed activities and projects, to be undertaken, that will most effectively position Texas as a premier travel destination and create market awareness of and stimulate interest in travel to Texas among consumers, the Media, and the domestic Travel Trade. Appropriate market research and planning should be conducted and provided in order to determine the most effective and cost efficient public relations and marketing efforts. The Plan of Action must include a detailed budget for all proposed projects, activities, and services to be performed, as well as recommendations of specific goals and measurements which demonstrate the success of the Plan of Action in meeting or exceeding the objectives outlined in Section 4of Part A of this RFP.
Any routine use of subcontractors for the provision of Contractor’s in-house services that are to be included in Contractor’s Monthly Service Fee shall be disclosed and clearly identified in the proposed Plan of Action.
4.8. Public Relations and Marketing Plan
Upon the OOG’s approval, the Plan of Action will be adopted and serve as the Public Relations and Marketing Plan to be implemented by the Contractor for the Fiscal Year. The Contractor shall operate in accordance with an approved, detailed, written Public Relations and Marketing Plan, including budget allocation for using public relations and marketing activities (consumer, Media and trade relations) to market and promote Texas as a premier travel destination. Any changes made to the Public Relations and Marketing Plan throughout the Fiscal Year in which it is in effect must be approved by the OOG in writing.
Coordination of Efforts
When appropriate, and as required by the OOG, the Contractor shall coordinate activities with other of the OOG’s vendors (e.g., advertising, public relations and marketing, or research), other state agencies and local, regional, and statewide tourism industry associations and organizations involved with or affected by services and goods provided under the Contract.
The Contractor shall provide a crisis management plan and ongoing crisis management in relation to the services provided under this Contract. Services shall include, but are not limited to, the identification and monitoring of domestic and international crisis situations that may impact the tourism industry, the implementation of the Public Relations and Marketing Plan, or the effectiveness, cost efficiency, or desirability of ongoing public relations and marketing efforts. The crisis management plan shall facilitate the ability of the OOG to promptly cancel or modify existing marketing promotions in response to a domestic or international crisis situation. The Contractor shall coordinate such efforts with the 000 and other of the OOG’s vendors as necessary (e.g., advertising, public relations, or research).
Intellectual Property Licenses and Releases
The Contractor shall be responsible for securing the Intellectual Property Rights for all Works (including the goods and services) to be provided to the OOG under the Contract, including, but not limited to, all releases, licenses, waivers, permits, model releases for use of talent, copyrighted or trademarked materials, information, sound and/or images that are or may be subject to Intellectual Property Rights. The Contractor shall be solely and exclusively responsible for any contracts, agreements, licenses, releases, fees, or negotiations needed to obtain the necessary Intellectual Property Rights for such Works.