Tourism Marketing RFP Issued in Bristol

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A critical aspect to achieving success will be to develop a strategic marketing plan that highlights Bristol’s many attractions and amenities with the goal of increasing traffic to these establishments, as well as to local lodging, retail, and food service providers, ultimately resulting in increased revenues from sales and hotel occupancy taxes. A successful strategy will be one that:

a) Generates awareness of Bristol as a place where people want to visit, live, and do business.

b) Differentiates Bristol as a travel destination comparable to other popular or more wellknown destinations in the southeastern United States.

c) Presents Bristol in new, unexpected, and cool ways that are appealing and speak to a variety of audiences of potential visitors or future residents.

d) Optimizes the use of resources to maximize results. The selected firm will be expected to provide regular updates to the City, DMO board, and staff regarding campaign performance to demonstrate return on investment.

Proposals will be accepted in the Purchasing Department, Bristol City Hall, Room 204, 801 Anderson Street, Bristol, Tennessee 37620; P.O. Box 1189, Bristol, Tennessee 37621-1189 until June 1, 2021, at 4:00 p.m., prevailing local time. Include the proposal reference number on the proposal envelope.


The City of cis currently engaged in the process of establishing a new non-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) to actively promote Bristol as an attractive tourist destination. The intent is for this new organization to be formed with a governing board in place by July 2021. In order to facilitate an expeditious start to the program of work for the new DMO, the City of Bristol, Tennessee is requesting sealed proposals from a highly skilled and experienced marketing, public relations, destination market research, and advertising team to work in concert with the City of Bristol, Tennessee and their assigns (hereafter referred to as “the City”), including the new DMO board and staff, to develop and implement multi-faceted marketing strategies to keep Bristol in the spotlight as a top tourist destination. The chosen agency must possess expertise in strategic planning with the ability to develop and deploy tactics consistent with the project scope of work detailed herein. The agency must be up-to-date on current trends in the travel industry, and well-versed in the latest marketing tools available.

Scope of Work:

Members of the City’s Tourism Marketing RFP review team will evaluate the proposals. The committee may, at any time in the evaluation process, seek clarification. The Tourism Marketing RFP review team will then review all responses and other submitted materials. Finalists will be invited to make a formal presentation at a specific time and place, which may be conducted via electronic video conference. Those invited to appear for a presentation will be asked to present samples of existing work, ideas, and attitudes towards handling this account, and specific concepts to achieve the maximum return possible. Any presentation and preparation will be at the agency’s expense; speculative work, while not required, will weigh in the decision process. This evaluation will consist of, but not be restricted to, the following points:

a) The ideas, thoughts, and comments given by the agency during its presentation

b) Knowledge of the travel and tourism industry with specific examples of positive relations with clientele in this field.

c) Innovative abilities – the creation of a well-rounded strategic marketing plan; may include non-traditional solutions.

d) Media knowledge.

e) Account mix of the agency.

f) High inclination to use relevant industry research in the development of strategic planning for the basis of all campaigns.

g) The ability to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with the client.

h) For a proposal to be evaluated and considered for award, the agency must respond to this Request for Proposals by submitting all data required herein. Failure to submit such data may be deemed sufficient cause for disqualifying the proposal from further consideration for award.

i) Written or oral discussions may be carried out with all responsible offerors who submit proposals determined to be reasonably susceptible of being selected for award.

The successful agency will need to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the tourism assets of Bristol and the surrounding area, and effectively provide a wide-ranging program of marketing and communication services for deployment over a period of at least six (6) months with the potential to expand up to twelve (12) months depending on the needs of the organization. Services shall include but may not be limited to:

I. Creative Strategy & Advisory Services:

a. In tandem with the City, establish a research-based brand identity for the DMO.

b. Providing creative recommendations and direction to build upon Bristol and the DMO’s brand and advance strategic marketing goals.

c. Provide strategic counsel on marketing tactics and media mix to target audiences in order to maximize impact of advertising and marketing campaigns. Tactics could include, but are not limited to digital, print, social media, online content, experiential marketing, and other forms.

d. Develop a creative marketing strategy for implementation.

II. General Creative Services:

a. Creative development of marketing & promotional materials, including writing, editing, graphic design, and layout. Promotional materials may include visitor’s guides, brochures, newsletters, event materials, and branded merchandise, among others.

b. Development of an attractively branded initial microsite to provide general information such as a virtual visitor’s guide, receive and track traffic from digital marketing initiatives, direct visitors to partner attractions and amenities, and provide a point of contact for inquiries.

c. Digital and content marketing, including website content, email content, social media, and sponsored content opportunities.

d. Video production

e. Photography

III. Campaign Development & Execution:

a. Managing the campaign development and execution process from planning and advice, creative concepts, design, content development, deployment, measuring results, and developing reports. Campaign measurement should employ industry standard evaluation tools such as Google Analytics and others to gauge performance of both digital and traditional components.

b. Providing recommendations on how to improve performance for future marketing activity. Examples of potential projects that could be executed in the next 6-12 months might include:

1. Enhancing Bristol’s positioning as a tourist destination and refining key messages.

2. Digital marketing campaigns to attract new visitors & residents to Bristol.

3. Development of a comprehensive visitor’s guide for digital and print distribution.

4. Social media influencer campaign to highlight key destinations, attractions, etc. in Bristol.

5. Development of video and photography assets to support content marketing.

6. Development of advertising templates to support reactive marketing opportunities.

Due Date:

June 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm ET


Department of Administration Purchasing Division 801 Anderson Street P. O. Box 1189 Bristol, Tennessee 37621-1189 (423) 989-5528 City of Bristol, Tennessee

Relevant agencies to consider include Quinn PR and Magrino PR.

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