Tourism PR & Marketing Firm Sought In Washington State

Kent, Washington has issued an RFP for a tourism marketing company for the city’s tourism program, Visit Kent. Kent, Washington is located in the heart of the Seattle-Tacoma metroplex, 19 miles south of Seattle and 19 miles northeast of Tacoma. Incorporated in 1890, Kent is the second-oldest and third largest city in King County with a population over 125,000. Kent is the sixth largest city in the state of Washington. Kent is a major industrial and economic driver for the region, home to nearly 5,000 businesses including Boeing, Oberto Sausage, Blue Origin, Amazon, Flow International, Tazo Tea and one of five Starbucks roasting plants. It is the fourth largest manufacturing and distribution center in the United States.

Kent is also home to ShoWare Center, a 6,500 seat, 154,400 square-foot multi­ purpose arena. Completed in 2009, ShoWare Center is home to the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, Tacoma Stars of the Major Arena Soccer League and the Seattle Mist of the Legends Football League. The first LEED Gold multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena in the nation, ShoWare Center hosted 220 events, sold nearly 296,000 tickets and had 414,000 visitors in 2015. Last year ShoWare  ranked 95th  in the United States and  181st  in the world for  concert arenas, according to Pollstar.

The city is in need of tourism promotion and marketing services and seeks to create and implement multi-media tourism marketing services that will result in increased business and number of tourists to the City of Kent. The city would like for these efforts to build upon the previously completed multi-step branding exercise (see ‘brand statement’ attachment), providing a consistent representation of Kent that  balances the need for an increase in overnight hotel stays as well as enhancing local, regional and national awareness, shedding unfavorable stereotypes and shifting perceptions of a place among audiences consistent with the common vision for Kent’s   future.

Scope of Work:

Strategic assessment – Review the current strategy that is in place and make recommendations for adjustments or changes that need to be made, including but not limited to target  audience,  marketing channels,  marketing  opportunities, etc.

Website – Refresh and manage the city’s tourism website – – to promote local businesses and events to residents, visitors and businesses; develop content for the website; update and enhance the website  with new event  information; link the website to the City of Kent and other regional travel promotion sites; ensure the site and content utilizes good SEO practices; and website-related opportunities  and functions .

Social Media – Maintain existing social media sites to support tourism marketing efforts and recommend additional social media platforms that may be suitable. Update and enhance social media platforms regularly with new, relevant content and engage potential visitors and  residents.

Publications – Develop, design, deliver and distribute marketing collateral materials  to build awareness  of Kent’s positive attributes  and attract   visitors.

Branding. Advertising and Media Relations – Create content; utilize print, online, radio and video to target travelers; submit regular news releases to local media regarding events; create and implement innovative promotional campaigns to drive visitors to visit local businesses; identify potential marketing needs of the city by analyzing available advertising media to determine suitable advertising  media for  the city; and other related branding and advertising  activities.

Market Research – Track website and social media analytics and report on them regularly; track advertising success rates via click throughs, website landing pages, etc; and submit  regular  reports on  marketing efforts.

Communication – Regularly communicate with the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and other key stakeholders to advise of progress and opportunities, make recommendations, convey concerns and listen to ideas and suggestions offered by relevant individuals and entities.

Proposals are due by Wednesday, May 27, 2016 to:  Ben Wolters, Economic & Community Development Director City of Kent, 400 West Gowe Street Kent, WA 98032,

PR firms with operations in the State of Washington include Allison + Partners, Waggener Edstrom (WE), and Ogilvy PR.

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