Visit Florida Seeks United States PR Agency

Visit Florida Seeks United States PR Agency

VISIT FLORIDA (“VF”) is seeking agency services for its Public Relations (“PR”) business in the United States and Canada, and its Travel Trade, Sales, and Marketing business in Canada. VF’s objective is to hire an agency (or agencies) that will seamlessly integrate with VF’s current team and campaign building process and provide strategic leadership that maximizes the effectiveness of VF’s public relations and travel trade, sales, and marketing activities in North America.

Background

VF is a public-private partnership established by the State of Florida that provides services to more than 12,000 Florida tourism industry partners (“partners”). It receives funding from the state each year which is matched dollar-for-dollar by partners through a combination of contributions, membership and service fees, and cooperative advertising participation. Public contributions include all state appropriations to VISIT FLORIDA and exclude taxes derived pursuant to Florida Statute 125.0104. The selected agency will be expected to play a role in securing event participation, creating cooperative advertising, and building promotions that support VISIT FLORIDA’s required match.

VF’s priorities include:

• Keeping Florida top of mind among target audiences;
• Protecting and growing visitor volume to Florida
• Extending visitor length of stay and increasing visitor spend;
• Increasing visit frequency and visitor retention;
• Increasing travel to emerging Florida destinations;
• Growing brand awareness and engagement; and
• Promoting Florida tourism industry alignment.

Scope of Work

Public Relations. Contractor shall provide the following public relations (“PR”) services:

Media Relations. Contractor shall:
• Collaborate with VISIT FLORIDA’s PR Department to develop PR initiatives and goals for this Agreement. At a minimum, these shall include:

  1. Identifying and executing agreements with key influencers in market to spread awareness of Florida across social media channels;
  2. Planning and executing in-market event activations;
  3. Organizing, planning, executing, and/or attending:
    i. Media Familiarization (“FAM”) Tours
    ii. Individual Press Trips
    iii. Media Missions
    iv. Media Receptions
    v. Press Conferences
    vi. Media Appointments
    • Identify and select Canadian media to attend and cover VISIT FLORIDA’s priority events, not to exceed three (3) events, which include, but are not limited to, Florida Huddle and U.S. Travel Association’s IPW;
    • Prepare press releases around major themes based upon market insights, as outlined in subsection (ii) below;
    • Prepare and proactively pitch press releases to garner earned media impressions in both traditional and non-traditional media outlets;
    • Participate in weekly calls with VISIT FLORIDA’s PR Department;
    • Provide market insight and guidance, based on demonstrated facts and research, to help grow awareness and visitation to Florida;
    • Provide creative input and ideas to develop tactics, propose strategy that drives awareness, engagement and conversion among target audiences;
    • Respond to media inquiries and influencer inquiries within 3-5 days, and share the nature of such inquiries and any results and responses with VISIT FLORIDA in Contractor’s monthly reporting;
    • Build and maintain a database of consumer media in the Canada market and facilitate introductions and communication between said media and the VISIT FLORIDA public relations staff via e-mail, phone calls, in-person appointments, and other means, including but not limited to setting up appointments with said media and VISIT FLORIDA’s executive staff
    • Work with VISIT FLORIDA’s destination and industry partners, as needed and as directed by VISIT FLORIDA;
    • Work with VISIT FLORIDA’s other agency partners including, but not limited to, domestic agency, creative agency, and other international markets’ agencies, in order to develop strategies, plans, execute elements of a campaign, align messaging, or for other reason(s) approved by VISIT FLORIDA;
    • Collaborate with VISIT FLORIDA’s staff outside the PR department, as needed;
    • Speak on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA, as directed by VISIT FLORIDA;
    • Vet foreign media and media requests on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA, by providing qualifying profiles on media contacts and media outlets: including impression numbers, examples of work (if available), and letters of assignment from editors, if applicable;
    • Monitor editorial calendars of Canadian outlets for travel story opportunities and create annual editorial calendar for VF. Proactively pitch story ideas to media in Canada via phone, email or in-person meetings, as further detailed in subsection (ii) below. Contractor should schedule and attend at least 6 appointments per quarter with in-market publications and secure at least 2 stories and/or press trips. Contractor must include details and results in its monthly reporting to VISIT FLORIDA;
    • Assemble and fulfill traditional and electronic press kits, as needed, and develop, maintain, assemble, and fulfill an evergreen press kit;
    • Forward inquiries along to the appropriate Partner to respond accordingly and copy VISIT FLORIDA staff on responses;
    • Monitor Canadian clippings and travel websites, travel blogs, and travel talk columns to include results with VISIT FLORIDA via Contractor’s monthly report; and
    • Attend networking events, such as media missions and receptions in the United States and/or Canada, as directed on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA, including Visit Florida’s Governors Conference, Leadership Summit/Encounter, Florida Huddle, IPW, and IMM NYC.

Proactive Press Releases. Contractor shall prepare press releases around major themes to garner earned media coverage in traditional and non-traditional media outlets. The Contractor shall prepare a minimum of ten (10) press releases per year. Contractor shall:
• Develop an annual editorial calendar based on target publications calendars and provide same to VISIT FLORIDA for approval. Contractor shall include a list of topics and research to support calendar.
• Write, proactively pitch to VISIT FLORIDA, and release a minimum of ten (10) consumer press releases during the term of this Agreement.
• Secure and report on earned media coverage of the press releases each month to VISIT FLORIDA in Contractor’s monthly reporting.

Individual Press Trips. VISIT FLORIDA will provide travel assistance to qualified journalists on assignment in Florida covering topics germane to VISIT FLORIDA’s goal of increasing travel and tourism to and within Florida. A qualified journalist must cover multiple destinations throughout the state. Contractor shall coordinate and facilitate a minimum of fifteen (15) individual press trips to various regions of Florida. Contractor shall:
• Recommend top journalists and publications to VISIT FLORIDA for individual press trips.
• Develop and plan itineraries for press trips, working with VISIT FLORIDA Partners to secure complimentary or discounted travel means, lodging, meals, and activities whenever possible.
• Report on earned media coverage and/or any other return on investment relating to the press trips in Contractor’s monthly reporting.

Group Media Familiarization Tour (“FAM”). Contractor shall develop and oversee two
(2) Group Media FAMs with a minimum of five (5) journalists attending for the purpose of providing the attending journalists the opportunity to experience Florida travel destinations and activities. With prior VISIT FLORIDA approval, Contractor shall:
• Recommend top journalists and publications to VISIT FLORIDA to attend FAMs; transmit to VISIT FLORIDA a list of journalists with biographical and publication details.
• Develop and plan itineraries for FAM tours, working with VISIT FLORIDA Partners to secure complimentary or discounted travel means, lodging, meals, and activities.
• Arrange airfare for journalists, send approved itineraries and updates to journalists, and advise journalists of expectations.
• Provide staff to attend FAM tours in representation of VISIT FLORIDA.
• Follow up with journalists to secure a minimum of 500,000 earned media impressions per FAM tour.
• Contractor shall secure two (2) Canadian media to attend a pre- or post-Encounter FAM at a date to be determined by VISIT FLORIDA.
• Provide to VISIT FLORIDA a report, which shall include (but shall not be limited to) FAM highlights, a list of participating Partners, a list of participating journalists (with information such as first and last name, publication/company name, title and any other relevant information), earned media impressions, estimated return on investment, and any other relevant information.

Canada Media Mission. Contractor shall coordinate and implement a minimum of one media mission that includes a minimum of one media event per key market that provides VISIT FLORIDA Partners an opportunity to network with key media outlets in specified Canadian markets. In furtherance of this goal, Contractor shall:
• Provide options for media mission and media event dates. The mission and reception should tie into a travel trade or PR event, whenever possible.
• Secure a minimum of thirty (30) top journalists for the mission and related events.
• Develop presentation materials for VISIT FLORIDA
• Secure venue, speakers, event equipment, decorations, and food and beverages necessary for the mission and reception.
• Develop and submit run-of-show itinerary
• Work with VISIT FLORIDA PR team to secure a minimum of three (3) Destination Partners.
• Provide staff to represent VISIT FLORIDA during mission and reception.
• Provide to VISIT FLORIDA, which shall include highlights, a list of participating Partners, a list of participating journalists (with information such as first and last name, publication/company name, title and any other relevant information), estimated return on investment, and any other relevant information.

Canada Media Reception. Contractor shall coordinate and implement one media reception in one key Canadian market that provides VISIT FLORIDA Partners an opportunity to network with journalists and influencers. In furtherance of this goal, Contractor shall:
• Provide options for media reception dates and locations. The reception should tie into a travel trade event or brand campaign, whenever possible.
• Secure a minimum of thirty (30) top journalists and influencers.
• Develop presentation materials
• Secure venue, speakers, event equipment, decorations, and food and beverages necessary for the reception.
• Develop and submit run-of-show itinerary
• Work with VISIT FLORIDA PR team to secure a minimum of five (5) Destination Partners.
• Provide staff to represent VISIT FLORIDA during reception.
• Provide to VISIT FLORIDA a report, which shall include highlights, a list of participating Partners, a list of participating journalists (with information such as first and last name, publication/company name, title and any other relevant information), estimated return on investment, and any other relevant information.

Canada Influencer Campaign. VISIT FLORIDA will work with qualified influencers to create and publish Florida content germane to VISIT FLORIDA’s goal of increasing travel and tourism to and within Florida. A qualified influencer must cover a minimum of two destinations throughout the state. Influencer trips should align with integrated campaigns, when possible. In furtherance of this goal, Contractor shall:
• Coordinate and facilitate a minimum of two (2) influencer trips to various regions of Florida.
• Recommend top influencers to VISIT FLORIDA.
• Negotiate deliverables and contract with influencer.
• Develop and plan itineraries for influencer trips, working with VISIT FLORIDA Partners to secure complimentary or discounted travel means, lodging, meals, and activities whenever possible.
• Report on social media coverage and/or any other return on investment relating to influencer trips must be included in Contractor’s monthly reporting.

Travel Media Association of Canada (“TMAC”) Conference. Contractor shall develop and execute media activities at the TMAC conference and sponsor a TMAC monthly meeting. In furtherance of this goal, Contractor shall:
• Schedule 20+ media appointments for VISIT FLORIDA staff during TMAC conference.
• Create and distribute media kit at TMAC conference.
• Attend TMAC and assisting with appointments and other on-site details.
• Provide to VISIT FLORIDA a report, which shall include highlights, a list of participating Partners, a list of participating journalists (with information such as first and last name, publication/company name, title and any other relevant information), estimated return on investment, and any other relevant information.
• Secure sponsorship of TMAC monthly meeting.
• Create and distribute media kit at TMAC monthly meeting.

Due Date

February 25th 2019

Contact

Meg Yariv, Senior Transactional Counsel
purchasing@visitflorida.org
Subject Line: North America PR/Trade RFP
850-583-5661