V&T Commission (VTC) Issues Public Relations RFP
The Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway is seeking to retain the services of a PR firm to direct and coordinate all V&T Marketing/Public Relations/Communications.
In 1870, Nevada’s first short-line railroad, the Virginia and Truckee Railroad (V&T), was completed between Carson City and Virginia City. Two years later, the track was extended to Reno to connect with the transcontinental Central Pacific Railroad. The V&T was the brain child of William Sharon, William Ralston, and D.O. Mills of the Bank of California in San Francisco. They feared that Adolf Sutro’s plan to drain the Comstock mines of water through an ingenious tunnel would adversely affect the bank-held monopoly of mills along the Carson River. William Sharon petitioned the Nevada legislature and received funds to build the railroad. This calculated move stalled the tunnel’s completion for many years. The line served to haul ore from Virginia City to the mills in Carson City, lumber from the Sierra Nevada, and passengers traveling between Virginia City, Carson City, Reno, and Minden (south of Carson City). The V&T operated from 1869 until 1950.
In 1972, Robert C. Gray, who was one of the passengers on the last train to Virginia City in 1938, sought to rebuild the V&T as a tourist line. After gaining approval from Storey Commission, reconstruction of the line began from F Street to the Eastern portal of Tunnel #4. The railroad’s first operating season was 1976. Work continued on Tunnel #4 until it was reopened in the late 1980s. The Gray family continued to work on the line, and in 1991, reopened the part of the line between Virginia City and Gold Hill Station.
As early as 1993, interest in rebuilding the route beyond Gold Hill had been expressed by the State of Nevada. The state set up a commission to rebuild the line, known as the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway.
Officials with the Commission held a “silver spike” ceremony January 3, 2006, in Carson City to commemorate the completion of two miles of track near Gold Hill. The construction, completed in September 2005, is part of an effort to restore the V&T’s mainline from Virginia City to Carson City for operations. Then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), who was instrumental in securing $10 million in federal funding for the project, and Nevada Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt, who secured an additional $1 million in state funding for the project, both spoke at the ceremony. On August 14, 2009 the ceremonial first run from Virginia City to Carson City Eastgate Station occurred for VIPs. On the 15th and 16th the line opened to the public.
Currently, the V&T Railway Commission has an independent contract with the Virginia Truckee Railroad to provide excursion services which include regularly scheduled steam and diesel trains, as well as special event trains like the Polar Express, all departing from the Eastgate depot in Carson City. This agreement also includes providing excursion services with passenger coaches in 19th century period appearance.
Scope of Work:
- Strategic planning.
- Build messaging that can be used in various channels including earned media, social media and paid traditional media to geo-target key audiences through timely/relevant channels to drive awareness, create an emotional connection and educate on key actions, and drive traffic to the website.
- Develop a social media strategy using relative platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
- Develop and pitch storylines and press releases, fact sheets and industry highlights to the media; coordinate media interviews & press conferences.
- Support communication efforts (i.e. blog posts, eNewsletters, etc.).
- Develop and maintain targeted media lists (local, trade, national and international).
- Maintain ridership database for Virginia City Tourism Commission (VCTC), Carson City Culture & Tourism Authority (CCCTA) and the V&T Commission (V&TC).
- Strategic research and plan development.
- Concept development, including quality graphic design.
- Develop original copy (text), copywriting and editing.
- Media planning & buying: media negotiations, client meetings, phone calls and correspondence related to specific media plans/buys.
- Create coordinated advertising campaigns (print, broadcast, digital, online, email, etc.) to include written plan, including objectives, audience description, strategies, tactics and budgets.
- Creative strategy and design (collaterals, reports, advertising and visual display, broadcast or social media materials).
Website development and maintenance:
- Rebuild, redesign and maintain the V&T Railroad website to include a comprehensive ticketing module, and allow for more robust data analytics.
- V&T website requirements:
- Convert and/or redesign substantial amounts of existing content to allow for an easily integrated, seamless transition to an enhanced web site to include increasing website speed and capacity to allow for concurrent users.
- Include an integrated ticketing module with robust data analytics. Ticketing and analytic reporting must be accessible by mobile devices 24/7.
- Confirm audiences, objectives, graphic look and feel, navigation, site marketing, technology issues and assumptions, required functionality, phasing, and budgetary constraints, resulting in a creative brief.
- Disclosure of web site information architecture, graphic look and feel, user navigation, home page and main navigation templates for each of the main navigation links.
- Include the functionality to build forms (contact us, event registration, internship/apprenticeship application etc.) from within the CMS.
- Use responsive design with the latest technologies to provide a consistent user interface across all devices, including App development – both Android and IOS.
- Reporting capabilities – site visitor interaction and engagement.
- Allow visitors to sign up for email newsletters, using opt-in and opt out procedures.
- Support internal staff in use of web-based content management system (CMS) to update content using tools and templates.
- Provide site log reports to help measure and understand visitor behavior in order to improve web site performance and availability; including, but not limited to: Web traffic analysis – Path analysis – Visitor trends – Page views.
Account Management & Reporting:
- Meet with VCTC and CCCTA staff as needed for the purposes of carrying out initiatives.
- Maintain internal procedures that ensure budget control, prompt billing and quality control, including but not limited to auditing invoices for space, time, preparation and services.
- Prepare cost schedules and project sheets for advertising expenditures and other related costs and secure the approval from V&T Commission and/or V&T Manager for all expenditures with regard to authorized advertising by submitting preproduction estimates.
- Assign and aid in the prosecution, application, registration, and defense of all applicable intellectual property.
- Provide weekly status reports, or as otherwise requested, to the V&T Manager updating the progress of all projects.
- Provide monthly, quarterly and annual performance cost analysis for investment.
- Develop analytical data reports and KPI’s in collaboration with V&T Commission and/or V&T
March 16th, 2018
c/o Chris Kipp, Operations Manager
Carson City Culture & Tourism Authority
716 N. Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701
Strong travel PR agencies include 5WPR and Coyne PR.