Williamsburg Tourism Council (WTC)/Visit Williamsburg Issues Advertising RFP

The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to enter into an agreement (“Agreement” or “Contract”) with a qualified creative and paid media agency to provide creative marketing and media services for Visit Williamsburg. The organization’s objective is to increase overnight visitation to the Historic Triangle, a travel region comprised of three municipalities – City of Williamsburg, York County, and James City County.


Senate Bill 942 created the Williamsburg Tourism Council, which became operational in July 2018. The statute increased sales tax by one percent in Williamsburg and James City and York counties. Those dollars are collected by the state Comptroller’s Office and 50 percent is directed to the Council for marketing, advertising, and promoting the Historic Triangle. The Williamsburg Tourism Council replaced a destination marketing program once administered by the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. Although restructured, the Alliance remains in-tact – serving as a holding company to two councils – the Tourism Council and the Business Council. Each Council has a separate and distinct program of work and budget.

DMO leadership was announced in March 2019; subsequent focus includes: organizational transition/development, procedure creation/refinement, and procurement activities.

Scope of Work:

Visit Williamsburg is seeking a single Contractor (Offeror) to serve as the DMO’s agency of record from December 3, 2019, to June 30, 2021, with four one-year options by the WTC to extend the contract.

Using a $12 million funding level, proposals must be based on a 13-month period of time and address all deliverables outlined within this document, including strategic planning, creative development and production, editorial content for owned/earned media channels, media planning and buying, search, and digital (including website development, hosting, and maintenance).

Deliverables will be produced for the WTC to meet business objectives, i.e. increase overnight visitation and tax revenue. Additionally, WTC will share creative assets with the region’s tourism suppliers for use in promotional efforts.

In some instances, the Contractor may choose a subcontractor(s) to perform these services – at other times, WTC may request the hiring of a specific subcontractor to perform these services. WTC must provide final approval of all subcontractors chosen.

The Contract will be non-exclusive. WTC reserves the right to otherwise provide or contract for any of these services via some other source.


                • Dedicated, daily account management team with in-depth attention to organizing, planning, supervising, and reviewing all WTC projects and budgets

                • Dedicated creative and production staff focused specifically on the WTC account

                • For the term of the contract, to include a renewal period, Contractor will not change primary or secondary staff assigned to the WTC, with the exception of employee departures, without         WTC’s prior written permission• The WTC will have the ability to interview and approve new           staff assigned to the account

                • Participate in planning and budget review meetings with the WTC to ensure direction and        budget adherence

                • Lead weekly status meetings

                • Development of specific reports that may include Campaign Reports, Weekly Status, Budget Updates, etc.

Strategic Planning

                • Prepare strategic plan(s), facilitate strategic planning sessions, and engage in consumer studies

                • Utilize available research, prior media plans, campaign reports, and industry trends

                • All strategy must be based on sound research

                • Solicit input via strategic planning sessions with key stakeholders

                • Assist WTC staff in sharing the plan, including presentations, participation in select meetings, and hard copy materials

                • Develop and execute industry cooperative marketing program to extend WTC’s reach and to                 provide industry partners effective and affordable paid media opportunities

                • Provide WTC industry partner outreach regarding cooperative advertising opportunities and   media education

                • Determine and report Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Creative Development

                • Create and deliver brand via paid, owned, and earned channels

                • Vehicles include, but are not limited to broadcast/video, digital, print, event and brand              activations, social media, and out-of-home

                • Creative must promote the region’s tourism attributes


                • Execute campaigns that accurately address the region’s product and brand positioning

                • Create and inventory photography/video assets

                • Maintain timelines and meet deadlines while keeping all appropriate WTC staff informed of    project status

                • Assets will be used in all creative execution, public relations, sales, and international marketing

                • Maintain and utilize a detailed Rights Management Program for photography, video, music,    and talent

                • Develop policies and procedures for industry use

Media Planning and Buying

                • Develop annual media calendar and paid search advertising

                • Media buying and execution

                • Negotiation, placement, trafficking, invoice management/reconciliation, budget management,             and daily/weekly updates

                • Provide schedule to WTC in advance for written approval

                • Include private sector cooperative marketing campaigns to support overall strategy

                • Pay media costs prior to reimbursement by the WTC

                • Implement tracking mechanisms in order to measure KPIs

                • Provide ongoing counsel relative to media consumption habits International Marketing

                • In coordination with WTC staff, work with global travel trade and U.S.-based receptive              operators to promote tourism product

                • Represent the region at select trade shows and events

                • Develop marketing and sales materials, as well as destination training presentations


                • Develop creative strategy across digital, social, and mobile channels

                • Create responsive website designs, connecting users to the brand and advertising campaigns

                • Implement and maximize content management solutions across WTCs portfolio of websites

                • Ensure compliance and accessibility across all WTC websites

                • Provide hosting services for all WTC websites

Due Date:

October 30, 2019



Travel PR firms are Hunter PR and 5WPR.

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