Alaska Tourism Marketing Program Media Relations RFP

The Media Relations RFP may be downloaded by clicking the"Media Relations RFP" button below. All proposals must be submitted and received by Friday, May 12, 2017 - 5:00 pm AST. No late submissions will be accepted or considered.  

Questions should be emailed to Sioux-z Marshall at smarshall@alaskatia.org by April 20, 2017. All questions and answers will be posted here.

Please visit the RFP home page for more information.

Media Relations RFP

 

Media Relations RFP Questions & Answers

Q 1: I was wondering if you have an agency of record currently, and if so, who that is?

Answer: Brilliant Media Strategies is currently the advertising agency on record.

AKA Direct is currently the fulfillment / data agency on record.

Dawley & Associates is currently the website agency on record.

Thompson & Co is currently the public and media relations agency on record.

Q 2: We noted the deadline is this Friday, April 20th, which unfortunately isn’t enough time for us to put together a thoughtful proposal. Is there any flexibility in your submission process?

Answer:  The question deadline is this Thursday, April 20.

The proposal submission deadline is May 12, 2017.  

Q 3: How many copies of the RFP would you like submitted? Do you want them in writing or digital format?

Answer: Proposals must be submitted in digital format. Only 1 copy is needed.

Please email to smarshall@alaskatia.org .

Q 4: How many project meetings will require our presence during the year of the contract?

Answer: The Alaska Tourism Marketing Board (ATMB) regularly meets twice a year. In person participation in not required. ATIA makes available the opportunity to call into these meetings. Selected contractors are also expected to participate in telephonic sub- committee meetings, which can happen frequently, up to 4-6 a year.

Q 5: Are you looking to pay hourly fees for staff members or a monthly service fee/retainer?

Answer: Proposals may include costs developed through either a hourly fee structure or a monthly service fee / retainer. Selected contractors will work with ATIA’s executive team to determine the payment structure included in potential contracts. 

Q 6: Is there a page limit to the proposal?

Answer: No 

  • Q 7: Can you explain how you’re going to score the 25 points under the cost proposal? For instance, highest points to lowest cost?
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    Answer: The proposals will be at the review of a committee of the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board (ATMB). ATMB members will have the opportunity to score up to 25 points for Section 5 e) budget and description of costs.
     
  • Q 8: What KPIs are you specifically looking at to measure the program against on page 6, section 3, Scope of Work? Clarification on this would be appreciated.

     

  • Answer: KPI’s can include reach, distribution, media hits, numbers of articles, media representatives, etc. Proposers should be encouraged to suggest industry trends and/or norms in reporting KPIs.

  • Q 9: For clarification on status and ROI reports, page 6, section 3, Scope of Work, are you looking for both monthly status reports and monthly ROI reports?

    Answer: ROI could be included in a monthly status report.

    Q 10: Page 6, section 3, Scope of Work, under crisis planning, in the event of an actual crisis, will there be extra budget allocated, or will this be part of the core budget?

    Answer: For the purposes of this proposal, consider in the event of an actual crisis there is no extra budget or expenses. In the event of a crises, additional funds may become available.

    Q 11:  Page 9, section 5, you note special skills in relation to multi-cultural, multi-language experience; Is international media assistance a part of this proposal?

    Answer: Yes. International media assistance can be considered part of this proposal. Please describe any multi-cultural and multi-language experience.

    Q 12: Page 10, section 6, you state that preference may be given to proposers with an Alaska business license, do we need to include a copy of our business license in the proposal?

    Answer: Yes, please supply a copy of your Alaska business license.

    Q 13: How many media placements were secured during this past year? Do you have statistics on total number of placements? impressions? circulation?

    Answer: From July 1, 2016- Dec 31, 2016 (two quarters)
    Article Totals: 675
    Impressions:  968,505,299
    Media Value:  $46,717,632

    Q 14: How important is it for the agency to have a physical office in Anchorage (or elsewhere in Alaska)?

    Answer: ATIA does not identify a specific rating or points toward a potential vendor having a physical office in Alaska. Rather, it is ATIA’s goal to adhere to purchasing practices that will result in high quality goods and services at a competitive price and that are delivered on an approved timeline.

    Q 15: Which geographic markets are being targeted? Global? US & Canada only? US only? Any particular states or provinces?

    Answer: Alaska’s geographic markets have focused on outreach to the domestic U.S. market and Canada. However, in the past, Alaska has had overseas representation offices that have generated media inquiries from the UK, German speaking Europe, Australia, China and Japan.

    Q 16: Can you please confirm who your current agencies are and if this is a mandated review?

    Please refer to Q11 under the Advertising RFP Q&A. The RFP process is not mandated, however ATIA is using this year as an opportunity to review marketing goals and strategies. In addition, as ATIA assumed management of Alaska’s tourism marketing program, we are following a Board of Director approved purchasing policy which includes a request for proposal process.

    Q 17: Can you share with us your Website analytics?

    This information will become available when we post the Digital RFP.

    Q 18: What keywords are part of your SEO strategy/matrix and which have proven to be most successful for increasing traffic to TravelAlaska.org?

    At this time, this is information that involves our market competitiveness and is not available.

    Q 19: Have you leveraged trade show opportunities to build media connections?

    Yes. The program has included representation at trade shows where media connections are made.

    Q 20: Would you be open to sending appropriate representatives to meet with press if the proper opportunity is identified?

    Yes

    Q 21: Is there a certain budget expectation that you want to reach with pay-for-play opportunities?

    In an ideal scenario, the pay-for-play would be self-sustaining.

    Q 22: You mentioned that some PR efforts may involve pay-for-play opportunities. Historically, has this been a significant piece of your PR efforts? If so, roughly what percentage of your PR efforts have fallen into this category?

    ATIA is moving more toward involving pay-for-play opportunities throughout the program. At this time, there is no percentage guideline or limit.

    Q 23: Does the cost of the annual media event fall outside of the RFP or is that inclusive? What was the rough cost of last year’s event?

    The media event is inclusive.

    Q 24: Is the stated budget inclusive of travel costs for journalists travelling on media tours to Alaska? Or are those costs budgeted separately?

    The travel costs for journalists are inclusive.

    Q 25: You define your target market as empty-nest baby boomers. Are you open to pursuing additional target markets?

    Yes.

    Q 26: Could you provide an example of a past media plan that you have adopted and executed.
    Could you share more information re: what types of campaigns you’ve run, and the timing?
    Are there certain times of the year that are more relevant than others?

    Please refer to Q15 in the Q&A for past marketing plans.

    Q 27: Regarding the media budget, why the decrease in ad spend from previous years?

    While we did not want the decrease in state funding for Alaska tourism marketing to be a limiting factor for potential proposers and creative recommendations, the program has experienced significant decreases in funding in the last two years.

    Q 28: For seasonality purposes, is Summer visitation a priority? If so, by how much in terms of visitor growth/revenue goals? 

    Alaska has promoted year – round tourism and highlighted both summer and winter activities. ATIA is seeking creative strategies that reach our target market to be included in your proposal.

    Q 29: If able to share, what is the budget allocation for the print vacation planner fulfillment piece?

    Please refer to Q5a and Q5b in the Advertising Q&A.

    Q 30: How much preference is given for Alaska business license agencies over outside organizations?

    Please refer to Q14 under the Media Relations RFP Q&A.

    Q 31: What is meant by accessibility under section 6, final paragraph?

    A successful vendor will have a representative available for project meetings throughout the life of the contract.

    Q 32: In section 5, subsection E, it lists to include a detailed budget description of costs in the proposal. What type of costs are needed in the proposal phase?

    A detailed budget for all creative ideas and plans will be reviewed by the evaluation committee. Proposers should include all applicable costs.

    Q 33: In the Scope of Work on page 6, in the final bullet you say that "research" is included. Please explain what you mean by research in this context.

    Any research a contractor needs to conduct in order to conduct media analysis.

    Q 34: When you say that a representative must be available for project meetings, ATMB/ATIA and committee meetings, can you be more specific about the form you want us to be represented (in-person always vs. via phone or web) and how many meetings this may entail per year?

    A successful vendor will have a representative available for project meetings throughout the life of the contract. This does not necessarily mean the representative must be in person. The Alaska Tourism Marketing Board (ATMB) regularly meets twice a year. In person participation in not required. ATIA makes available the opportunity to call into these meetings. Selected contractors are also expected to participate in telephonic sub- committee meetings, which can happen frequently, up to 4-6 a year. 

    Q 35: Would you likely consider an East Coast agency given the lack of proximity to Alaska?

    A successful vendor is not required to maintain an office in the state of Alaska. The evaluation committee will consider any proposer that meets the minimum qualifications and has the experience and creative energy that fit the program needs.

    Q 36:  The RFP states an assumed annual budget of $750,000 for the proposal. Is this just for PR and is it inclusive of agency fees, media events, press trips, agency travel fees, etc?

    Yes, this is the estimated budget for media relations. It is inclusive of all expenses.

    Q 37: While the RFP is not inclusive of social media, is it inclusive of influencer engagement (both paid and unpaid- which can often fall under PR)?

    It is not inclusive of social media, however proposers are encouraged to suggest other strategies to reach influencers.

    Q 38; We understand ATIA has targeted baby boomers as the primary audience in the past, however, are you open to expanding to additional groups, including millennials?

    Alaska’s primary visitor market is baby boomers; however, we are open to considering expanded markets with solid ROI indicators.

    Q 39: With regards to crisis communications, is ATIA looking for the proactive development of a comprehensive crisis preparation plan and strategy at the onset of the relationship or only reactive support to crisis situations?

    For this process, ATIA is looking to maintain a crisis plan and support implementation in potential crisis situations.

    Q 40: Is there a set limit to the number of media FAM trips each year?

    This would be determined by a proposers recommendation, budget, approach.

    Q 41: Should the budget breakdown be reflective of the assumed $750,000?

    Yes.

    Q 42: Is the scope of work for PR outreach to American media only or are you looking for international press coverage as well? If it’s the latter, can you please share the other target countries for press?

    International media assistance and strategies can be considered as part of this proposal. Please refer to Q15 under the Media RFP Q&A.

     Q 43: What additional information can you provide about your target visitor? Do you have priorities within key segments (based on behavioral, geography, etc.)?

    Please refer to the main Alaska Tourism Marketing Program RFP page at http://www.alaskatia.org/marketing/Alaska_Marketing_RFP_Home for additional research and resources about Alaska’s target visitor. You can also review past marketing plans under Q15 of the Advertising RFP Q&A page.

     Q 44: Are there key attitudinal or mindset differences between your visitor segments that you can share with us?

    Please refer to the main Alaska Tourism Marketing Program RFP page at http://www.alaskatia.org/marketing/Alaska_Marketing_RFP_Home for additional research and resources about Alaska’s target visitor. You can also review past marketing plans under Q15 of the Advertising RFP Q&A page.

     Q 45: What are your current strategies/tactics in place around media relations? What is working well/not well and why? What needs to work harder for ATIA?

    Please refer to the main Alaska Tourism Marketing Program RFP page at http://www.alaskatia.org/marketing/Alaska_Marketing_RFP_Home for additional research and resources about Alaska’s media relations strategies. This year, more than most perhaps, we are looking for the most efficient and effective strategies to leverage our limited resources.

     Q 46: What challenges/successes have you experienced with national media events in the past?

    Alaska has a wealth of diverse stories to share with national media. A challenge this year will be to host successful events, continuing to attract high quality media and in the most effective way, using limited resources.

     Q 47: What are some of your top priorities in terms of promoting attractions/tourist draws during the contract term?

    We are always looking for ways to highlight year-round opportunities and experiences. Whether the story is about Alaska’s cruise industry, our National Park and Forest lands, experiencing the Alaska – Canadian Highway, fishing one of Alaska’s pristine rivers, viewing the Northern Lights, taking a back country adventure: one of our priorities is to present the overall destination to potential visitors.

     Q 48: Which travel, news and/or lifestyle publications are on your wish list for coverage?

    ATIA is seeking recommendations and encourages creative solutions through this RFP process. We are looking to potential proposers to suggest the best publications that fit our target audience(s) and goals.

     Q 49. Have you executed an influencer/FAM tour program before, and did it deliver against your target coverage or other KPIs?

    Yes, Alaska’s marketing program has included many influencer / FAM tours and these have been evaluated against identified KPIs.

     Q 50: Have you leveraged social media (paid boosting) and/or native advertising to boost editorial coverage secured through media outreach?

    Yes, Alaska’s digital media efforts have included these strategies.

     Q 51: What role do you see media integrations and native advertising playing in media relations? 

    ATIA is seeking recommendations and encourages creative solutions through this RFP process. We are looking to potential proposers to suggest how they would integrate various and comprehensive strategies.

     Q 52: How have you measured success when it comes to media relations?

    Please refer to Q13 under the Media Relations RFP Q&A. Proposers are also encouraged to suggest industry trends and norms in measuring ROI and success.

    Q 53: The RFP asks about special skills such as multi-language experience and/or multi-cultural communications. Which languages are of priority to you from a PR or advertising standpoint? And from a multicultural standpoint, what are your priorities?

    Please refer to Q15 under the Media Relations Q&A as well as to Q9 under the Advertising RFP Q&A.

     Q 54: What was the 2015-2016 budget for media relations—and how was that split between agency fees and out-of-pocket expenses?

    Please refer to Q19 under the Advertising RFP Q&A.

     Q 55: When you say “assume a $750,000 budget,” what allocation do you see between fees and out-of-pocket expenses?

    Please refer to Q19 under the Advertising RFP Q&A.

     Q 56: What percentage of your annual budget do you expect to allocate between earned and paid?

    Please refer to Q19 under the Advertising RFP Q&A.

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