Washington State Tourism Brand RFP

The Washington Tourism Alliance is happy to announce the release of an RFP to find a qualified entity with branding expertise to create a statewide tourism marketing brand. A copy of the RFP can be found here. The RFP includes the objective, scope of work, submission requirements, budget, timeline and selection process.

We wanted to make sure that you as tourism professionals had a copy of this document. Please feel free to circulate it to anyone who you think might be interested and qualified. Thanks for your assistance in getting the word out!

The WTA is seeking a Marketing Contractor

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

Marketing Contractor

May 15, 2019

Responsible for identifying market opportunities and developing short and long-term marketing strategies with objective of attracting overnight business and promoting destination awareness and brand recognition across Washington state.  Additionally, present campaign strategies, executions and insights to internal and external stakeholders.

Creative Responsibilities:

  • Develop and manage multi-channel, regional and national leisure advertising and/or  marketing campaigns
    • Including media plans, creative, budget, reporting, etc.
    • Track all campaign activities and ROI for reporting purposes
  • Manage day-to-day activity of outsourced marketing agency
    • Including media plans, creative and billing
    • Track all campaign activities for reporting purposes
  • Assist/work in tandem with communications committee in managing travel media relations
    • Media database and clipping service
    • Release and newsletter distribution
  • Present campaign plans and insights to WTA Board/Marketing Committee and internal/external stakeholders

Social Media:

  • Lead the social media team:
    • Be the voice of the state when appropriate
    • Identify new opportunities to grow fans and followers
    • Look for ways to integrate different channels of social media into all aspects of the business

Brand development/Implementation:

  • Assist in development of the state destination brand
  • In conjunction with agency, develop brand tool kit and essential platforms
  • Be a brand steward, ensure continuity in our marketing message and voice

Web Site:

  • Manage and continuously enhance and improve Experiencewa.com by adding features, evaluating analytics, speaking with stakeholders and researching competitors (in industry and out).

Digital Content:

  • Develop suite of prepared digital content in various formats
  • Create needed digital content across WTA programs, or as appropriate for partner uses
  • Develop and implement digital marketing campaigns

Miscellaneous:

  • Work with WTA board, members and partners to create strategic marketing partnerships
  • Utilize research to provide perspective on market opportunity growth
  • Stay up-to-date on marketing, advertising and social media trends to ensure marketing department stays inspired and current
  • Research and stay current on competitive landscape – provide perspective on creating points of differentiation
  • Perform other related duties and assignments as required

Contract Requirements:

Four-year degree from an academic institution or comparable work experience

Five+ years of related experience in senior- level marketing

Excellent interpersonal, writing, presenting and communications skills

Experience managing advertising campaigns either from client-side or agency-side required

Experience in travel and tourism marketing

Knowledge of marketing as related to the travel and tourism industry

Knowledge of the travel and tourism industry and its importance to the state economy; ability to understand the role of WTA across the state

Strong organizational and time management skills; ability to handle multiple tasks and projects simultaneously.

Ability to exercise initiative, judgment, diplomacy and maintain confidentiality in a wide variety of internal and public situations.

  • Excellent interpersonal, writing and communications skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Contractor must have State of Washington Business License showing UBI number and have been in business for at least three years
  • Ability to work remotely for extended periods, as needed

Schedule and Terms:

  • Contract is from June 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 for a fee not to exceed $50,000 or $8,333.33 monthly
  • Contractor shall provide progress reports monthly
  • Contractor shall provide a Certificate of Insurance for Commercial General Liability and Automobile Liability with limits no less than $1,000,000 for each

Apply here

Contact: Mike Moe, mike@watourismalliance.com

NEW EXPERIENCEWA.COM GRANT PROGRAM

The Washington Tourism Alliance is pleased to announce a new grant program dedicated to helping rural communities in Washington not served by a regional destination marketing organization. Businesses or organizations in these communities will have an opportunity to showcase their business or event through ExperienceWA marketing programs for FREE!Throughout the summer, each month the WTA will select three individual qualified applicants for the following opportunities:

Deals page: If your business or organization has a deal to promote this summer, like a 2 for 1 or a discount, this is the perfect option. Most travelers are still looking for special offers when planning a trip, and the traffic on our deals page proves it! Click here to see the current special offers on the ExperienceWA deals page. Value: $450

Featured Content: On the first Wednesday of every month, we send our monthly newsletter to about 30,000 very active subscribers. Each month our newsletter achieves an open rate of 20% or more! That’s an outstanding rate for this type of email. You will get a picture, headline, and description of your event or business. This is a great way to target a certain month! Value: $660

Banner Ad program: Your business or event will get 14,000 Formatted Banner ads and 21,000 300×250 ads. Compelling banner ads are a highly effective way to get the word out especially for events. Value $1,100

Please note that this program is only open to businesses or organizations in rural communities not represented by a regional destination marketing organization. To apply, download the application here and email the completed application to Mike Moe at mike@watourismalliance.com by May 20th.

WTA NEWSLETTER – April

INTRODUCING THE 2019 OFFICIAL WASHINGTON VISITORS’ GUIDE

With peak travel season in the Pacific Northwest just around the corner, the Washington Tourism Alliance is excited to share details of the newly-published 2019 Washington State Visitors’ Guide, created through a partnership between the Washington Tourism Alliance, Washington Hospitality Association and SagaCity Media. Now in its 20th year, the guide is designed to lure travelers to Washington State and serve as a visitor guide once they’re here.

This special anniversary edition of the Washington State Visitors’ Guide focuses on adventures and indulgences throughout the state. The guide opens with “WAnderlust,” an overview of the state packed with fantastic photography and stories that showcase the diversity of experiences that await our guests. From hiking trails to hot springs resorts, wildlife spotting to wine tasting, and from whitewater rafting to waterfront dining, this introductory section highlights the best of the Evergreen State. 

The guide also includes detailed explorations of ten distinct regions: Greater Seattle, North Cascades, the Islands, Peninsulas and Coast, the Volcanoes, the Gorge, North Central, Wine Country, Northeast, and Southeast. Each section offers insight into the region’s unique character with suggested itineraries that cover local attractions, shopping, dining, and signature events, plus accommodation listings and a map of the area. 

This is invaluable tool for discovering Washington. To request copies for distribution, email the publisher at washingtonguide@sagacitymedia.com. Also, planning for the 2020 Washington State Visitors Guide has already begun. For advertising opportunities, contact Jeff Adams at SagaCity Media on 206-454-3007.

WTA SEEKING BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPLICANTS
Mike Moe, Managing Director

As the Washington Tourism Alliance grows in its role as statewide destination marketing organization, new leadership opportunities are available. The WTA is now accepting applicants to fill vacancies on the WTA Board of Directors. There are two regional positions open:
Northeast Washington which includes Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Spokane Counties.

South Puget Sound which includes Pierce, Kitsap and Thurston Counties
There are also vacancies in the Restaurants, Retail, Tribes and Arts and Culture sectors.

Our Board members are asked to play an active role in the organization’s strategic marketing initiatives, destination development programming, and industry outreach, support and partnership development. Because of these important responsibilities, we ask you to consider the following criteria when making your decision.

Board member time investment:

8-12 Board meetings per year (quarterly in-person and regular conference calls)
Several Committee meetings per year
Annual two-day board of directors retreat (November)
Annual tourism industry summit/tourism conference
WTA member events

Board member financial investment:

Travel to meetings [held at various locations in Washington State]
Board retreat registration [room, travel + some meals]

If you are interested in a leadership role, please complete and email me an application, your resume, and a cover letter. The deadline to apply is May 7th.

LAST CHANCE TO JOIN THE WTA AT IPW
Diana Thibado, Director of Operations

Would you like to have a presence at the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW? The WTA will be there and we invite you to participate with us by including your information on thumb drives that we will distribute during our appointments.  For just $75 for WTA members ($150 for non-members) you can have one PDF formatted fact sheet included on the thumb drive PLUS two digital images of your destination, attraction, product or service. If you are interested, please email me asap. Materials are due May 1st, 2019. 

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

CONGRATULATIONS TO FORMER WTA BOARD MEMBER, KIM BENNETT, ON RETIREMENT!

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES

Want to brag about something your destination was recently recognized for? Have news that impacts Washington State tourism? Please add the WTA to your distribution news list! We’re always looking for story ideas for the WTA monthly newsletter! To submit a story idea, email Diana Thibado at diana@watourismalliance.com.



WTA NEWSLETTER – February

WHAT’S NEXT

Mike Moe, Managing Director  

Since long before signing the state tourism marketing contract with the Washington Tourism Marketing Authority and the Washington Department of Commerce, the WTA has been developing a list of priorities. Building a statewide destination marketing organization from scratch requires a strong foundation and there is much to do in 2019. For now, the WTA will still be led by a hard-working group of industry experts that sit on our board of directors. The board has formed committees that will take the next steps to create an effective organization.

Partnership

The success of the WTA will be determined by the strength of our partnership with the existing tourism efforts throughout Washington. WTA Co-Chair, Shiloh Burgess from the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, leads our Outreach Committee. Our state is blessed with a strong core of regional destination marketing organizations, trade associations, tribes, port authorities, chambers of commerce, and businesses that provide the tourism product to our visitors. In the coming months, we will be doing everything we can do to strengthen our existing relationships, introduce ourselves to those unfamiliar with the WTA, and create value for our partners. If you are interested in having a WTA representative speak to your group, please contact me at mike@watourismalliance.com.

Consumer Travel Marketing

Led by our other WTA Co-Chair, David Blandford from Visit Seattle, the goal of our marketing committee is to create and implement a statewide tourism marketing program that positions and achieves incremental tourism growth for the destination, including visitor volume, expenditures, tax receipts and jobs. The process will include re-development of a state destination brand that will strategically position Washington State with target markets and serve as a foundation for myriad campaigns and programs in marketing, advertising, content and communications.

Travel Trade

Engaging the travel trade sector is one of the most efficient ways to spread the news about what we have to offer as a state. Led by Ron Williams from Visit Walla Walla, our travel trade subcommittee has identified five travel trade shows that the WTA will participate in for 2019, starting with Go West at the end of the month. This committee is also tasked with developing itineraries and seeking opportunities for familiarization tours throughout our state.

Digital Marketing

Our digital marketing subcommittee is chaired by Andi Day from the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau. This committee will lead consumer travel social media efforts, develop a consumer e-news and content strategy, identify digital marketing opportunities and initiate the process of evolving our consumer facing website. While the website, ExperienceWA.com has served us well over the past seven years, the goal is to re-design and update its functionality for users. We will fully integrate the improved website with our new brand.

Travel Media Development

This subcommittee is made up of experts in the communications field from throughout the state and is led by Christina Pivarnik from CP Communications in Port Townsend. This committee was formed last summer and has already been successful in generating editorial media coverage of Washington destinations to travel writers and creating media leads for our partners. Upcoming projects include rebuilding a much-needed state photo and video library.

The challenge to build something new is daunting, but it’s never been more exciting to be a part of the Washington Tourism Alliance as it transitions to the state’s official destination marketing organization. Since the inception of the WTA, professionals from corners of our state and sectors of our industry have united behind this vision. We will continue to depend on the unity of our industry and the strength of our partners to build an organization that will represent our amazing state. If you would like to join this effort, please email me at mike@watourismalliance.com.

We have hit the ground running, but there is still so much more to do. We are only getting started!

WTA WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS

Diana Thibado, Director of Operations

As the WTA heads into 2019 and begins work on the statewide tourism marketing program, we welcome four new board members from around the state.

Mary Kay Nelson has served as a professional in tourism marketing and non-profit organizational management for over 20 years in Washington State.  Nelson began her extensive career in tourism by building strategic partnerships with businesses and other non-profit organizations as well as governmental agencies.  She started the Lewis County Visitor and Convention Bureau and created a regional marketing effort for the Southwest Washington Region. Since then, Nelson has gone on to become active in Washington Scenic Byways program successfully creating the White Pass Scenic Byway program and South Cascade Loop, where she continues to serve as the Marketing Director.

Michael Novakovich is President and CEO of Visit Tri-Cities. He grew up supporting tourism-related businesses, starting work for his family’s graphic communications company at the ripe old age of 10. While new to the DMO world, he is a tireless advocate for tourism and a champion of community. Michael has over 25 years of professional leadership and management experience with a focus on strategy and marketing, continually leading teams to international, national and regional award recognition for marketing initiatives and strategic endeavors.

Peter Schrappen serves as the Vice President and Director of Government Affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, which represents the state’s $4 billion boating industry. He’s a big believer in associations and recently became a Certified Association Executive. Before his time at NMTA, he spent time working for and then lobbying the state legislature. He serves on several boards and commissions, including board chair of the Big Tent Coalition (which represents the state’s $28 billion outdoor recreation economy) and the Washington Maritime Federation, which speaks for the Evergreen State’s $38 billion overall-maritime business community.

Sandy Ward, a 30+ year veteran of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry is the President & CEO of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. Prior to joining the Bellingham Bureau, she served for a dozen years as the founding sales and marketing director for the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour in Everett, WA. She was the founding executive director of the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau where she served for nine years and was appointed by Washington’s Governor Christine Gregiore to s erve as a member of the Washington State Tourism Commission. In 2007, she and four others founded the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA).

Welcome to the WTA Board!

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

INDULGE IN RED WINE & CHOCOLATE IN THE LAKE CHELAN WINE VALLEY

SAN JUAN ISLANDS: WHALE WATCHING UPDATE

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK AND SEQUIM AMONG FROMMER’S 19 PLACES TO SEE IN 2019

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES

 

Want to brag about something your destination was recently recognized for? Have news that impacts Washington State tourism? Please add the WTA to your distribution news list! We’re always looking for story ideas for the WTA monthly newsletter! To submit a story idea, email Diana Thibado at diana@watourismalliance.com.