The Wildwoods, a beach vacation region of New Jersey which attracts nine million people per year but is trying to return to its heyday of the 1950s and '60s, is on the hunt for a PR firm to pitch its turnaround and woo travelers.
The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority, which covers the five municipality area on Five Mile Beach Island on the Jersey Shore, released an RFP Sept. 21 noting that PR could have a stronger impact than advertising and graphic communications.
“Today’s savvy brand-educated market wants someone other than the owner of the brand influencing them,” reads the RFP. “Experience shows that PR, especially when limited budgets require scrutiny of every investment dollar, is the most powerful tool for building brands.”
The area, which sports free beaches and a 2.5-mile boardwalk, also competes with nearby Atlantic City, which last year revamped its tourism marketing and hired Edelman for PR.
The authority said its research has found an “emotional distance” and believes a pitch for its change back toward its roots as a vacation locale will appeal to a wider market via PR.
“It is essential we temper nostalgia with a strong message of positive evolution,” says the RFP. “Growth will depend on acquiring new and lapsed visitors and a nostalgic appeal can only go so far with these markets.”
The authority slates a two-year contract on monthly retainer. Proposals are due Oct. 16.
Firms must have three years’ experience with accounts in the convention, entertainment, tourism, hotel, resort or casino sectors, as well as three years with a destination marketing or convention bureau account.