New Mexico, which brought in a former PepsiCo executive last year as tourism secretary to reverse a low national ranking, has kicked off an open review of its tourism PR account as the state hopes to launch a new brand campaign by April.

nmThe New Mexico Tourism Department released an RFP on Jan. 3 covering strategic PR planning and consulting, media relations, and measurement. Budget is $75K through June 30, the end of the state’s fiscal year, with additional funding to be determined by the state legislature.

The tourism entity sees two key challenges which have led to the state’s No. 38 ranking for visitation – low awareness and damaging misperceptions. Top misperceptions include the views that New Mexico is not part of the U.S., that it is “a miserably hot, dry desert,” and that “there is nothing to do” there, according to the RFP.

Development Counsellors International won the last competitive pitch process for the account in 2010 to guide the then-low-six-figure account, ousting incumbent Ballantines PR.

Proposals are due Jan. 23. View the RFP at All RFPs are at

(Photo: Pecos National Park, NMTD/Mike Stauffer)