Iowa’s economic development engine is looking to grow its PR capabilities as it reaches out to agencies for a communications plan.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority released an RFP Thursday calling for pitches to develop a plan for media relations (regional, trade, national and international) and PR tactics like content development to support its marketing of the state to business.

Marketing and communications director Tina Hoffman said the IEDA previously had Burson-Marsteller handling marketing and PR but in July shifted to a local firm for marketing and creative -- ZLRIgnition -- and decided to separate out the PR functions.

Key audiences are site selection consultants and business leaders in sectors like biosciences, IT, renewable energy and advanced manufacturing.

Iowa pitches its lifestyle, business climate, as well as incentives in luring businesses. The state also wants to educate existing industry about programs supporting expansion, and reach students, young professionals and potential “relocators” and job seekers about the Iowa experience. The IEDA also wants to reach state taxpayers about the benefits of its work.

PR budget is capped at $750K annually. A one-year contract with a year-long option is slated to start in September.

Hoffman (tina.hoffman [at] iowa [dot] gov), marketing and communications director at the IEDA, is overseeing the search.

Proposals are due Aug. 3.

View the RFP (PDF).