CINCINNATI: An expanded communications staff and the possibility of taking on a PR agency of record are two consequences of a recent staff reorganization at the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Julie Calvert, who joined the bureau last year as director of communications, has been promoted to a new position, VP of marketing and communications.
She plans to hire a marketing director and a communications manager.
She also expects to switch from using PR agencies on a project basis to taking on an agency of record.
"We need to get established with an agency that understands us, she said.
Calvert's new position is one of four new VP spots recently created at the bureau. She explained, "There was a real need to communicate more about the bureau and the region."
She's now overseeing marketing directed at tourists and the convention trade. Those areas were handled by separate departments prior to the reorganization.
"It made sense to put them into one department, she said. "To do it piecemeal wasn't working for the region."
The bureau is formulating what its major message point will be as it tries to draw tourists and convention business to the city, which has had its share of bad PR in recent years because of racial unrest there.
Cincinnati streets erupted with violence April 10, 2001 after a police shooting of an African American.
"There's going to be one marketing message that's consistent. We know that we have stiff competition from cities in our area and across the nation, she said.
Calvert plans to have her two staff posts filled within 90 days. She doesn't have a timetable as yet for seeking out an agency.
The bureau reorganization grew out of a study the bureau had done in 2001 looking at its mission, strengths, and weaknesses. It has since hired a new president, Lisa Haller, who reorganized the staff.