DCI replaces Rubenstein on Miami tourism account

LOS ANGELES: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has hired a new firm after working with New York-based Rubenstein & Associates for more than a decade.

LOS ANGELES: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has hired a new firm after working with New York-based Rubenstein & Associates for more than a decade.

New York-based Development Counsellors International (DCI) will officially take over the account starting next month, but it has already begun work. Rubenstein's contract will end this Friday, September 30.

The account was won after a competitive RFP process. It is a one-year contract, renewable for two additional years, and is in the six-figure range annually.

Rubenstein decided not to compete in the pitch, said Jeanne Sullivan, associate VP of the bureau.

The agency did not immediately return calls for comment.

Sullivan added that the 16-member committee that judged the candidates was impressed with DCI's experience and reputation.

"They have a very diverse, experienced staff," she noted. "The committee felt that would represent Miami, which is a very diverse city, very well."

Peggy Bendel, DCI SVP and account lead, said part of her firm's pitch included an updated approach to the organization's annual media event in New York in November.

Her firm suggested creating a "speed dating" forum, for which media would meet with GMCVB representatives one-on-one for quick pitch sessions.

Sullivan added that the bureau had been happy with Rubenstein's efforts, but was looking for a way to take its marketing further.

Rubenstein was hired in 1992 to help combat Miami's then-prevailing image as a crime-plagued city after shootings involving tourists. "Over the years, it evolved into them helping us with proactive pitching and publicity," said Sullivan.

DCI specializes in economic development and tourism marketing, and represents more than 300 destinations, including Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and New Orleans, among others.

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