Geoffrey Weill retains Israel Ministry of Tourism account

NEW YORK: The Israel Ministry of Tourism has retained Geoffrey Weill Associates as PR AOR in North America after a competitive review process.

NEW YORK: The Israel Ministry of Tourism has retained Geoffrey Weill Associates as PR AOR in North America after a competitive review process.

Gail Barzilay, national PR director for the organization in the US, said the ministry selected Weill, its incumbent agency since 2006, after an RFP. The firm will handle both PR and social media outreach.

Five agencies participated in the RFP process, said Mark Liebermann, assistant VP at Weill. He added that the firm has five staffers working on the account in New York, as well as one full-time employee based in Israel.

“Our goal in our continued work with Israeli Tourism over the last five years is to heighten awareness of Israel as a destination for the sophisticated traveler, in addition to the existing markets of religious tourism, leisure, and adventure travelers, and travelers in search of new culinary destinations,” he said.

Weill has “significantly” expanded the ministry's use of Facebook and Twitter in the past year, said Lieberman, adding that it plans to work more often with bloggers next year. The firm is inviting food and wine, travel, art, and music bloggers on trips to the country in 2012 to experience the country firsthand. The variety of bloggers will represent “all the elements that Israel offers,” said Liebermann.

He added that the agency will also pitch media in new ways.

“We're working on several high-profile TV hostings to shoot on location in Israel in 2012,” he said.

Liebermann said Weill will continue to run regional marketing events in the cities where the ministry has offices, including New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

Prior to hiring Weill in 2006, the ministry was without an agency for two years. 5WPR was its AOR in 2004, but Weill handled all PR efforts for the organization from 1999 to 2003.

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