South Dakota hires two firms to promote state tourism

PIERRE, SD: The South Dakota Department of Tourism has chosen Sioux Falls' Lawrence & Schiller and Kansas City-based MMGY Global to promote the state. The two contracts are worth up to $7.5 million combined.

PIERRE, SD: The South Dakota Department of Tourism has chosen Sioux Falls' Lawrence & Schiller and Kansas City-based MMGY Global to promote the state. The two contracts are worth up to $7.5 million combined.

Lawrence & Schiller's contract, which is worth up to $5 million, includes development of the department's overall creative strategy, production of traditional media such as broadcast and print ads.

MMGY Global's contract, valued at up to $2.5 million, includes digital marketing strategy and placement, market research, and communications strategy. It must also assign an experienced social media specialist to manage, maintain, upload, and respond to all social media interactions.

The firm will also provide social media monitoring, including that of online conversations on third-party blogs, forums, Facebook, Pinterest, micromedia, and photo and video uploads. The length of each contract is three years, with the option of two, one-year renewals.

Twelve firms from across the country submitted written proposals, from which eight were chosen to give oral presentations in Pierre.

Lawrence & Schiller, an incumbent on the account, is “proud of the success we have shared with South Dakota Tourism and are excited to continue our partnership together,” CEO Scott Lawrence said, in a statement.

Both firms are expected to help the state grow its tourism industry and increase visitor spending, said Jim Hagen, secretary of the Department of Tourism, in a statement.

There have been 1.1 million visitors to national parks in South Dakota this year to date. This represents a 12.9% increase through June of this year compared with the prior year.

The state of Ohio hired Fahlgren Mortine and Ron Foth Advertising last month to promote it as a tourism destination in neighboring states. The combined contracts were worth up to $6.4 million.

Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported that Lawrence & Schiller will assist South Dakota with PR services, including key message development and providing content for an online newsroom. We regret the error.

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