COLUMBUS, OH: The Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism has selected DAR Public Relations to launch a multicultural campaign.
The 18-month agreement calls for DAR to provide research and education on the scope and potential of the market, execute tourism-related events and media outreach, and develop and execute a marketing plan.
Claudia Vecchio, the state's tourism director, said she wants to put a heavy focus on PR tactics for this campaign.
"PR is the primary way we talk to our targets, no matter who the audience is," Vecchio said. "It provides the most effective and customized way to reach someone."
She added that she wants the agency to focus more on media relations, events, and generating news coverage than on buying TV and print ads.
"From a tourism marketing perspective, we will be more successful if we can create a customized message and campaign that speaks to people in a way they can relate to," Vecchio said.
Dannette Render, president of DAR, noted that the first stage of the campaign would be a six- to eight-month research analysis of the three target audiences: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
The analysis will include information on the size of the market, their travel habits, whether or not they travel to Ohio, and what they know and don't know about the state.
Render noted that the agency would develop the campaign based on its findings, but could not offer a specific launch date.
The multicultural marketing effort will be integrated into the state's "Ohio ... So much to Discover" general market campaign.
Columbus-based firm Fahlgren handles advertising and general market outreach.