Jacksonville steps up Super Bowl campaign

JACKSONVILLE, FL: With roughly eight months to go, the city and various groups involved in Super Bowl XXXIX here are gearing up efforts to formulate and promote an image for the city that will attract tourists and business development.

JACKSONVILLE, FL: With roughly eight months to go, the city and various groups involved in Super Bowl XXXIX here are gearing up efforts to formulate and promote an image for the city that will attract tourists and business development.

Four different PR agencies - DCI out of New York; CKPR; St. John & Partners, a local shop; and the locally based Dalton Group, are doing work for either local governments or business groups.

The Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee, a volunteer organization, recently completed a media audit with its agency, Dalton, to find out what type and level of coverage the city is receiving. The audit results will help the committee better target media relations efforts moving forward, said Kevin Punsky, the PR account supervisor at Dalton overseeing the effort.

The audit found that while the Florida city is getting extensive coverage in its native Southeast and in the Midwest, less coverage is coming in the West and Southwest, so more media-relations efforts need to be targeted to those areas, Punsky said.

Jacksonville recently hired Dalton to help it create a brand image for the city, Punsky said.

Jacksonville has tried a variety of slogans in the past such as Bold New City of the South, Florida's First Coast, and The River City, but a recent perception study found that "the city doesn't really have a perception one way or the other" among Americans, Punsky said. "We want to put a face on Jacksonville."

Heather Surface, communications director for the host committee, said the panel commissioned the national perception survey in January and plans another in the fall and a third after the Super Bowl February 6, 2005.

"The Super Bowl provides us this diminishing window of opportunity" to promote Jacksonville, she noted.

While Dalton is working with the committee and the city, CKPR was hired recently by a convention bureau is nearby St. Johns County. DCI is working with a Jacksonville chamber of commerce and the city also has been working with St John & Partners, Surface said.

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