Two Illinois state accounts up for grabs

SPRINGFIELD, IL: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is searching for PR firms to handle tourism and economic-development assignments for the state.

SPRINGFIELD, IL: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is searching for PR firms to handle tourism and economic-development assignments for the state.

The department is currently considering six agencies to handle the b-to-b economic-development assignment, for which a final decision should come by mid-October. The department also sent out an RFP for a tourism PR agency, with a September 24 deadline.

Edelman is the state's current tourism agency, but agencies hired by the state of Illinois must rebid on contracts every three years. Edelman last won the assignment in 2001, beating out Porter Novelli, Fleishman-Hillard, and Burson-Marsteller.

The department would not comment on its spending levels, but in the past has spent around

$1.4 million annually on outside PR. That may now be split under the two assignments, as the tourism RFP details PR efforts first for Illinois, and then for drawing visitors from neighboring states Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Indiana.

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