Arizona chooses HMA for tourism campaign

PHOENIX: Arizona Office of Tourism hired Phoenix-based HMA PR to implement a campaign in the wake of criticism over the state's controversial immigration law.

PHOENIX: Arizona Office of Tourism hired Phoenix-based HMA PR to implement a campaign in the wake of criticism over the state's controversial immigration law.

A task force selected three firms from the state procurement list before awarding the $100,000 contract to HMA during the last week of July, said Mark Stanton, deputy director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

Around 20 firms across the US initially submitted proposals. The organization has previously worked with Hills Balfour Synergy, MDP Publicity, Moses Anshell, and BJ Communications. This is the first time HMA - which works with both government and private sector clients - has worked with the state tourism office.

Arizona passed an immigration enforcement law in April that allows police officers to ask for an individual's immigration status when enforcing other laws.

Since then, the leisure and business tourism industry in Arizona has faced protests, boycotts, and conference cancelations. Most recently, a federal judge blocked several sections of the legislation.

The communications campaign, which Stanton says is expected to launch within the month, will focus on promoting “economic vitality and tourism in Arizona.” He noted that it will not address the immigration policy or issues.

Target cities include Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, New York, and Washington.

“It's a great opportunity to try to make an impression on tourism in Arizona,” said Scott Hanson, president of HMA PR.

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