SANTA FE, NM: The New Mexico Tourism Department has selected Tucker & Associates as its PR partner following a search process that began last fall. The firm is initially signed to a two-month-plus contact, but the state can extend that relationship for three years.
“We have awarded the PR contract to Tucker & Associates,” said Veronica Valencia, director of marketing and communications for the department. She did not respond to further inquiries about the process.
Lori Tucker, president of Tucker & Associates, said the $75,000 contract will run through June 30. At that point, the department will decide whether to sign the agency to a three-year deal, she added.
“Everything we're doing is to reflect all the wonderful things there are to do in New Mexico,” said Tucker. “It's a story of adventure and connectivity, and we describe them as adventures steeped in culture. The whole perception of New Mexico is that it is dry and there's not much to do, but it's the polar opposite of that.”
With a team of two staffers in its New York office and five employees in its Dallas headquarters, the agency is promoting state attractions, such as historic ruins and caves, star gazing, wine making, shopping, and art, to consumers around the country, Tucker said. She added that her firm will not target any in-state media, but focus on out-of-state and national outlets.
On June 16, the tourism department will launch a national “ad-branding” campaign developed by ad agency Vendor, New Mexico's in-house team, and Tucker & Associates.
The PR firm will also engage bloggers in categories such as mom, food, wine, and travel, she added. It will also support the department's social media efforts and rewrite its press kit.
The agency will also execute a New York City media event for New Mexico Tourism, said Tucker, adding that the firm has more events planned before June 30.
New Mexico Tourism's former agency, Development Counsellors International, did not respond to the RFP, according to an agency representative.
Last year, the department said it was seeking an agency for long-term support with an account budget of approximately $120,000.