DENVER: The Bermuda Tourism Authority has brought on Turner Public Relations as AOR following a competitive review.
Fifteen firms submitted RFPs for the business, said Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Bill Hanbury.
"We really did feel that Turner PR presented some very innovative and out-of-the box concepts to us, much of it based on their expertise in the travel space," said Hanbury. "At the end of the day, it ended up being a pretty easy choice for us."
The agency's personality also meshed well with the Tourism Authority, he said.
Hanbury confirmed the contract will run for a year, with an annual renewal option, but he said the organization is hoping for a long-term relationship.
"In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Bermuda was absolutely at the top of every luxury traveler’s bucket list," he explained. "It was one of the preeminent destinations in the tourism world. Over the last 20 years, we lost that. We want to go back there."
Lou Hammond & Associates previously worked with the Bermuda Department of Tourism, which dissolved in April 2014 with the creation of the Bermuda Tourism Authority. The Department was a government unit, while the recently created Authority is a private organization, according to the group’s website.
"Lou Hammond & Associates had done excellent work for us," said Hanbury. "We’ve done a very substantive change of direction and of management at the Tourism Authority here in Bermuda. We did feel it was time for us to go in a different direction."
Lou Hammond & Associates didn’t submit an RFP, said Carlyn Topkin, director at Hammond Digital +, the firm’s digital division. She added that "everyone was looking for a fresh start."
Christine Turner, founder and president of the eponymous agency, said winning the account will give the agency an "untapped opportunity to place the spotlight on Bermuda as a year-round destination."
She added that the firm will give journalists and travelers the chance to connect with the authenticity, history, and heritage of Bermuda.
Turner explained that the firm will handle digital communications, and its team will provide services including media and influencer relations, media hosting and trips, events in key US markets, co-branded marketing campaigns, and social platform strategy and optimization. Content development and influencer and guest blogging programs also fall under the agency’s responsibilities.
The firm’s New York office will lead the account, supported by team members in Denver. Turner said the agency began working on the business on June 1, so it’s in the discovery phase, which includes having staffers travel to the island to meet with the Tourism Authority.