Visit California puts social media under review

ICUC, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, currently handles the tourism organization's social media work.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

SACRAMENTO: Visit California has issued an RFP for social moderation and a request for bid (RFB) for social strategy and content creation services.

ICUC, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, had all of Visit California’s social media work. But the tourism group decided to break the work up in order widen the potential pool of applicants.

"We are doing social moderation separately because it’s hard to have the infrastructure to carry out moderation the way we want to do it," said Gwynne Spann, Visit California’s director of consumer content. "But there may be a lot of talent from a social strategy standpoint that won’t have that infrastructure."

Spann said the work went up for bid now because of Visit California’s internal rules, not because it was unhappy with ICUC’s work.

"We could end up with ICUC," she said. "They do have the strategic chops. If we find they come forward with a powerful bid and if they continue to be the agency for moderating, they’d have both businesses. But who knows?"

Bidding for the moderation account ended last month with three applicants Spann wouldn’t name. She mentioned the incumbent "expressed interest," suggesting ICUC was one. 

The moderation RFP lists an annual budget of $400,000.

Bidding on strategy and content ends May 25, she added.

"There are already three proposals in my inbox," Spann said. "But I anticipate getting six or seven."

Spann expects a variety of firms to compete, but generally smaller rather than larger ones.

"I would say [so far] we’ve got smaller boutique digitally-focused agencies and some are small boutique social-only agencies," she said. "I’ve not gotten proposals from any of the large companies yet. But we usually do see some from companies like the Edelmans or that ilk. It’s not a huge dollar contract and a larger company may have to ask if it’s worth its while to submit."

Spann said the content and strategy contract is worth $175,000, but added that the account could earn the winner some recognition, given the work.

There’s no hard deadline for announcing the winners, Spann said, but the fiscal year for Visit California starts July 1 and she expects to announce the winners before then.

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