South Dakota Department of Tourism - sitemap

2017 RFP – Advertising, Marketing & PR Services

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is seeking the professional services of a single marketing agency, or multiple agencies, with extensive experience in tourism marketing to work as collaborative partners in the development, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive marketing program to promote South Dakota as a travel destination to regional, national and international markets. This RFP is to identify the most qualified agency or agencies to carry out all aspects of the South Dakota Department of Tourism’s advertising and marketing objectives.


Request for Proposals
RFP# 935

(PDF – 285 KB)

Deadline to Submit Proposals:
Monday, May 22, 2017, 5:00 p.m. CST

Questions should be directed to James Hagen, South Dakota Department of Tourism, at All questions and responses in regard to the RFP will be posted below, as received.

The deadline for submitting inquiries or questions is Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. CST. Responses will be posted on or before Monday, May 8, 2017.

Questions & Answers

(The newest questions and responses will be added at the bottom.)


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# 1

Q:   Whether companies from Outside USA can apply for this? (like,from India or Canada)

A:   We prefer our successful vendors to be based in the United States.


# 2

Q:   Whether we need to come over there for meetings?

A:   Yes, as stated throughout the RFP, vendors will be expected to participate in monthly meetings in Pierre, South Dakota.


# 3

Q:   Can we perform the tasks (related to RFP) outside USA? (like, from India or Canada)

A:   No.


# 4

Q:  Can we submit the proposals via email?

A:   No (as stated in the RFP).


# 5

Q:   If we are bidding more than one component, should we submit a separate proposal per component?

A:   Yes, please submit separate proposals per component. (updated 5/2/17) One comprehensive proposal that separates and clearly identifies each Component response is perfectly fine and acceptable.


# 6

Q:   In regards to component 4, is there a budget for FAM trips that we can expect to use?

A:   Yes, we do budget for FAMS (and we do have a sizable hosting budget). The budget can vary from year to year, however we host numerous FAM tours every year and can always reallocate money from internal budgets to cover any exceptional FAM opportunities.


# 7

Q:   In regards to component 7, can you give an example of past events and budgets?

A:   We have done many activation events – with small to large budgets – in target markets and other cities throughout the country. We are more curious to hear what you propose for the future in this component based upon your research of our work and our marketing. We encourage you to read our 2016 Annual Report at


# 8

Q:   Do you have past minutes of weekly meetings that can be shared?

A:   No, we do not keep formal minutes of these meetings. During these weekly meetings, our agencies and the Department of Tourism team share updates on everything from traditional marketing to social media to public relations.


# 9

Q:   We are currently in partnership with Visit California. Is this a competitive Destination Marketing Organization to the South Dakota Department of Tourism?

A:   No, Visit California is not a competitor.


# 10

Q:   Would your offices consider a proposal to separate out PR services from the UK & Ireland and to appoint a specialist agency for these areas, separate to the regional and national PR services?

A:   No, we are not interested in a separate PR proposal for the UK and Ireland.


# 11

Q:   Would it fit your requirements to send one comprehensive proposal that separates and clearly identifies each Component response that we intend to respond to? Our agency would plan to submit 1 original, 10 copies and 1 USB as required in the RFP document. If not, is the expectation to submit 1 response for each Component, meaning 77 proposals in total (1 original and 10 copies of each), should we decide to respond to each Component? Also, if we are expected to submit a proposal for each Component do we need to include the tabs for each?

A:   Yes, one comprehensive proposal that separates and clearly identifies each Component response is perfectly fine and acceptable.


# 12

Q:   For section 5.4, first bullet: is the Agency required to provide international public relations in addition to regional and national and if so, what countries are sought for targeting, and is there additional budget to support such outreach?

A:   Our main focus in the RFP is definitely regional and national PR initiatives. If, as you are developing your proposal, you see some potential PR opportunities in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy or Australia, don't hesitate to share those ideas with us. But there is no question that your proposal should focus almost exclusively on regional and national PR opportunities. If we were ever to have an international PR opportunity, we can reallocate internal budgets to help with the initiative.


# 13

Q:   Will oral presentations take place in Pierre at SD Tourism offices or at the office of the vendor?

A:   If there are oral presentations, they will be conducted in Pierre, SD at a venue yet to be determined.


# 14

Q:  Will all vendors selected have a three year contract in place during this process or will there be shorter contracts awarded based on specific needs?

A:   All vendors will be issued three year contracts.


# 15

Q:   Can we apply for a component if we can’t comprehensively complete all pieces of the component based on our current company offerings?

A:   The Department's preference is that an Offeror be able to comprehensively complete any Component for which they are applying.


# 16

Q:   Who is the team responsible for scoring the responses? How many people will be scoring the responses?

A:   Written proposals will be reviewed and scored by senior team members of the South Dakota Department of Tourism.


# 17

Q:   Are there any crucial “must haves” or “deal breakers” you’d like to specifically see in the submissions?

A:   We encourage you to carefully read each Component as they specifically outline what we are looking for in the Offeror's response.


# 18

Q:   After the RFP process has finished, what does success look like for South Dakota Tourism? A suite of agency vendors or 1-2 agency vendors who handle most of the work?

A:   It's impossible to answer this question at this time without first reviewing and scoring proposals. Our decision on who is offered a contract (or who is offered contracts) will be based upon which Offeror (or Offerors) can best deliver the marketing services we are looking for in order to grow our marketing outreach and the South Dakota tourism industry.


# 19

Q:   Should direct costs for third party tools be included in the cost proposal or are you only looking for agency fees and commissions at this time?

A:   We are only looking for agency fees and commission costs at this time. Third party tools discussions can occur during the contract negotiation phase.


# 20

Q:   For component 5, are budget ranges for the two site redesigns required at this point in the process?

A:   No, budgets for the two website redesigns are not required at this point.


# 21

Q:   (Component Four)  How many media events in target and emerging markets did you execute in 2016/2017?

A:   Six events.


# 22

Q:   (Component Four)  And what was your approximate event budget per each?

A:   The budgets varied by market and ranged from $1,000 to $10,000.


# 23

Q:   (Component Four)  How many media events in target and emerging markets do you expect to execute in 2017/2018?

A:   That depends upon the proposals that we receive and what the Offeror recommends. Our guess it that it will be around six or seven.


# 24

Q:   (Component Four)  How many journalists and influencers do you host annually (whether via individual or group FAM trips)?

A:   30+ domestic and 30+ international.


# 25

Q:   (Component Four)  What is your expense budget to pay for air and land transportation to host visiting journalists?

A:   For the past several years we have budgeted around $40,000.



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