AUSTIN — The state-run Texas tourism department has handed MMGY NJF its North American PR business, which was most recently handled by Edelman.
As Travel Texas’ North American PR and social media agency of record, MMGY NJF will be responsible for developing earned media and social strategies targeting domestic tourists, who make up 90% of Texas visitors. Out-of-state visitors were responsible for 44% of the $80.3bn Texas travelers spent in 2018.
The remit includes targeting national and regional media through proactive pitching efforts, media missions to target markets and marketing Texas travel at industry shows and conferences, according to Travel Texas’ 2020 marketing plan. Using social media and influencers to promote domestic travel, with a heavy user-generated content component, also is part of the charge.
MMGY NJF, which already has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Kansas City, will open an office in Austin to handle the business, which is the major component of Texas Travel’s global PR initiatives.
Over the past two years, Texas has dramatically slashed the money it spends on promoting tourism. In 2017, legislators cut the state’s tourism funds in half, from $67.7m in 2015 to $34m, for both marketing and research, according to my SanAntonio.com.
Working for the state, however, still could be lucrative. The Austin agency Proof Advertising won $13m from the state’s economic and tourism division for marketing work in 2018.