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Texas Museum Seeks Storyteller

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The state of Texas is looking for an agency to promote its newest attraction, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Requests for proposals have been circulated to an unspecified number of agencies in Texas. The proposals are due Tuesday, Aug. 22.

The size of the account has not been disclosed, but agencies will be asked to create an eight-month grand opening campaign for the museum based on a budget of $300,000. That amount includes everything from print, radio and television advertising to tourist brochures, interior signage and a Web site.

A public relations contract is being issued separately, although agencies may include credentials in that discipline in their presentations for consideration.

The State Preservation Board, a commission that has been charged with overseeing the $80 million construction and operation of the museum, is conducting the review.

Scheduled to open next spring in Austin, Texas, the history museum will resemble a post-modern version of the state's famed capital building, complete with pink granite walls and a cupola. The four-story building will include a 400-seat Imax motion picture theater, a 200-seat storytelling facility, three floors of exhibit space, as well as offices, class rooms and a cafe.

The museum will function as a nonprofit organization after its opening and will receive no further financial assistance from the state. The center plans to attract 1,700 visitors a day and have gross revenue of $5.8 million in its first year of operation.

In the first phase of the review ending Tuesday, proposing agencies are to submit their credentials and describe their experience with start-up campaigns and with either nonprofit, large-format theater or hospitality industry marketing.

Three agencies are expected to be selected later this week to advance to a final round. In this phase, the contenders will present a promotional campaign with samples of marketing collateral including brochures, print advertising and media kit materials. The campaign is expected to center around the museum's designated subtitle, "The story of Texas."

The presentation may also include plans for an elaborate celebration, possibly including a parade and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A winner will be designated by Sept. 15.