Oklahoma Looks for Rainmaker

The public agency charged with bringing new business into Oklahoma has issued a request for proposals for its estimated $1 million annual marketing account.
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is asking advertising agencies to submit credentials and bids for its mandatory review by April 14, according to the rfp. The contract for incumbent Jordan Associates in Oklahoma City expires June 30.
The marketing assignments up for grabs are primarily direct mail and highly targeted magazine placements for company executives involved in corporate relocation decisions, according to Sherry Vance, the state department’s director of marketing and communications.
A prebid conference is set for March 30 for all interested agencies. Vance said the account review will not be restricted to in-state shops. The client expects to select up to five finalists in early May.
Jordan Associates vice president and public relations director Peggy Sealy said the agency plans to defend the business. It has been the incumbent nine of the past 12 years, interrupted by a three-year break in 1993-96 when Littlefield Marketing & Advertising in Tulsa, Okla., held the account.
Vance said the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s challenge is to attract potential corporate relocations to a state hindered by a low profile. “We have a difficult time often getting people to recognize us,” said Vance. She noted the recent campaign was in keeping with Gov. Frank Keating’s unofficial mission to highlight a “new Oklahoma” and its diversified industrial base. “We’re not just about oil, gas and cowboys,” said Vance.
The current tagline, “A business decision you can live in,” may be retained, depending on creative proposals submitted, said Vance.
Besides ads in corporate relocation trades and consumer publications like Red Herring and Fast Company, the ODC has also utilized Jordan for trade show work, promotions and business receptions.