NEW YORK—Ruder Finn has won the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) account, beating out finalsists Hill & Knowlton, Ketchum and Porter Novelli. According to Richard Funess, president of Ruder Finn/Americas, the two-year contract, which began on October 1, has an estimated annual budget of more than $1 million.
Headed up by Gail Moaney, executive vice president and director of the travel and tourism practice, the program involves offices in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
“The winning proposal, ‘The Genius of Jamaica,’ spotlights the unique elements that make Jamaica special: its architecture and design, art, music, literature, natural beauty, cuisine, performing arts, sports and its wide variety of accommodations including small inns, villas and hotels,” says Funess. “The proposal also showcases Ruder Finn’s Interactive capability to create innovative ways to build traffic on the JTB’s new website.”
Understanding the significance of reputation management and identifying the strategic advantage of focusing attention on Jamaica’s diverse accommodations were key elements that set the agency’s proposal apart. Media relations, promotions, marketing partnerships, television and film outreach, special events, crisis communications and a re-imaging program were presented as part of an integrated campaign to bring “The Genius of Jamaica” to life.
“Ruder Finn’s program was the overwhelming choice of the 18-member selection committee,” said Paul Pennicook, director of tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board. “The committee concluded that Ruder Finn had the best handle on Jamaica’s needs, understood our issues, and was not afraid to talk to us about the good and the bad. The ‘genius’ of this program is its innovative thinking and how it’s applied to increasing tourism in our country. Ruder Finn was agency of record for the Jamaica Tourist Board in 1981 for six years and we are excited about this selection.”