LOS ANGELES--Tourism Queensland has drawn the ire of agencies by valuing a one-year nationwide PR campaign at just $50K.

The organization is hoping to drive improved US visitor numbers to the Australian state of Queensland, home of the Great Barrier Reef.

According to a copy of the RFP, five agencies have been asked to respond to the brief, which calls for a comprehensive programme covering travel, leisure and B2B. The scope of services includes strategy, media relations and event promotion, as part of an overall plan to “secure coverage in the most influential outlets” and “build aspiration for the destination.”

The budget set for the programme is a maximum of $50K, which has already led to at least one firm dropping out of the process.

“They have a pretty unrealistic expectation on what they’d like,” said one source familiar with the situation. “They have a total fee budget of $50k for a 12 month assignment. They want Oprah type coverage. Realistically they need to pitch this at around $20k per month.”

Tourism Queensland rose to prominence within the PR industry when its ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign took top honours at the Cannes PR Lions in 2009. International director Shana Pereira said the organisation is in contact "with a number of agencies that are currently working on proposals."

She also said that "if there are other agencies who are interested in pitching for our business, we would love to hear from them as to what they can achieve within our budget."

Separately, Tourism Australia has finalised its domestic PR roster, selecting 11 agencies. Four agencies - Avviso, Haystac Public Affairs, Horizon Communications Group and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide - retain their place on the panel.

The quartet are joined by seven newcomers: Burson-Marsteller, Crossman Communications, Fleishman-Hillard Australia, Mango Communications, Morris Walker, PEPR and Porter Novelli Australia.

Those seven take the place of the following previous incumbents: The Reputation Group, Red Agency, Gavin Anderson & Company, Sefiani Communications Group, Pinque, CPR Communications & Public Relations, and Royce Consulting,