Chamber says no to request to market city
Georgetown is currently a city without a marketer.
In May, the Georgetown Business Association and Case Solutions of Pawleys Island both announced they will no longer provide the marketing services. Their contracts with the city officially expire Sunday.
Mayor Jack Scoville appointed an ad hoc committee to come up with the criteria for a new firm to market the city to potential tourists.
The committee met recently to begin the process and decided to seek Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from interested marketing firms.
While the search for a permanent marketer takes place, the committee is hoping to find someone to do the job temporarily.
By law, the city must designate a minimum of 25-percent of the Accommodations Taxes it collects to a non-profit that will use the funds to promote tourism.
City Council was told this year that would amount to around $27,000.
Most council members said they wanted to give that money to the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce to market the city in conjunction with county marketing.
Ad Hoc Committee member Jeanette Ard said she received a call from Chamber president Brian Tucker who said they are not willing to accept the money “unless it is in writing that there will be no strings attached.”
She said Tucker wanted the assurance that the funds, if needed, could be used for administration or other purposes.
“I say any money the city designates for anything must be accounted for,” Ard said.
Committee member Brendon Barber said “anytime you apply for funds you have to have an accounting for it. We can set the standards for what the money can be used for.”
Ard responded by saying Tucker “does not want us to quibble with him if the money is used for administration.”
Tucker is out of town this week and unavailable for comment.
The search begins
Tee Miller, Georgetown’s director of Planning and Economic Development, said he has started compiling a list of what the city is looking for in a new marketing firm.
He said the firm needs to have experience with the media and an understanding of how the media operates.
Tucker also said the firm needs to be able to put together a marketing campaign from start to finish. He said they will need to be “full service” from “creative execution to media placement.”
Once Tucker completes the RFP, the information will be presented to the committee for approval before any advertising actually takes place.
By Scott Harper
Notice about comments: