Port Royal to vet 5 companies interested in marketing town

emoody@beaufortgazette.comNovember 26, 2013 

Port Royal Town Hall

STAFF PHOTO

Members of Port Royal's Redevelopment Commission will interview representatives from five companies interested in marketing and branding the town.

The companies responded to a commission request for proposals this fall. Their responses are not being made public, but the names of the companies are Arnett Muldow and Associates of Greenville; Turnberry Consulting of Washington, D.C.; SmartMarketing Communications of Hilton Head Island; Rawle Murdy Associates of Charleston; and The Brandon Agency of Myrtle Beach.

The commission met this month to decide how to pick a proposal. It asked town manager Van Willis -- who called the responses "quality" -- to set up conference calls or in-person meetings, which are now set for Dec. 5 and 6.

The commission intends to give each company an hour, with time for a pitch and responses to a set list of questions. Commissioners will score their responses.

A decision is not expected immediately after the interviews. However, once it's made, the commission's recommendation will be presented to Town Council for consideration, possibly by Dec. 11.

"I won't walk in with favorites," commission member Anne-Marie Adams said. "I will know who is most expensive. I will know who did the best job in covering the request in the RFP.

"But the advantage to a pitch is I get a better concept of their work."

Commission members intend to set meetings and include residents' input in any marketing efforts.

Town officials say the town needs to distinguish itself from the city of Beaufort and Beaufort County to help promote tourism, create jobs and increase home sales.

The branding and marketing plan should be ready for presentation to Town Council on April 9, according to the request.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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