Saturday, October 24, 2009

Benicia OKs marketing contract

Benicia OKs marketing contract
By Tony Burchyns
Posted: 10/24/2009

BENICIA -- The City Council has unanimously approved a marketing contract aimed at bringing more people to the city.

The contract for roughly $280,000 was awarded Tuesday to Wolf Communications for a 20-month marketing campaign to promote Benicia's scenic waterfront, historical sites, lodging, glass and fine art studios, shopping and other attractions.

Mayor Elizabeth Patterson said Thursday in a release, "I am pleased to be moving forward" and "the agency will help us attract more people to spend 'A Great Day by the Bay.' "

Council members have defended use of taxpayer money during hard economic times as a chance to spend money to make money. They say the plan is tied to economic development goals.

"This decision doesn't come without risk ... but there is more risk in doing nothing," Councilman Mark Hughes said Tuesday.

The cost of the contract includes advertising buys, such as magazine ads and drive-time Bay Area radio spots.

Wolf also will provide content for the city's tourism Web site (, design an array of visitors' guides and work with other Benicia groups to promote the city.

"Over the next 20 months, Wolf Communications will be working closely with the city and other stake holders to spread the tourism message and increase the revenue to the city," Benicia Economic Development Manager Amalia Lorentz said.

Traditional and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, will be used to reach potential visitors, and results will be tracked, Lorentz added.

Wolf was one of 12 firms to submit marketing proposals. The Benicia Economic Development Board majority backed Wolf after interviewing six finalists.

The firm has experience in developing tourism marketing campaigns for clients such as the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, Calistoga Chamber of Commerce, Santa Rosa's Economic Development Department, Santa Rosa Main Street and other local agencies and groups.

Contact staff writer Tony Burchyns at or call (707) 553-6831.