Public relations contract for Dana Point Harbor approved

A $300,000 contract to provide public relations services for Dana Point Harbor was approved Jan. 24 by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The supervisorial action also authorizes the current public relations agreement to be expanded by $34,000.

O.C. Parks, which manages Dana Point Harbor, outsources its public relations management to The ACE Agency.

The original contract, which went into effect in April 2016, was for $95,000. However the contract renewal reportedly includes new services worth $205,000.

“Services include the redesign, maintenance and management of the harbor’s commercial website; developing content for and managing social media accounts; coordinating between O.C. Parks’ information and commercial sites; and evaluate/calendar various public activities provided within the Harbor by boaters, merchants, operators, yacht clubs, the city of Dana Point, etc.,” county staff stated. “The additional support services are expected to improve communication and availability of information to key stakeholders, such as the Dana Point Boaters Association.”

County officials said the public relations partnership would allow the staff of O.C. Parks to support improvements and operations at Dana Point Harbor. The ACE Agency would also assist county staff with outreach and other resources throughout the harbor revitalization project.

“O.C. Parks staff identified a need to provide marketing and support services for the numerous events conducted at the harbor as well as the businesses operating in the harbor that generate revenue within Dana Point Tidelands Fund 108 to support harbor operations and capital improvements,” county staff told supervisors. “In [Fiscal Year] 2015-16, the marinas, retailers, hotel and leases generated approximately $27 million in revenue, and the events attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the harbor and fostered positive publicity, valuable public interactions and community engagement opportunities.”

The $300,000 contract will begin April 1 and continue through March 31, 2018. County staff stated the services offered in the public relations partnership with The ACE Agency would result in $4.5 million of earned value.

“The contract with ACE includes services such as development of an annual communications/public relations plan, media, social media and website support, press releases and follow-up, promotional photography and videos and advertising. These services produce an estimated earned media value of $4.5 million annually,” county staff stated in a report to supervisors.

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