June 25, 2018
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BIA hires new PR, marketing firms

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor International Airport has awarded three-year contracts to new marketing and public relations firms, and it didn’t even have to leave Maine to do so.

Swardlick Marketing Group of Portland and Sutherland Weston of Bangor will provide their respective services to the airport, BIA announced late last week.

“We are pleased that two Maine companies were chosen by the selection committee,” Airport Director Rebecca Hupp said. “Both agencies offer their own unique qualifications and a wealth of experience to develop and strengthen the airport’s marketing and public relations programs.”

City councilors had approved the contracts in mid-June and were similarly pleased that two in-state companies emerged from the pool of proposals.

“It’s nice that we recognized that there is talent right here,” Councilor David Nealley said at the time.

Earlier this year, BIA terminated a contract with Paradise Advertising and Marketing, a Florida-based firm that was hired in late 2007 to produce radio and print ads for the airport. According to airport officials, Paradise did little during the length of its contract and what it did produce was sub-par.

When hired, Paradise projected that its costs to the city would be about $3,125 a month with a maximum fee of $5,000 per month. It wasn’t clear this week how much the city has paid to Paradise during the last 15 months.

With the new contracts, BIA Marketing Director Risteen Masters said Swardlick and Sutherland Weston will not charge monthly fees but will bill for services instead.

Sutherland Weston will be tasked to develop and implement a strategic public relations plan and social media plan for BIA.

“We are very pleased to be working with [BIA] as they are one of the key elements of Bangor’s economic development,” said Elizabeth Sutherland. “We feel our public relations expertise, neighbor status and loyalty to the city of Bangor is the perfect combination to provide [BIA] with a quality partner.”

Swardlick will be responsible for designing and carrying out marketing and ad campaigns to promote BIA and its airline carriers.

“We have a depth of understanding of the challenges facing Bangor International and a strong understanding of the market segments and key players of the aviation industry,” said Steve Mason, Swardlick’s managing director.

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