PHOENIX - The state hopes a public relations agency can convince people to travel to Arizona despite concerns they might have about the state’s immigration law.
The Arizona Governor’s Task Force on Tourism and Economic Vitality hired HMA Public Relations to come up with a campaign to help tackle any negative backlash caused by Senate Bill 1070.
Kiva Couchon, Communications Manager for the Arizona Office of Tourism, said HMA will help the state clarify any questions visitors might have on travel documentation as well as questions about the immigration law.
“There’s more to Arizona than just the policies that are going on,” said Couchon.
Couchon said HMA will help the task force on a state, national, and international level.
Arizona spent weeks in the spotlight over its controversial immigration law. Lawsuits, protests and boycotts cost the state millions and some now argue its reputation.
"For us it's separating the conversation from what we've been talking about as it relates to immigration and back to the benefits of what Arizona is," said Abbie Fink with HMA Public relations.
HMA Public relations is currently working on its campaign and says it will target certain cities using the media, the Internet and a grassroots effort to promote Arizona.
"Our primary goal through this effort and some of the other things they're doing is really to put accurate information out there, to share that information, and really be a source," said Fink.
HMA hopes to have the first steps of the campaign in place starting next month.
On ABC15's Facebook page, Arizonans debated whether the state needs a makeover.
Katrina Mannis wrote, "I don't think AZ's image was tarnished. In fact I think that it has improved. There are many other states looking into an SB1070 law. AZ has become a trail blazer."
But Anel Marquez disagreed, saying, "Arizona has a really negative image everywhere. I traveled to five countries and stopped saying that I lived in Arizona. The responses were negative. This is the image that SB 1070 has created."
What do you think? Is Arizona's image tarnished by SB1070 and if so, what approach should this agency take? Sound off by leaving your comment below.
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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