The staff for Pure Michigan Travel Guide works for Midwest Living magazine in Des Moines. The guide is part of the Pure Michigan campaign, overseen by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
MEDC spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche said Midwest Living offered "the best value for the price" and "we got the most out of it." The contract includes editorial production, design, printing and partial distribution of three seasonal issues of the travel guide.
"We look at Michigan companies, we work very hard to work with Michigan companies, but we want to make sure the product we're delivering is consistent and has the quality and the distribution," Begnoche said.
Greg Philby, Midwest Living's editor-in-chief, said the magazine has the ability to strategically reach potential visitors based on ZIP codes and demographics. One million copies are printed for each issue, and Midwest Living bags 650,000 copies of the guide with its magazine.
"They want to reach the markets in the most cost-effective way," Philby said.
The magazine has a custom publishing unit, which also has published travel guides for two other states, and publishes travel-focused inserts for many states, Philby said.
The travel guide is printed in Michigan, Begnoche said.
The MEDC in the future might consider breaking down the bid, or awarding a Michigan magazine oversight of editorial content, Begnoche said.
"If someone presented that in their bid to us, it's something we'd consider in the review process," she said.