- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada officials are one step closer to launching a fresh new advertising blitz to promote saving for college.

The Nevada Board of Examiners, which includes Gov. Brian Sandoval, voted Tuesday to approve $800,000 in yearlong public relations contracts to promote Nevada’s 529 college savings plans and prepaid tuition program. The campaign is scheduled to launch in August and correlate with back-to-school season.

“I think we want to see year-over-year growth in accounts,” said Grant Hewitt, chief of staff for Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz, “and we want to see an increase in awareness among Nevadans that saving for college is important.”

Examiners approved a $600,000 contract with Amplify Relations to coordinate TV, radio and print promotions. The Reno-based PR firm’s clients include numerous Republican elected officials and the Nevada Health Link insurance portal.

A $200,000 contract with the Abbi Agency will pay for social media and digital marketing services. That firm’s clients include Travel Nevada, which promotes the state as a tourist destination.

Marketing money was approved by lawmakers and has long been a part of the budget and was previously divided among the individual savings programs.

But Hewitt said it makes more sense to advertise all the programs under a single umbrella because families often need more than one mechanism to save for college.

“Rather than putting those dollars into individual silos for each plan, we’re marketing college savings as a whole,” he said. “We want to give Nevadans a big picture.”

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