Updated 10:03 a.m. ET, 11/13/2013
(CNN) – The chairman of the Republican National Committee sat down with a group of African-American business and community leaders in Detroit on Tuesday as part of the organization's rebranding effort to pull more voters into its column.
Reince Priebus also announced the hiring of Wayne Bradley, the host of an online radio show, to head the party's African-American Engagement effort in economically struggling Michigan and launched the Michigan Black Advisory Council.
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The RNC has hired staff for similar outreach campaigns in other states, including New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia.
"We are committed to continuing our engagement efforts in the black community and will not stop competing for every vote, year-round," Priebus said in a news release.
Although Michigan has a Republican governor, the state has voted for a Democrat in every presidential election since 1992. President Barack Obama carried the state last year 54% to 45% over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, whose father was the former governor of Michigan.
Romney won 6% of African-American voters nationwide in 2012.
Since last year's presidential election, the RNC has been beefing up its resources to reshape its message to African-Americans as well as the country's growing populations of Latinos and Asians.
Exit polls show New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won 21% of the African-American vote in last week's gubernatorial election, but Republicans struggled to make significant gains among the demographic in the Virginia governor's race. Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli captured about 8%.
Kiara Pesante, director of African American-Media for the Democratic National Committee, argued the Republican Party has long "proven that it is out of touch with the needs of African Americans."
"They have repeatedly promised to change their positions and to listen to the needs of key constituencies – and have failed," Pesante added, expressing doubt that new staff hires will make a difference.