Bay Area Air Quality Management District Seeks Advertising And Communications Agency

Bay Area Air Quality Management District Seeks Advertising And Communications Agency

 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) is requesting proposals from Advertising, Communications, and Survey Research to assist the Air District with its Spare the Air campaigns.

Background:

  1. Air District Overview

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) was created by the California Legislature in 1955 as the first regional agency to deal with air pollution in California. The Air District jurisdiction includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, southwestern Solano, and southern Sonoma counties. The State Legislature originally gave the Air District the authority to regulate stationary sources of air pollution, such as factories, oil refineries, chemical plants, gasoline stations, and agricultural burning. With more recent legislation, the Air District was granted authority to enact certain transportation and mobile source measures.

2. Air Quality in the Bay Area

Air quality in the Bay Area has improved dramatically since the late 1960s, due in large part to the success of the Air District’s industrial program and California’s strict tail-pipe emission standards. However, the region still experiences excesses of the federal ozone and particulate standards, and continues to exceed the more stringent health-based California air quality standards.

The Spare the Air campaigns include elements to communicate the health implications of ozone and particulates to the public and to motivate Bay Area residents to change their behavior to benefit air quality, such as limiting driving, purchasing consumer products that contain lower levels of smog forming compounds, and reducing or eliminating wood burning in fireplaces and woodstoves. As pollutants from industrial sources have been reduced, transportation, motor vehicles, consumer products and small engines now comprise about 50 percent of the Bay Area’s air pollution problem. To continue air quality improvement in the Bay Area, reducing vehicles on Bay Area roads as well as reducing residential and consumer sources of air pollution is of great importance. The Air District is encouraging the public to make positive changes in their behavior to benefit air quality such as: driving less by carpooling, taking transit and walking or biking, purchasing consumer products that contain lower levels of smog forming compounds and reducing or eliminating wood burning in fireplaces and woodstoves.

SECTION III – PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

  1. Spare the Air Every Day Campaign

Since its inception in 1991, the Spare the Air campaign has become one of the Air District’s most effective and widely recognized public outreach campaigns. During the summer months, the Air District issues Spare the Air Alerts on days when ozone pollution is forecast to exceed federal standards. During these Spare the Air Alerts, the Air District urges residents to reduce their driving by carpooling, taking transit, walking or biking to reduce air pollution. People sensitive to air pollution, such as children and the elderly, are cautioned to limit outdoor exposure. Spare the Air Alerts and daily air quality forecasts are posted on the www.sparetheair.org website, recorded on the 1 (800) HELP AIR telephone line, announced in local newspapers, and broadcast on local TV and radio stations. Bay Area residents can also sign up on the website to be notified by automatic e-mail AirAlerts, phone alerts and/or text alerts. Through the Spare the Air Employer Program, employers are encouraged to educate their employees on alternative commute options for employees and notify them when a Spare the Air Alert is called. Typically, the smog season begins in March and runs through October. In recent years, emphasis on reducing driving, carpooling, taking transit, and the promotion of electric vehicles has continued throughout the year. For more information about the Spare the Air Every Day campaign, visit www.sparetheair.org.

Goals

The goals of the Spare the Air Every Day Campaign include:

  • Reduce the number of cars on Bay Area roads by promoting commute alternatives such as transit, carpooling, walking and biking.
  • Increase compliance rates for companies subject to the Commuter Benefits Program, a program that requires Bay Area businesses with 50 or more employees to register and offer commuter benefits to all employees.
  • Motivate behavior change of Bay Area drivers to reduce their driving to minimize air pollution, particularly during the summer smog season (May – October).
  • Educate Bay Area residents and motorists about the Bay Area’s air quality problems, causes and solutions.
  • Enhance Air District and Spare the Air program identification by educating the public about the Air District and the Spare the Air program and by increasing awareness of its mission and goals.
  • Achieve measurable success in motivating individuals to reduce their contribution to Bay Area air pollution and driving less.
  • Expand Air District efforts to communicate air pollution information to non- English-speaking populations.
  • Design survey methodology and work with Air District staff to develop and refine survey questionnaires, as appropriate.
  • Coordinate data collection to follow Spare the Air Alerts, collect interviews, process data and produce topline results.
  • Promote Plug-in Electric Vehicle use and mass adoption of electric vehicles in the Bay Area.
  • Process and weigh data, analyze results, calculate emission reductions, prepare a draft report for Air District review, prepare a final report based on review comments.
  • Collect (1,500) statistically significant interviews for Spare the Air Every Day and collect data, process interviews and produce topline results.
  1. Winter Spare the Air Campaign

The nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay are home to seven million residents and an estimated 1.4 million fireplaces and woodstoves. Particulate air pollution from wood-burning appliances is the largest source of wintertime pollution and a major health concern in the Bay Area. To protect public health, the Wood Burning Rule was passed in 2008. Between November and February, when air quality is expected to be unhealthy, a Winter Spare the Air Alert is called and wood burning is banned, both indoors and outdoors, for a full 24 hours. When wood burning is allowed, residents who do burn in a fireplace or outdoor fire pit must still burn cleanly using dry, seasoned firewood, and not burn garbage, leaves or other material that would cause excessive smoke. The Air District has many ways the public can be notified about a Winter Spare the Air Alert. These include an 877-4NO-BURN hotline, phone, text and email alerts, website banners, social media sites, a widget and a Spare the Air app. The Contractor will assist with promoting these tools to help reduce wood burning in the Bay Area.

Goals

The goals of the Winter Spare the Air Campaign include:

  • Reduce wood smoke in the region through the Winter Spare the Air campaign by motivating residents to reduce the use of wood burning stoves, fireplaces and outdoor fire pits and encouraging the use of alternatives such as natural gas.
  • Achieve measurable behavior change in motivating individuals to reduce their contribution to Bay Area wintertime air pollution.
  • Inform the public about the Wood Burning Rule (burn ban, health impacts and notification methods).
  • Inform Bay Area residents about the localized impacts from wood burning to the neighborhood and community as well as inside the home.
  • Outreach and promotion of Air District wood stove change-out programs
  • Expand Air District efforts to communicate air pollution information to non- English-speaking populations.
  • Design survey methodology and work with Air District staff to develop and refine survey questionnaires, as appropriate.
  • Coordinate data collection for Spare the Air Alerts, collect interviews, process data, produce topline results.
  • Every three years (in 2020-2021) conduct in-language surveys in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese to follow Spare the Air Alerts, collect interviews, process data on episode basis, produce topline results for each episode.
  • Process and weigh data, analyze results, calculate emission reductions, prepare a draft report for Air District review, prepare a final report based on review comments.
  • Collect (1,300) statistically significant interviews for Winter Spare the Air Alerts. Collect data and process interviews, produce topline results.

Scope of Work:

Through the Spare the Air programs, the Air District encourages the public to make behavior changes that will have a beneficial impact and improve air quality.

  • Spare the Air is a behavior change messaging campaign that runs from March through October and focuses on reducing single occupancy driving and other clean air behaviors.
  • The Commuter Benefits Program was adopted by the Air District and MTC in 2014. This regulatory program requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer commuter benefits.
  • The Employer Program consists of employer coordinators informing their workforce of impending Spare the Air Alerts, educating employees about the ways individuals can improve air quality, and motivating them to take action.
  • Winter Spare the Air is a regulatory program that bans wood burning on days when a Winter Spare the Air Alert is called and encourages the public to rethink wood burning and choose clean air choices instead.

Advertising

The contractor, working with the Air District Communications Office will develop, produce and implement Spare the Air advertising campaigns (1) March through October that encourages transportation behavior change to reduce solo drivers on Bay Area roads and encourage alternate commutes such as taking transit, carpooling, walking or biking, Commuter Benefits and Employer Programs and other Spare the Air behavior change campaigns (2) November through February educate the public about unhealthy air quality conditions that occur in neighborhoods from burning wood and remind them to check when an alert is called to determine if a wood burning ban is in place. Contractor designs the campaigns, produces and implements all aspects of the advertising campaign—including concept, writing, design, production and media placement. Contractor takes part in team meetings/conference calls with Air District staff and other Air District contractors weekly or as needed.

Media/Public Relations

The contractor, working with the Air District Communications Office will develop, produce and implement media/public relations campaigns that support the overall seasonal messaging goals of each seasonal campaign. Media relations campaigns will support each seasonal Spare the Air campaign through media events, news interviews, speaking engagements, Op Eds, and other relevant messaging opportunities.

Contractor designs the campaigns, produces and implements all aspects of the media/public relations campaign—including concept, writing, design, production and media pitching. Contractor takes part in team meetings/conference calls with Air District staff and other Air District contractors weekly or as needed.

Social Media

The contractor will develop and implement social media messaging plans, promotions and contests, build social media following and manage social media messaging site posts that encourage behavior change through the (1) Spare the Air Every Day, (2) Winter Spare the Air (3) Spare the Air Employer Program and the (4) Commuter Benefits Programs.

Contractor develops social media strategies—including concept, writing, design, production and technical services. Contractor takes part in team meetings/conference calls with Air District staff and other Air District contractors weekly or as needed. Contractor will work with Air District staff to ensure social media efforts will be consistent with Air District social media outreach efforts.

Public Opinion Measurement Surveys

The contractor will measure the effectiveness of the Air District’s (1) Spare the Air Every Day and (2) Winter Spare the Air programs and assess public behavior patterns. The Contractor conducts surveys strategically year-round, on Spare the Air Alert and Winter Spare the Air Alert days and on non-alert days—when air quality is good—for both the Spare the Air Every Day (summer season) and Winter Spare the Air (November – February) campaigns. The contractor will conduct in-language surveys in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese in the third year of the contract as a follow-up to in-language surveys conducted in 2014-15 for the Winter Spare the Air campaign.

Due Date:

February 27

Address:

Cynthia Zhang, Staff Specialist

Bay Area Air Quality Management District

375 Beale Street, Suite 600;

San Francisco, CA 94105

Strong California PR firms include Finn Partners and Ruder Finn.

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