The City and County of Denver is soliciting proposals for a strategic communications and project marketing team to assist the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center (“NWCO”), in collaboration with the Western Stock Show Association (“WSSA”), Colorado State University (“CSU”), Denver Museum of Nature & Science (“DMNS”), and History Colorado (“HC”), herein referred to as the “Founding Partners”, in the strategic development and implementation of all project communications, marketing, branding and targeted project outreach tools in support of the National Western Center Campus (“NWC”) project.
The Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center (NWCO) seeks a firm/team to create, assist and support NWCO and its Founding Partners in a broad range of strategic project branding, communications, and marketing efforts, along with targeted outreach activities support to advance the publics general understanding of the project’s potential locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and to build excitement about this uniquely positioned campus, located in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West.
Specifically, the National Western Center (“NWC”) master plan and Regional Tourism Act Application outlines a bold vision and critical next steps to modernize the outdated National Western Complex and Denver Coliseum over the next decade into an approximately 250-acre, year-round destination, bringing entertainment, experiential learning, commerce, research, competition and the arts to this important focal point of the Mayor’s Corridor of Opportunity.
Adopted by Denver City Council in March 2015, after nearly a year of public engagement, the NWC master plan calls for a full rehabilitation of the historic site, creating new opportunities for multi-modal connections to the adjacent communities, South Platte river access and ecological restoration, new open spaces and flexible multi-use venues that will increase visitors to more than 2.2 million annually, across 300 + events, generating an estimated $200 million a year in economic benefit.
The selected team will be expected to blend the unique and evolving project partnerships, the Denver Union Stockyards Company and National Western Stock Show’s historical significance to Colorado, with the emerging 21st century vision for the transformed campus into “the global destination for agricultural heritage and innovation”. The combined site’s history and future potential creates a powerful and compelling story that bridges rural and urban interests around the critical nature of the global food economy and how to feed and sustain a growing world population, balanced against our stewardship of the planet’s natural resources.
This highly complex and dynamic project is intended to have a significant local impact and corresponding global reach, setting the stage for upwards of 10,000 direct and 6,000 indirect new jobs, positioning Colorado as a key player in global food production and security issues, creating “the Silicon Valley of agriculture,” which will generate a projected $7 billion in overall economic impact over three decades. Although the project is still in the very early stages of development, it has already generated substantial public interest, offering a broad spectrum of communications and stakeholder engagement opportunities through proactive storytelling, evolving project information sharing and partnership cultivation across local, regional, national and international stakeholder groups.
Scope of Work
NWCO is seeking an experienced firm/team focused on assisting the NWC- EOC with the project’s unique branding, communications, and marketing needs as the NWC advances continued planning and moves toward implementation. The chosen firm/team will be an extension of the NWCO team and will collaboratively work with NWCO and its partners in the creation of the appropriate and prioritized communications scope, leading to the promotion and delivery of print and electronic information about this dynamic project, which brings a key aspect of Denver’s history full circle toward a promising global future.
Upon selection, the firm/team will draw from the existing NWCO/partner communication platform to assist in development and delivery of a refined Strategic Communications & Project Marketing Work Plan (“Communications Work Plan”) for the balance of 2016 and then, in Q4 of 2016, prepare a draft 2017 Strategic Communications & Project Marketing Work Plan across the outlined tasks.
- Strategic Communications & Project Marketing Work Plan (“Communications Work Plan”) – as described above, the firm shall prepare, in partnership with NWCO and its partners, an annual communications work plan to develop, advance and promote the project to targeted stakeholder groups and the general public. Other than the initial 2016 plan, subsequent work plans shall be completed in the 4th quarter of each year, outlining the strategies and tactics to effectively communicate and promote the project’s vision, mission, goals and objectives. The team shall develop a detailed marketing strategy and implementation plan that identifies efficient and cost effective avenues to target both external and internal audiences.
At a minimum, the Work Plan should include:
- A range of outreach strategies and tools for general public consumption for the purpose of engaging the public about of the NWC. These strategies/tools should inform and excite the public about what is anticipated at the NWC, and provide opportunities for meaningful public input and engagement.
- Resource guides for potential public, private and nonprofit investors (partnership recruitment) interested in learning more about how they might participate in the campus’s development and fulfillment of the NWC vision and mission.
- Targeted messaging for local, regional, national and international stakeholders (potential partners) seeking information about the NWC, its events and activities as the site develops.
- NWC Executive Oversight Committee Communications & Marketing Handbook – given the unique set of project partners and growing project complexity as it moves from planning to pre-development and implementation, the firm will develop a guiding document (handbook) to be used by the Executive Oversight Committee (EOC), NWCO and the partners (existing and new) in the shared pursuit of all project branding, communications and marketing efforts.
- NWC Branding Development & Refinement – create written and visual materials including, but not limited to fully integrating the shared campus vision and mission developed by the partners into a unified brand. At a minimum, the branding effort should include:
- Brand Positioning Due Diligence
The team will conduct targeted research to help build a strong foundation for the unique NWC brand (i.e. with a shared global vision and mission, is the “National Western Center Campus” the right description?
- Brand Development Options & Testing
The team will work with NWCO to develop and/or refine key elements that make up the unified brand, such as vision, mission, positioning, identity, character and promise (this includes the possible renaming of the campus other than the National Western Center). Brand credentials need to be consolidated and key branding messages established.
- Creative/Visual Brand Communication Strategies
The team will develop and deliver visual products, including but not limited to an eventual primary campus logo, that communicates the emotion and personality of the unified NWC brand. These visual products should include electronic, print, web, and media graphics that can be deployed as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy in the promotion of the campus.
- NWC Branded Graphic Standards & Toolkit
NWC Project Website – Create and maintain a website and its content with project updates, programming, partnerships, engagement and other appropriate content to inform the public and provide online engagement/input opportunities. Lead the web design and site organization to support site’s ease of use and visual interest.
- Site Planning
Description and organization of the final web site will be determined and documented, including the overarching site goals, number of pages, site hierarchy, merchandizing/donation needs, language and web tools used (i.e. Flash or carts), plus forms, animations/graphics, and other specialized content.
- Concept Design & Refinement
Sketches and/or page mock-ups are to be created that reflect the general (branded) appearance and the look and feel of the website for visitors.
- NWC Social Media – Create, determine voice, develop posting strategy and help maintain a suite of social media platforms to keep the public informed with timely project updates
- Planning – Design a comprehensive, holistic annual social media plan that meets the overall communications and marketing objectives for the project and addresses the core needs of NWCO target audiences.
- Creative – Write, design, capture, and produce all social content, including coverage of special NWC events/programming.
- Optimization – Consistent, results-focused testing and calibration of all social media messaging.
- Reporting – Deliver quarterly reports to NWCO to review social media campaign performance to date and easily export reports based on mutually determined KPIs.
- Coordination – Work closely with NWCO and their industry partners to provide creative support in all social media efforts for branded partner programs as they emerge.
- NWC Marketing Collateral – Create standardized, branded NWCO informational materials (templates) such as one pagers, brochures, presentation folders, poster boards, mailers, etc. about the campus and its associated project(s) for general and specific stakeholder groups (note that all printing to be at NWCO/Partners direct cost). Depending on the audience, some materials will need to be bilingual (English/Spanish) and be culturally relevant.
At a minimum, materials should include:
- Speaker Series Toolkit
This piece is intended to provide and support a growing list of partners who will be asked to speak on behalf of the project.
- Campus Project Pitch Book
The team will provide support to Tigris in the development of this piece, which is specifically intended for presentation to potential campus funders, sponsors, donors, etc. that in a short, but visually appealing way captures the vision and mission of the campus
In collaboration with Channel 8 and other media partners, coordinate professional video(s) as required to help communicate the brand image. To date, the partners have developed several short videos (5 – 10 minutes) to convey the development vision for the project, which have been used in public presentations and during the annual NWSS.
- Professional Photography
Professional photography is required to help communicate the brand image. The proposal must identify the portion of budget that would be devoted to photography, including the integration of campus conceptual visuals, historical photos, etc.
Proposal due on August 24, 2016 to:
Attn: Jeff Wylde
Wellington Webb – Municipal Office Building
201 West Colfax Ave, Dept 304, 11th Floor
Denver, CO 80202