Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Seeks Marketing Firm

Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

1607 is recognized as the journey that changed the world when the Virginia Company of London invested in a settlement called Jamestown. From a tiny settlement evolved a new nation. The Journey continued in 1619 when a series of landmark events set the Virginia Colony and America on a course toward democracy, diversity and opportunity. In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 754, designating the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation as the official Executive Branch agency to assist the Commonwealth in establishing planning systems for commemorating in 2019 the 400th anniversary of landmark events in Virginia’s history:

  • The first representative legislative assembly in the New World
  • The arrival of the first recorded Africans to British America
  • The impact of women to expand the Virginia colony
  • Precedent for America’s first Thanksgiving
  • The entrepreneurialism and innovation of the Virginia Colony

The 2019 Commemoration will showcase 400 years of Virginia’s history, cultural diversity, environmental beauty, commerce and industry by launching a series of events and programs of national and international significance to build awareness of Virginia’s role in the creation of the United States and position Virginia as a global leader in education, economic development and tourism.

The 2019 Commemoration Goals include:

  • Economic Leadership: Reinforce Virginia’s brand as America’s longstanding (400-year) home of innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Tourism: Increase visitation to 1619 historic sites, the Historic Triangle region, and the state of Virginia.
  • Education: Ensure Americans more fully appreciate the overall idea and related benefits of representative democracy.
  • Diversity: Foster appreciation for the value of diversity and inclusion in all communities.
  • Future Leaders: Engage millennials and others in democratic institutions and formal democratic processes.
  • History: Make history more relevant, meaningful, and interesting to all generations.

The 2019 Commemoration endeavors to build a contemporary relationship to these historical events by showcasing the ongoing journey toward key ideals of America: democracy, diversity, and opportunity — three forces that converged in Virginia in 1619 and have been shaping America ever since.

Scope of Work:

  1. Provide consultation on 2019 Commemoration integrated marketing strategy and execution across channels and partners, in order to help ensure all activations are “on brand” – which is defined as consistent adherence to 1) brand standards, 2) messaging, and 3) campaign creativity with a focus on audience, messaging, engagement across key stakeholders including African Americans and women. This will include:
  2. Regular status calls and meetings, to provide strategic recommendations as needs arise, and to ensure proactive identification and resolution of content and message consistency opportunities
  3. Development of messaging playbook: messaging architecture and channel/audience/message matrix
  4. Initial and ongoing assessment of activations planned or in-progress, with recommendations for ways to ensure they are executed on brand
  5. Guidance as needed to activation partners to ensure strategic and/or tactical alignment with content and messaging architecture
  6. Support as needed with governance such as coordinating and facilitating marketing council meetings as requested; providing technical and operational guidance for development of message repository; providing feedback and review of creative as developed.
  7. Serve as executive producer of at least five Issue Forums. The Issue Forums are envisioned to be one hour in length with 2-6 key participants and a moderator discussing why history matters in the context of 2019 current events. The Contractor will identify and secure thought leaders with recognition in Virginia and/or on a national scale.

The Issue Forums shall have the following objectives:

  • Position Virginia as driving the dialogue about why history matters and how it influences our world today.
  • Showcase that the Commonwealth of Virginia and its institutions are committed to telling the full and accurate history of all its people.
  • Position Virginia as a place where free speech and freedom of opinion are valued.
  • Invite Americans to “come home” to Virginia (tourism) where we invite open discussion of important issues.

Issue Forums will feature timely commemoration themed discussions with leading historians and contemporary thought leaders to stimulate conversation across diverse perspectives. The Issue Forums will be produced in conjunction three current commemoration contractors and will be scheduled at strategic locations across the Commonwealth. The selected contractor will be responsible for executive production including Issue Forum topic generation; talent identification and management; content direction; event design; forum/venue selection; and, execution.

  1. Provide strategy and technical capacity for storytelling; audience development; and, analysis across initiatives as needed by the commemoration. Storytelling is defined as showcasing known and little known stories of democracy, diversity and opportunity in Virginia’s history and how they relate to contemporary issues today. These stories may include individuals, groups, and communities. Support shall include content management and curation, audience development; story sourcing; particularly expertise with African American and women’s stories; and full integration on the back-end with the 2019 Commemoration website.
  2. Develop and implement a plan for a Virtual Think Tank on Inclusion as part of the postsecondary education and statewide engagement strategy. Virginia has a unique opportunity to convene scholars, academics, students, and the public in deeper conversation about commemoration themes of democracy, diversity and opportunity and America’s 400-year journey to become a more inclusive and cohesive society. Partnering with leading public and private institutions, a virtual think tank project feasibility plan is to be completed by June 2018 with a projected launch date in late 2018.
  3. Develop key target audiences for the commemoration to engage and through genealogy groups to strategically build awareness of the 2019 Commemoration and drive visitation to Virginia during the commemorative year. The Contractor will leverage community dialogues, education forums, implement family reunion toolkits and genealogy records partners to engage key target audiences and expand ancestry tools, particularly for African Americans and women.
  4. Be available through March 31, 2020 for additional strategic marketing initiatives as organized by the commemoration.

Due Date:

November 6


Commonwealth of Virginia
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
Attn: Arden Clark, Procurement Officer
200 Hawk’s Nest Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Virginia PR firms include Padilla PR.

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