Battle Creek Michigan Issues Public Relations RFP
In 2017, we received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to transform our district by holistically addressing inequities that have historically held our students back from achieving academic success. We are entering year three of a five-year transformation plan and aim to improve student achievement, enrollment and community engagement. We are currently seeking bids from vendors for marketing, branding and advertising support services for 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.
Famously referred to as “Cereal City”, Battle Creek Michigan is home to Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS). Although relatively small in terms of enrollment for a medium-sized district, the district has a number of demographics and academic disparities that mirror those of large urban areas. With a little over 4,500 students enrolled in three PK-2nd grade buildings, two 3rd through 5th grade buildings, one PK through 5th grade building, two middle schools (grades 6-8), and two high schools, the challenges associated with larger urban environments are very present in BCPS. More than 70% of the student population qualifies for free/reduced lunch; over 50% of the students represent minority groups; and more than half of the students live in single-parent or no-parent households. Add to this the fact that truancy is over five times higher for students in the Battle Creek Public Schools than neighboring districts, and it is easy to see that barriers exist. Although challenges exist, our priority is to focus on the teaching and learning processes that are proven through research and data to be successful with our diverse student population. To accomplish this task we seek to implement a long-range plan for ambitious improvement and rapid transformation; aligned to our strategic plan that will guide both our thinking and actions while also aligning with our commitment to providing each and every one of the students we serve with a world-class college, career and culture ready education.
Due to our limited resources, it is essential that we effectively and efficiently align our efforts to achieve our goals. Our priority is to focus on the teaching and learning processes that are proven through research and data to be successful with our diverse student population. We also understand that we must have a long-range plan for ambitious improvement and rapid transformation – a strategic plan guiding both our thinking and actions.
To accomplish this, a Strategic Planning Steering Committee was formed with members from throughout our community; all of whom worked diligently to develop a plan for the future of our district. Our plan, entitled “Six Goals for Greatness” is included below.
1. Goal 1: High Academic Achievement – Prepare all students for global citizenship and success at the university level as well as in the career field of their choice.
2. Goal 2: Healthy Organization Culture: Create an organizational culture that is reflecting, nurturing of all students and staff, transparent, results-oriented and continuously improving.
3. Goal 3: Human Capital Strategy – Recruit, retain, develop and support a diverse high-quality staff that is fully committed to Battle Creek Public Schools, its students, and families.
4. Goal 4: Effective and Efficient Use of Resources – Ensure a balanced budget each year that prioritizes and fully funds the academic work outlined in this strategic plan.
5. Goal 5: Active Partnerships with Our Community Strengthen – partnerships with students and families, community and businesses and increase collaboration to support student achievement.
6. Goal 6: World Class Infrastructure – Develop and sustain state of the art, efficient, safe and welcoming infrastructures that have a positive impact on the broader Battle Creek community.
Scope of Work:
BCPS is looking to partner with an agency who can provide the following communications and public relations support:
● Ongoing strategic counsel and crisis communication; message development; communications planning and execution; occasional graphic design work; and creative consultation to support the promotion of new programming and opportunities to various stakeholders (internal and external), which can include:
○ Enrollment initiatives
○ Grand Valley State University partnership and programming
○ Battle Creek Central High School Career Academies
○ Fremont International Academy
○ Battle Creek STEM Innovation Center
○ Ongoing support to share transformation milestones to key stakeholders
○ Teacher recruitment
○ Student attendance
○ Summer kindergarten readiness program
● Support for BCPS digital strategies including:
○ Launch of a new website which includes design, development and content creation (site launch by January 2020).
● 10 unique page designs:
○ Landing page
○ Interior sub-page
○ Events calendar
○ Single event page
○ School page
○ Blog landing page
○ Single blog post page
○ About page
○ Staff directory
● Content module designs
○ Text block
○ Photo gallery/slideshow
○ Video player
○ Publications/document downloads
○ Staff bios
○ Calls-to-action (enroll, RSVP, etc.)
● Front-end development
○ Browser testing in the latest versions of Chrome, mobile Chrome, Firefox, Safari, mobile Safari, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge
○ Google mobile-friendly validation
○ Google Analytics and XML sitemap setup
○ ADA & WCAG 2.1 accessibility compliance, GDPR compliance
○ Printer-friendly stylesheet
● CMS setup & feature customization
○ CMS license (to cover first year)
○ Support for custom post types, content modules, and taxonomies
○ SEO and social media meta tag fields
○ Social media sharing tools
○ Password-protection and redirects for pages
○ Multi-language support for automatic translations
○ Events calendar with data-sharing capability
○ Advanced search
○ Document and media library
○ Ongoing curation of digital content and development of strategies that support communications goals and advance initiatives
● Earned media relations support – particularly for high-level inquiries that require an urgent response
● Training and internal capacity building for BCPS central office staff and others
July 8th, 2019.
Relevant agencies include Finn Partners and Ruder Finn.