The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to solicit sealed proposals to establish a contract through competitive negotiation with a qualified vendor that can assist and execute the development of an integrated public relations and marketing campaign for the Virginia Department of State Police (hereafter referred to as the Department or VSP) to raise awareness and educate citizens on the benefits of the vehicle safety inspection program. Additionally, this contract may be used for the purchase of future advertising, marketing, research, and public relations consulting services on an as-needed basis to produce and execute comprehensive marketing and communications initiatives for the VSP.
The Department seeks to obtain contractual services for creating a social media presence and content; create paid and owned advertising placement (e.g., social media, print, roadside, etc.), and all related administrative oversight services.
The services to be provided shall consist of, but not limited to the following:
1. Development of Communication Concepts, Planning, Timeline and Budget for the Vehicle Safety Inspection Program Campaign.
a. The Contractor must develop a strategy to position the vehicle safety inspection program promotions and advertising as uniquely different and eye-catching for the public.
b. In consultation with the VSP Safety Division, the Contractor shall develop a statewide public information and public relations marketing campaign. The Contractor shall determine what types of communication, media, and/or messages are most effective in communicating the desired message and develop a strategic marketing plan that may include but is not limited to recommending advertising, print, and electronic marketing campaigns, based upon sound brand management strategies and research that provide maximum exposure, impact and return on investment.
c. The Contractor shall create an agreed-upon comprehensive marketing plan that should include, though need not be limited to: communication goals and strategy; campaign deliverables along with timing and cost of each deliverable and media placement schedule. The budget should include total media expenditures, production budget, and Contractor’s fees. The marketing plan shall be submitted to VSP for review and approval prior to implementation by the Contractor.
d. The Contractor shall modify plans as a result of budget changes or at the request of VSP.
e. The Contractor shall work with the VSP Safety Division point of contact to assure that advertising budgets are not exceeded without prior written approval.
2. Production Deliverables for Vehicle Safety Inspection Campaign
The Contractor shall:
a. Develop advertising and marketing concepts that communicate messaging points as stated in the public relations and marketing campaign plan, and manage and execute the plan.
b. Create and produce short educational videos related to the vehicle safety inspection program which can be used on the Department’s website, as well as television and social media outlets.
c. Manage the creation and/or production of high-quality advertising materials, including but not limited to videos, advertisements, brochures, billboards, event materials, etc. to promote the safety inspection program throughout the Commonwealth.
C. ADDITIONAL SERVICES: The Contractor shall also provide communications, public relations, marketing, and research services for future initiatives on an as-needed basis. Some of the services related to these initiatives may include but not be limited to market research, strategic communications planning, creative services, media buying/advertising, community outreach, and social media. Written requirements will be provided to the Contractor by the VSP Procurement Office with a request for the Contractor to provide a proposal and cost estimate in accordance with the Pricing Schedule – Attachment A. The Contractor’s Additional Services proposal and cost will be negotiated by the VSP Procurement Office. Upon completion of the negotiation, a Purchase Order will be issued through eVA for the agreed-upon Additional Services to include the Contractor’s proposal, schedule, and cost. Reimbursement for travel (mileage, meals or lodging) and non-salary direct costs are not allowed unless they are included as part of the Contractor’s cost proposal that was approved by VSP for the Additional Services.
The as needed scope of services to be provided may consist of, but not limited to the following:
1. Market Research and Analysis
a. Contractor shall collect pertinent and relevant data, perform research, draft, and recommend advertising and marketing campaigns to meet VSP initiative goals.
b. The Contractor shall conduct market research and analysis to evaluate the ongoing effectiveness of advertising placed on behalf of VSP to:
i. Improve public relations, marketing, product development, and overall communications effectiveness;
ii. Determine what types of communication, media, and/or messages are most effective in communicating VSP’s mission and apply this information to develop future communications;
iii. Determine the overall effectiveness and return on investment an advertising or marketing program provides.
2. Development of Communication Concepts, Planning, and Budget
a. The Contractor shall develop communication concepts based on VSP marketing initiatives and goals, in consultation with VSP end-users.
b. Determine what types of communication, media, and/or messages are most effective in communicating the desired message, and apply this information to develop future communications.
c. Develop advertising and marketing concepts that communicate message points as stated in the campaign plan. The plan shall include but not be limited to communication goals and strategies; total media expenditures; production budget; required research; media schedule; and Contractor’s fees, where applicable.
d. Modify plans as a result of budget changes or at the request of VSP. Work with VSP staff to assure that expenditures do not exceed advertising budgets and the dollar amount of the Purchase Order without prior written approval and/or the issuance of a change order.
3. Creative Services; Strategic Planning and Management
a. In consultation with the end-user(s), the Contractor shall assist in strategic marketing planning including, but not limited to recommending advertising, print, and electronic marketing campaigns, based upon sound brand management strategies and research.
b. Contractor shall translate advertising and marketing goals into creative strategies and then advertising and marketing communication concepts that provide maximum exposure, impact and return on investment.
c. Develop overall campaigns based on media and marketing strategies based upon approved goals.
d. Provide services to place, verify, measure, and make timely disbursements for all advertising placements.
e. Develop and execute creative strategies for advertising and marketing elements, in consultation with VSP end-user(s).
f. Develop and monitor creative and production budgets, in consultation with VSP end-user(s).
4. Media Planning/Buying
The Contractor shall translate advertising, marketing goals, and strategies into effective media plans and buys, which may include but are not limited to television, radio, print, and advanced digital and mobile advertising. A schedule of media buys shall be prepared and presented to the end-user for pre-approval.
a. Execute advertising and marketing campaigns that accurately address VSP services and goals utilizing proven capabilities for high quality and cost-efficiency.
b. Maintain timelines and deadlines, while keeping all appropriate staff informed of project status.
c. Manage the creation and/or production of collateral material, including but not limited to videos, advertisements, brochures, event materials (i.e. signage and programs), etc.
September 13, 2019