The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is for the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce (GKCC), and other stakeholders comprising its Chamber Task Force on Promoting the Monadnock Region, to identify a full-service advertising/marketing agency partner – to conceive, design and manage a brand identity and communications campaign for the southwestern part of New Hampshire, often referred to as “The Monadnock Region.”
What is generally considered “The Monadnock Region” – there is no precise definition – has a population of approximately 100,000, comprised of Cheshire County (approx. 76,000) and western Hillsborough County (approx. 25,000). The largest community in the region is Keene, the Cheshire County Seat, with a population of approx. 23,000. Keene is thought of as the economic engine of the region, and is home to Keene State College, with a full-time student population of close to 3500. The next largest towns in the region are Swanzey, adjacent to Keene (approx. 7,000) and Peterborough, 20 miles east of Keene (approx. 6,000). Antioch University New England, located in Keene, is well known for several graduate degree programs, and Franklin Pierce University, in Rindge, has a student population of about 2,000. Cheshire County is the state’s 6th largest of the state’s ten counties. The County’s median age of 42.5 is just above the state’s median age of 42.4. The median household income is about $60,000, slightly higher than Sullivan County, immediately north of Cheshire County (approx. $59,000), and Carroll County in the northeast part of the state (approx. $58,000). Approximately 10% of Cheshire County residents live in poverty. © Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce 5
Although somewhat isolated, the Monadnock Region enjoys a long legacy of advanced and precision manufacturing, good schools, good medical facilities, and a very vibrant arts community. Its active and full-service general aviation airport, only a couple of miles from downtown Keene, has the third longest runway in the state. The region’s physical attributes include Mt. Monadnock, thought to be the most climbed mountain in the world, beautiful lakes and rivers, and an extensive biking and hiking rail trail system primarily from converting railroad beds. People love outdoors activities, from golf to gardening, and frequently support local businesses by “buying local.”
With the Connecticut River marking the western edge of the region, and the border with neighboring Vermont, The Monadnock Region is sometimes referred to (by others in New Hampshire) as “the eastern most county of Vermont.” In recent years, the region has leaned slightly politically liberal, with strong libertarian voices.
The Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce (GKCC) is the largest of several Chambers in the region, with nearly 500 member organizations in more than 40 communities, including a few in Vermont and Massachusetts.
In early 2019, the GKCC board of directors formed a taskforce to assess the feasibility of a multi-year, multi-platform branding and marketing campaign, and to report back to the board in the summer of 2019. This RFP was generated at the direction of the taskforce.
The “Promoting the Region” (PTR) taskforce is initially comprised of more than 15 individuals, representing: another Chamber in the region; key employers in the region; regional economic development organizations; the two largest institutions of higher education; the City of Keene; Cheshire County; smaller towns in the region; the manufacturing community; the healthcare community; a retirement community; a locally based national publishing company; and a certified B-Corp local manufacturer.
The PTR taskforce meets at least monthly and is in communication in between. Recently, as part of its Regional Issues Series, GKCC hosted a public forum on the idea of collectively promoting the region, drawing nearly 100 people for a two-hour presentation/discussion. More than half of those attending completed a short survey about what they’d heard – the results suggest a high level of interest in the idea – especially a campaign that can be sustained over several years.
Scope of Work:
Part 1: Market Research & Strategy
The “Promoting The Region” (PTR) taskforce is interested in knowing from those responding to this RFP about its strategic approach to market research, and the overall project strategy.
◼ What is the underlying research strategy?
◼ What would the brand research plan look like?
◼ How would information be gathered, within and outside the region?
◼ What is the nature of our competition; who are our competitors?
◼ What might examples be of both quantitative and qualitative research?
◼ Who are some of the key stakeholders with a vested interest in our brand?
◼ How would similar efforts within and outside the region be incorporated?
◼ What are examples of metrics to be applied to determine success?
◼ What is the estimated cost range of Part 1?
Part 2: Creative & Brand Strategy
The “Promoting The Region” (PTR) taskforce is interested in knowing from those responding to this RFP about its strategic approach to creative & brand strategy.
◼ What is the underlying brand strategy to approach creative development?
◼ What is the approach to design concepts; how many would be submitted?
◼ What creative elements are envisioned/recommended?
◼ What is the approach to messaging/positioning?
◼ We welcome any ideas you want to offer about a brand for the Monadnock Region and accompanying creative
◼ What is the estimated cost range of Part 2?
Part 3: Communications Strategy
The “Promoting The Region” (PTR) taskforce is interested in knowing from those responding to this RFP about its strategic approach to a communications strategy for this project.
◼ What platforms would be envisioned/recommended (tactics)?
◼ What might a web presence include in content and delivery (e.g. mobile apps)?
◼ What target markets, outside the region, might be envisioned/recommended?
◼ What is the estimated cost range of Part 3?
Part 4: Evaluation Strategy
The “Promoting The Region” (PTR) taskforce is interested in knowing from those responding to this RFP about its approach to evaluation strategy for this project, including estimated cost range. What would be measured, and how frequently? How is ROI considered?
June 27th, 2019.
Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce
48 Central Square
Keene, NH 03431