National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Issues Advertising/PR/Marketing RFP

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Issues Advertising/PR/Marketing RFP

The purpose of this Contract is to acquire integrated media, marketing, and advertising services to enhance NHTSA’s behavioral safety programs through NHTSA’s Office of Communications and Consumer Information (OCCI). This support will be used by NHTSA, state partners, highway safety and public health advocates throughout the United States to promote traffic safety messages; raise traffic safety awareness; and increase positive traffic safety behaviors among segmented targeted populations through the combination of enforcement and related media support for the national seat belt and impaired driving campaigns. In addition, support is needed for strategically designed communication initiatives that support programs relating to child passenger safety, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles, school buses, distracted driving, older drivers, teen driver safety, and other NHTSA-based communication initiatives as identified.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an operating administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation whose mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and to reduce traffic-related deaths and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA accomplishes its mission by:

  • Researching and demonstrating promising strategies to encourage positive traffic safety behaviors;
  • Planning and executing strategic communications campaigns to support program activity; and
  • Providing grants to State and local Governments to enable them to conduct effective local highway safety programs.

Disciplined Communications Approach:

NHTSA’s communications strategy uses a disciplined approach to develop and implement its communications programs. NHTSA communications activities are rooted in policy which provides the foundation for its messaging. Once policy has been established, program offices develop program initiatives and countermeasures associated with improving traffic safety. Finally, communications activities are based in research and use sound, effective messaging to support NHTSA’s policy and program efforts. This disciplined approach includes reviewing traffic data, conducting and evaluating market research data, developing TV, radio, and digital creative materials, placing and negotiating advertising, conducting media relations, developing collateral materials, and developing partnerships.

While high visible enforcement activity continues to be an important aspect of the national communications program, other integrated communications activity must continue throughout the year to keep the messages updated and in front of the American public. Consistent and continual reminders of the high human and economic costs of motor vehicle crashes must be developed, and effective communication must be maintained so that the public is aware of potential lifesaving behaviors.

The Data:

Research demonstrates that preventing impaired and distracted driving and increasing seat belt use will have the most significant impact on NHTSA’s mission to increase the safety of the general driving public. Accordingly, NHTSA’s priority programs are designed to prevent impaired driving (including motorcycle riding), increase seat belt use, and decrease distracted driving. Other NHTSA campaigns also are designed to increase safety and address child passenger safety, drowsy driving, heatstroke, speed, teen driver safety, pedestrian safety, bicycles, school buses, and older drivers.

Drunk driving is one of the most often committed crimes in America. Drunk driving deaths accounted for 29 percent of all traffic fatalities annually in 2015. Affecting 1 in 3 Americans annually, drunk driving resulted in 1 fatality every 51 minutes and 28 deaths every day in 2015. Over 10,000 people lost their lives in 2015 in crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 and above.

Seat belt use has proven to be a lifesaving countermeasure. Seat belt use can reduce fatalities by up to 45 percent for front seat passenger car occupants and 60 percent for front seat light truck occupants. Every increase in seat belt use translates to lives saved and injuries prevented. NHTSA estimates that every one percentage-point increase represents 2.8 million more Americans buckling up, 250 additional lives saved, and 4,000 fewer serious injuries annually.

For children age 1 through 12, traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death. Every day in 2015, on average nearly 2 children age 12 and younger were killed in traffic crashes and an average of 319 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes as occupants of passenger vehicles. NHTSA is committed to working closely with partners, safety advocates, and directly with consumers to help those who transport children make the kind of choices to keep them alive and safe.

Motorcycle crash-related fatalities have become a challenge to NHTSA’s progress in increasing highway safety. Crash-related motorcycle fatalities increased by 8 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. In 2015, 976 motorcyclists were killed and an additional 88,000 motorcyclists were injured.

Traffic crashes are among the leading causes of death among Hispanics from the ages of 1 to 34 years. As the Hispanic population continues to increase in the United States, their exposure to traffic crashes and resultant injuries and fatalities has the potential to increase. Therefore, specialized public information efforts targeted to the Hispanic population are needed to ensure safe driving behavior. To meet its mission of decreasing fatalities and injuries, NHTSA must continue to develop culturally appropriate messaging and national behavior based communication initiatives.

Scope of Work:

In general terms, Task Order requirements could include the following (this list may not be all inclusive):

  • Provide technical assistance to NHTSA to develop and promote traffic safety communications to reduce crashes, and the resulting injuries and deaths to English and Spanish
  • speaking populations. The Contractor shall conduct market research, develop creative assets, understand the use of multimedia platforms that include television, radio, digital, social media, print, outdoor, mobile, and online; develop, review, and/or evaluate media plans; develop communication strategies and tactics; use social media; and develop collateral materials to support state/local campaigns.
  • Develop national media buys for television, radio, digital, social media, print, out693JJ918R000015 of-home, mobile, and online. The Contractor shall plan for each cycle of paid advertising and, once the NHTSA COR approves the plan, place the advertising. Media buys support national high visibility enforcement campaigns to increase seat belt use, and decrease impaired and distracted driving. NHTSA anticipates that a minimum of five national media buys will be conducted per year and that each buy will run for approximately 7 – 15 days.
  • Obtain approval for Federally-sponsored data collections as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations.
  • Develop and deliver 508-compliant earned media materials in English and Spanish. This earned media will support NHTSA’s traffic safety initiatives and priorities (seat belts, alcohol, and distraction) and other campaigns including, but not limited to, heatstroke, speed, teen safety, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles, school buses, older drivers, enforcement and justice services, drowsy driver safety programs and other traffic safety initiatives that NHTSA may identify. This earned material may also support traffic safety demonstration projects that support NHTSA’s ongoing traffic safety efforts.
  • Refresh existing advertisements and develop new advertisements for NHTSA priority areas and emerging highway safety issues.
  • Acquire video and photography services, and plan and execute video and photo shoots necessary to carry out NHTSA programs and campaigns. The Contractor shall manage all talent rights/fees for existing and newly created assets.
  • Adapt existing materials into culturally-appropriate language and create new materials that positively resonate with targeted populations, and meet the guidelines set forth by the American Translators Association.
  • Plan and conduct national strategic communications forums and communications trainings.
  • Produce and submit reports that provide well-organized and detailed analysis of NHTSA campaigns and demonstration activities.
  • Conceptualize, coordinate, and conduct onsite brown-bag training sessions for NHTSA staff on communications and marketing issues that are relevant to ongoing outreach efforts.
  • Develop and program digital content using the Drupal content management system to support and
  • Plan and implement events.

Due Date:

October 8th


Seth Moody

Contract Specialist, Office of Acquisition Management

Department of Transportation/NHTSA/NFO-300

Office of Acquisition Management

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, W53-413

Washington, DC 20590

Agencies with capabilities include APCO Worldwide and MWWPR.

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