Baltimore Office of Sustainability Issues Website RFP

BoS is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for qualifiedconsultant/firms to provide web marketing and design skills and to conduct an update to our website. Proposals will besolicited from qualified consultants to work with the City forup to a one-year period. Our website is not connected to the city website structure but is hosted by Bluehost (www.baltimoresustainability.org)

The successful consultant/firm will have the followingqualifications:

•     Demonstrated understanding of and experience with website marketing and communications.

·         Extensive experience in the design and re-design of websites for governmental and/or non-profit organizations, especially websites that are easily maintained.

•     Demonstrated experience working with organization staff to translate ideas into functional websites, that are easy to navigate and that share significant and varied content.

•     Knowledge of and extensive experience using WordPress and of graphic design concepts and software.

•     Demonstrated experience training staff on WordPress.

Background:

The Baltimore Office of Sustainability (BoS) was created by the City Council in 2007 and acts as a resource, catalyst, and an advocate in creating an equitable and resilient Baltimore. We integrate environmental integrity, social equity, and economic prosperity into plans, practices, and policies. Our aim is to provide innovative solutions to our city’s challenges while engaging, inspiring and collaborating with all sectors of Baltimore. We have a citywide Sustainability Plan and a 21-member Sustainability Commission who oversees the plan.

Current Status:

BoS has maintained a website (https://www.baltimoresustainability.org/) for several years, and has not done a recent update to the structure or design. The website is updated periodically as new plans and projects are started or as information on existing work needs to be refreshed. The home page is infrequently changed, as are news items and events. Staff have received minimal training in WordPress, which is the content management software. We like how easy it is to find our plans and project information, but want fewer words on most pages. We would like to be able to better highlight news items, recent successes, and upcoming events. We are seeking a website that is fast, user-friendly, appealing, and easy to navigate.

Our target audiences are Baltimore residents, nonprofits, businesses, community groups, faith based organizations, as well as anyone outside the City who is interested in our work. 

Our goals for the website are (1) to increase awareness of our work and the work of others in the city in relation to implementing projects, plans and policies that lie at the intersection of people, planet and prosperity, (2) to activate people to carry out the actions in the 2019 Sustainability Plan, and (3) for the site to be a city-wide resource for information on sustainability.  

On March 18, 2019, the Baltimore City Council unanimously voted to adopt the city’s new 2019 Sustainability Plan. With that approval, BoS has a new framework and categories for our work going forward (see Appendix A).  Ideally, an updated website would be structured to reflect the Plan. BoS also has a style guide, which should be used in the design of new website structure.

Scope of Work:

The following bulleted list outlines anticipated tasks and deliverables the successful consultant/firm will be responsible for:

·         Review website including 2019 Sustainability Plan, framework (below), and additional BoS plans, including the Baltimore Climate Action Plan, Baltimore’s Disaster Preparedness & Planning Project, Baltimore Food Waste & Recovery Strategy, Baltimore Green Network Plan, and Homegrown Baltimore: Grow Local.

·         Kick-off meeting with staff to discuss what is working and not working, suggest changes and identify new features such as using the 2019 Plan framework as the focus and adding new sections, like ‘How You Get Involved,’ or ‘Recent Successes, New Programs, and Upcoming Events.’

·         Finalize details of tasks to be completed under the contract along with estimates of time required to complete them.  At a minimum, the submission should anticipate the completion of the following specific tasks:

·         Selecting design template for webpages

·         Designing new home page, including a more prominent location for news feed and a revolving banner at top

·         Creating a compelling, attractive, accessible site

·         Identifying structure for webpages, incorporating content, and following the framework of the 2019 Sustainability Plan

·         Migrating content to new framework and incorporating new content

·         Connecting news feed on website to new BoS newsletter

·         Adding a social media feed

·         Adding more photos and reducing text

·         Fixing all dead links

·         Ensure site complies with ADA guidelines and is compatible with Google translate

•     Provide training to BoS staff on using WordPress to update content and amend key structural elements

·         Other proposed new elements, subject to approval by BoS (such as creating an interactive map of projects), to be billed at the consultant’s or firm’s hourly rate.

Due Date:

5 pm on December 30, 2019.

Address:

lisa.mcneilly@baltimorecity.gov

Agencies worth considering include W2O Group and Hunter PR.

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