Bismarck State College Seeks Ad Agency

bismarck seeks public relations agency

Bismarck State College (BSC) is seeking an advertising agency. BSC’s College Relations team is seeking to develop a BSC-branded advertising campaign targeted primarily toward traditional students, ages 16-24. The campaign will launch in the fall of 2018 and to be leveraged for a minimum of two full years. The campaign package will include the plan and timeline; creative “wow” messaging; and collateral that balances traditional and digital media to reach our key audiences.


More than 75 years ago, Bismarck State College put down roots as a small community college. Since then we have become a visionary college focused on preparing students for today and beyond. At BSC, we offer programs and opportunities for every stage of the education experience. We reach beyond to create global connections while expanding our commitments to our local communities. In a word, our brand is Beyond.

That word holds the promise of individual pursuits. It contains all the potential of the people who work here; it represents the success of our students and the excellence of our events and outreach. Beyond is a place and it is potential and it is an expectation. In developing creative, the Beyond brand concept is always at the heart of any outreach. We want to see our students achieve their beyond/their goals whatever those goals may be.

For some students, that may mean attending for a semester (or a year or two years) and then transferring on to a four year college or university elsewhere. They may also stay on the BSC campus and further their education with our partners at Valley City State University, Dickinson State University or Minot State University.

For others it means graduating with a technical degree and moving into an in-demand career (e.g. healthcare, energy, computer science, automotive repair, etc.). An older student may be here to refresh their skills or change careers. Our military students are looking to transition from military to civilian life and a good job.


  • Third largest NDUS institution behind only NDSU and UND
  • 3,976 for-credit students in technical and transfer programs
  • 26,094 non-credit students
  • 98% placement rate for graduates
  • 82% of students are ND residents
  • $194.9M annually in direct economic impact
  • Almost 95% of enrolling freshman are from ND
  • Primarily Burleigh-Morton counties


The overall challenge (and the strength) of a community college like ours is to serve the needs of the whole community – filling the workforce pipeline with technical graduates, offering an affordable start for transfer students, providing training to industry and holding classes for lifelong learners.

Specifically some of our challenges include:

  • 20% appropriated budget reduction for 2017-19 biennium
  • Elimination of 52 staff/faculty positions
  • $1.6 million tuition shortfall over the next biennium due to the slowdown in energy industry and ND’s economy, and continuation of decline in graduating seniors in the region.
  • Decline in HS graduates in Burleigh and Morton counties

Scope of Work:

The scope of work will include the following:

  1. Working with BSC College Relations team, the vendor will provide BSC with a BSC-branded advertising campaign targeted primarily toward traditional students, ages 16-24 to begin running in Fall of 2018 and to be used for at least two years. The campaign package will include the plan and timeline; creative “wow” messaging; creative development that balances traditional and digital marketing to reach our key audiences.
    1. Media placement and costs will be handled outside the scope of this project.
  1. BSC College Relations staff will leverage the campaign look, feel and creative elements (including photos, video, copy, etc.) to develop additional recruitment print and digital materials. Agency campaign creative will be expected to translate to that package of materials.


Description of Specific, Results-Oriented Tasks

Development timeline:

  1. Develop creative messaging leveraging BSC brand of BEYOND
  2. Develop, produce and prepare creative collateral for the media outlets (traditional, digital) that will reach our target audiences.
  3. Ensure that all creative elements are able to be leveraged by College Relations team for additional internally-produced pieces.

Due Date:

August 25, 2017 to:


Bismarck State College
Recruitment Advertising Campaign RFP
RFP Number: 227-0717-01
PO BOX 5587
Bismarck, ND 58506

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