Bureau of East Asia Seeks Branding Agency in Palau

The Bureau of East Asian and Pacific (EAP) Affairs’ Office of Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State whom seeks a contractor to execute a strategic communications and branding campaign in Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in order to promote positive messaging about the United States as a committed friend and partner of the Northern Pacific.

The U.S. Department of State continues diplomatic efforts with the Northern Pacific countries of the Freely Associated States (FAS). Under the Compacts of Free Association with Palau, the FSM, and the RMI, the United States has remained steadfast partners with these countries for more than a quarter century by providing them security, monetary annual assistance, and visa-free access to the United States. In order to prevent development of potential negative perception of the U.S.; the United States intends to implement a comprehensive communications and marketing strategy that coordinates messaging across the interagency and builds public confidence about the cur- rent and future strength of U.S. partnerships.

Scope of Work

This project aims to support accurate representations about the United States as a committed friend and partner of the Northern Pacific within the countries of Palau, the FSM, and the RMI.  This will be accomplished by:

  • Building awareness among target audiences about the positive impact of U.S. assistance to the FAS, including both direct economic assistance and the wide array of federal programs and benefits they receive.
  • Easing public anxiety about the expiration of the financial provisions in the Compacts by emphasizing the elements which will remain in place after 2023 (to the extent possible depending on whether certain policy decisions have been made at the time of the campaign).
  • Framing messages on U.S. assistance to the FAS within the larger context of U.S. commitment to the security and economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region in order to highlight the United States as the continued partner of choice.

In order to accomplish this, the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs envisions a multi-phase project that first collects quantitative and qualitative data about the impact of U.S. assistance to the FAS, identifies success stories that can be told through local, credible voices, develops appropriate communications products that resonate with target audiences in each country, and then uses these products to execute a nationwide strategic communications and branding campaign.

All communications and branding efforts will target three primary audiences in order of priority:

  • Influencers and opinion makers in Palau, the FSM, and the RMI who set the tone of conversation about the Compact and relations with the United States.
  • The large FAS diaspora who migrate back and forth between the Northern Pacific and the United States and often serve as advocates for the U.S.-FAS relationships to Congress and other U.S. government officials
  • Vulnerable populations within these countries who rely on U.S. assistance, are anxious about the impact of the end of specific U.S. financial assistance provisions on their livelihoods and communities, and are susceptible to narratives perpetrated by other actors about potential non-U.S. sources of future assistance.

Note that Palau, the FSM, and the RMI are not identical and therefore do not share the exact same messaging needs.  Differences in the status of their respective Compacts, their official relationships with China and Taiwan, and the perspectives of FAS government officials vs. the general public in each country mean that some techniques and messages will need to be deployed in one operating environment but not in others.

Due Date

September 28, 2017 5:00pm EST



Agencies with strong relevant government experience include APCO Worldwide and Burson-Marsteller.

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