California State Transportation Agency Issues Marketing RFP

California State Transportation Agency Issues Marketing RFP

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is soliciting proposals for the ongoing development and implementation of its highway safety messages. This will involve the efforts of a full-service professional agency that can assist in the ongoing creation and development of marketing campaigns, public relations, and advertising to reduce deaths, injuries, and economic losses that result from highway work zone collisions. Caltrans’ highest priority is the safety of its workers and the motoring public. Caltrans continues to increase its efforts to make highway work areas safer for Caltrans employees, highway workers, and the public. Caltrans is focused on educating motorists about safe driving in and around works zones and the state’s Move-Over Law, which requires drivers to move over a lane, away from highway workers and emergency vehicles if safe to do so, or slow down.

The purpose of this RFP is to solicit proposals from proposers with the resources, experience, and abilities to provide a wide range of communication services for Caltrans’ public relations, advertising, and marketing activities to reach the general, teenage, and Hispanic markets. Outreach services shall include the ability to issue information, influence attitudes, and create awareness, interest, understanding, and support for Caltrans’ highway safety programs; “Be Work Zone Alert” and “Move Over” messages and of Senate Bill 1 (SB1) — the Road Repair and Accountability Act, which marks the largest investment into our state infrastructure in California history.


Caltrans currently has over 900 construction projects across the state and numerous maintenance activities that are conducted every day to keep our highways safe and operational.

In April 2017, Senate Bill 1 was passed, which will provide $54 billion for transportation over the next 10 years. This will equate to a historical amount of roadwork and work zones on our highways. This in turn means more workers will be exposed to the dangers of working on the highway.

In 2014, the latest statistics available, there were 6,525 work zone collisions on highways in California. This equates to more than 17 work zone collisions a day. In light of the high number of work zones, Caltrans is working on increasing education regarding work zones and changing the behavior of drivers so crashes can be prevented.

Education is one of the most popular—and powerful—tools organizations can use to improve traffic safety. Changing driver behavior is the focus of traffic safety education efforts. It is not enough for drivers to understand the “rules of the road.” Drivers must be motivated to change their driving habits.

In 2014, Caltrans launched a new campaign called, “Be Work Zone Alert” that featured the children of Caltrans employees, engaging California drivers in a new way. Highway workers are relied upon to do more than just fix our roadways, they are counted on to come home each day.

The campaign also expanded on the Slow for the Cone Zone campaign by emphasizing works zones are not always marked by cones.

Scope of Work:

Detailed description of work to be performed and duties of all parties:

The contractor shall organize and coordinate a comprehensive statewide advertising campaign and marketing program, and provide public relations activities to promote highway safety awareness in and near highway work zones.

  1. The contractor shall proceed according to its submitted work plan (included in Attachment 2) for task completion based on a start date of August 1, 2018.
  2. The contractor shall proceed according to its Technical Proposal Elements of the campaign, which include:
  • General market outreach (ages 18-49)
  • Targeted Hispanic outreach (non-English speaking)
  • Targeted teenage, young adult driver outreach (ages 15-24)
  • Innovative Media – Non-traditional Media (in contrast to newspaper, radio and television, which are considered traditional media)
  • Online Advertising
  • Social Media
  • Live Traffic and News Sponsorships
  • Radio Outreach
  • Television
  • Public and Private Partnerships
  1. The contractor shall, on an ongoing basis, continue to build strategic public and private partnerships that will help maximize resources, or added value, and increase the effectiveness of the campaign.
  2. The contractor shall effectively incorporate the two current highway safety messages, “Be Work Zone Alert” and “Move Over” in all creative. One of the messages must be incorporated in all creative messaging, which will be dependent upon the specific message.
  3. The contractor shall effectively incorporate creative highway safety messages for high school outreach and teen audiences.
  4. The contractor shall conduct market research (such as focus groups, and intercepts) to test the contractor’s proposed creative ideas if applicable.
  5. The contractor shall measure effectiveness of campaign by conducting and completing an awareness study by June 30, 2021. “Awareness” is still being considered a lead indicator for a decrease in collisions, fatalities and injuries in work zones. These awareness statistics will be compared, by the Contractor, to the March 2016 final report from a prior campaign for long-term tracking of campaign effectiveness.
  6. The contractor shall assist with the annual Caltrans Workers Memorials. Ceremonies take place in April or May of each year. The contractor will assist arranging media coverage as well as assisting in the coordination of the event (such as arranging for rental equipment, setting up on   the actual day, program schedule, and other event requirements. The latest Caltrans Workers Memorial can be viewed at:       
  7. The contractor shall develop and coordinate safety awareness presentations and perform other activities to reach out to teenage drivers including presentations at 20 venues (e.g., high schools and driver’s education classes) reaching 20,000 teens each year of the contract.
  8. The contractor shall participate in a minimum of 12 outreach activities, reaching 50,000 people each year of the contract.
  9. The contractor shall prepare a draft press release announcing the kick-off of the campaign within 30 days after contract execution. The press release (and related media advisories, alerts, and materials) must be forwarded to the Contract Manager for approval at least two weeks prior to the issuance date of the release.
  10. The contractor shall obtain approval to participate in an event or program from the contract   manager at least one month in advance.
  11. The contractor shall submit quarterly reports to the contract manager documenting activities that have taken place the previous quarter by the 15th of the following months:
  • January, April, July, and October
  1. The contractor shall prepare draft press releases, media advisories and alerts and submit to Contract Manager for approval two weeks prior to participating in any advertised events or distributing any information.
  2. The contractor shall develop two final reports by July 31, 2021:
  • A final report, including activities, media results conclusions and findings.
  • A high level report detailing results of the campaign.

Due Date:

June 30th


Department of Transportation

Division of Procurement and Contracts

Attention: Ruben Lopez

1727 30th Street, MS-65

Sacramento, CA 95816-7006

Strong California agencies include Shift Communications and Porter Novelli.

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