Cincinnati Public Schools Issues Public Relations RFP

Cincinnati Public Schools Issues Public Relations RFP

Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) seeks to hire a PR firm to provide public relations and marketing services to help increase enrollment and enhance the overall reputation of the district.

The Cincinnati Public School District, also known as Cincinnati Public Schools serves about thirty-five thousand (35,000) students in fifty-five (55) schools spread across a ninety-one (91) square mile district in southwest Ohio. CPS is greater Cincinnati’s largest school district and Ohio’s third largest. CPS ranks among the top two (2) percent of Ohio districts for students’ learning growth and offers families high-quality school choices and academic programs.

CPS seeks to widely promote its efforts to provide a top-notch education by capturing stories of students’ experiences and successes, and sharing those stories via web, social media and other channels. Further, CPS seeks to position itself as one of the strongest urban school districts in America.

Background of Need

CPS has seen an enrollment increase of more than eight percent over the last five years – indicating increasing stakeholder confidence. The district has excelled to be recognized among the top urban districts in Ohio. Recognized for academic innovations, CPS has implemented successful programs to ensure that students can achieve their greatest potential.

There are hundreds of stories that can be shared with stakeholders to celebrate the work the district is doing on behalf of Cincinnati’s young people. Current staff resources make it difficult to capture and share these stories. CPS needs an extension of its Public Affairs Department to assist with capturing these stories and sharing them via social media, mass media, trade publications, web and other appropriate channels. In addition, CPS will face major leadership changes during the current school year. The superintendent’s extended contract ends July 31, 2017. Communication strategies will need to support Board efforts to attract a talented replacement by positioning the district among the top urban school systems in the country.

Finally, as part of Vision 2020, CPS will launch new programs in eight more of its elementary schools: Roll Hill (Technology), Bond Hill (Math/Science), South Avondale (STEM), Rockdale (Global Conservatory), Ethel M. Taylor (Technology), College Hill (Expeditionary Learning), Mt. Washington (Expeditionary Learning) and John P. Parker (Global Learning Science). Each of these new programs will serve as value propositions for targeted marketing in the neighborhoods each school serves. An initial role of the selected agency will be to help develop messaging and tools to help recruit students into these schools.

RFP Deliverables

CPS is requesting proposals from communications/marketing agencies capable of developing and implementing strategies and tactics that will enhance the overall reputation of the district among its stakeholders. Specific deliverables include:

  • Developing and executing an information campaign designed to promote the district’s reputation with external stakeholders.
  • Securing education trade media coverage of key district and school innovations throughout the school year.
  • Producing quarterly case studies about education innovations to publish in trades and promote among CPS and city stakeholders.
  • Developing and executing grassroots strategies to encourage ongoing support for and enrollment in neighborhood schools within the neighborhoods they serve.
  • Providing professional design support under the supervision of the CPS Public Affairs Department.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of the strategies executed, identifying measurement tools and providing data on results.
  • Evaluating the Cincinnati Public Schools website as a marketing and engagement tool, and making needed recommendations for improvements.
  • Developing and executing marketing, media relations, and social media strategies to introduce the new superintendent to CPS and Cincinnati stakeholders.
  • Developing and executing marketing, media relations, social media strategies to recruit students into the new Vision 2020 programs.

Proposal due by February 1, 2017 to:

Cincinnati Public Schools
2651 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219

PR firms in Ohio include Fahlgren Mortine & Dix Eaton.

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