City of Kelowna Issues Marketing and Advertising RFP

City of Kelowna Issues Marketing and Advertising RFP

The City of Kelowna in British Columbia wishes to engage a qualified agency to be the primary provider of a full range of professional marketing services for the City of Kelowna’s various lines of business. The scope of work falls into three general areas, but includes strategic marketing, creative services and media planning/buying. The City of Kelowna provides a wide array of services to its 127,500 citizens. Further information about the City of Kelowna can be accessed at

The City of Kelowna Communications Department is responsible for corporate communications and marketing activities such as:

  • Developing and implementing internal and external communication and marketing strategies;
  • Coordinating corporate marketing, advertising, public information and media releases in partnership with departments;
  • Developing and implementing marketing and communications guidelines, policies and templates;
  • Managing community engagement and market research; and
  • Developing digital channels such as the City website with four sub-sites, social media accounts and other digital marketing channels.


Since 2009, the City of Kelowna has had a consistent external brand and accompanying visual standards guide, as well as templates that all staff and contractors working on behalf of the City must follow. In addition to the main City brand there are also four recognized sub-brands; Kelowna International Airport, Kelowna Fire Department, Kelowna Community Theatre and Kelowna Memorial Cemetery.

Up to 2010 the City of Kelowna utilized a number of graphic designers and marketing firms for its strategic marketing and creative needs. Each project manager engaged their own graphic and marketing support. This led to inconsistent usage of the City graphic standards, as well as varying quality of work and agency fees. In addition, there was no opportunity to tie initiatives into larger organizational goals. City staff also purchased their own media individually which resulted in varying rates for the same media throughout the city, multiple media representatives, ineffective buys and lost opportunities for volume and coordinated media buys. In 2010 the City began to pull together some of its larger annual buys and negotiated favourable rates with targeted media. The City would like the successful Proponent to expand and improve upon the success of this work.

Over the last five years, the City has used an agency of record model, under contract with one company providing marketing services such as marketing plan development, graphic design (print and online), media buying, photography, videography and more. In 2015 the City purchased approximately $95,000 and in 2016 $65,000 in agency services at a discounted rate based on anticipated volume.

Both the agency and the City invested significant time at the beginning of the contract to ensure the agency understood the City’s brand and key messages. During the initial stages of the contract the agency and city representatives met in person frequently to address any issues. As time evolved the number of administrative face to face meetings was reduced to a bi-weekly basis; however, the account manager continued to meet face to face with clients on a regular basis regarding their individual projects. The agency provided mechanisms to ensure clients’ needs were clearly articulated and understood at the beginning of each project as well as a mechanism to measure customer satisfaction and identify issues at the end of each project.


The City of Kelowna wishes to engage a qualified agency to be the primary provider of a full range of professional marketing services for the City of Kelowna’s various lines of business.

The main objectives of entering into a long term contract with a preferred agency of record include:

  • Quality communications and marketing materials reflective of the best mid-sized city in North America;
  • Key messaging and brand consistency;
  • Cost effectiveness;
  • Working with an agency that can provide a variety of services to allow integrated marketing strategies across a variety of mediums (i.e. print, web, social media etc.);
  • Effective communications and marketing initiatives that deliver results;
  • Data driven marketing decisions;
  • Accessibility and ease of administering; and
  • Better utilization of City staff resources.

Proposal due by April 6, 2017 to:
City of Kelowna
Office of the City Clerk
1435 Water Street
Kelowna, BC V1Y 1J4

Shift Communications was recently acquired by a Canadian holding company.

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