City of Columbia, South Carolina Request for Proposal (RFP) Communication and Marketing Services RFP011-22-23-SSL

Submittal Deadline May 8, 2023 12:00 p.m.


A. Licenses and Certifications.

All Offerors shall be registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office by the response deadline. Any Offerors who are not registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office at the time submissions are due may be found nonresponsive and may be withdrawn from consideration.

The City of Columbia requires every person or business engaged in or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation, or profession, in whole or in part, within the limits of the city to pay an annual license fee and obtain a business license as provided in the ordinance. A valid City of Columbia Business 

License must be in place prior to issuance of a Notice to Proceed and valid City of Columbia Purchase

Order. Business License inquiries, requirements, and application can be accessed at:

B. Project Specific Licenses and Certifications –

There are no project specific licenses or certifications required for this RFP.

C. Special Standards of Responsibility

There are no Special Standards of Responsibility required for this RFP.

D. Project Specific Scope of Services

The City is seeking a professional communications and marketing firm with proven experience in social media, graphic design, digital communications, public relations/media relations, online marketing, and marketing material development. The selected consultant will work closely with the City to develop and implement a comprehensive communication strategy that will showcase the City as a great

destination to live, work, play, and conduct business.

A special message from City of Columbia leadership providing the vision for these services can be accessed at:

The following components are critical to the successful delivery of the City’s communication strategy:

  1. Social Media Emphasis: The consultant will develop a social media strategy that increases public engagement and expands the City’s social media audience/followers on platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. The strategy should include a detailed plan for content creation and publication, audience targeting, and engagement tactics. The consultant should also provide recommendations for social media monitoring and reporting.

The firm may also be expected to provide full ongoing social media management services, including content creation, monitoring, and reporting.

2. Graphic Design/Image Enhancement: The consultant will develop guidelines (to include a style guide) for social media platforms, physical publications, presentation materials, and items such as table cloths for booths, etc. that ensure consistency in publication and image enhancement of the City.

The firm may also be responsible for developing templates, graphic design, and image enhancement that align with the City’s brand and visual identity. In addition, the consultant will provide search engine optimization assistance to ensure City related website searches result in direct and relevant City of Columbia information.

Brand Refresh: The City’s desire is to continue using the City’s current logo (seal with “We are Columbia” messaging). The consultant will work with the City to refresh the City’s brand. This will include developing a brand strategy that includes guidelines for incorporating across internal departments and with local partners.

The selected firm will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive brand audit and developing a refreshed brand identity for the City. This must provide consistency in look and feel in messaging and templates for various presentation, marketing and communication materials.

4. Local and National Media Coverage: The consultant will develop opportunities for local and national media coverage that include, but are not limited to, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and online media outlets. The consultant will develop and implement a media relations strategy that includes media outreach, message development, and media training. The goal is to encourage positive working relationships that result in increased positive media coverage.

The firm may also be responsible for developing media lists, pitching stories, coordinating media interviews, monitoring media coverage and providing regular reports to the City.

5. Economic Development Pitchbook and Slide Deck Creation: The consultant will develop marketing materials (print and electronic) that showcase the City as a great destination to locate a business and highlight the positive decisions that have created a business-friendly environment. The consultant will work with the City to develop and refresh a pitch book and slide deck as needed that can be used to attract new businesses and investors to the City.


The following deliverables are expected from the consultant:

  1. A comprehensive communications and marketing plan that outlines the strategies and tactics for achieving the City’s communication and marketing goals.
  1. A social media management plan that outlines the strategy and guidelines for increasing public engagement and expanding the City’s social media audience/followers on all platforms.
  1. Graphic design and image enhancement guidelines

4. Brand strategy, visual identity, and brand guidelines

5. A media relations plan that outlines the approach for developing and increasing positive local and national media coverage and providing media outreach materials.

6. An economic development pitch book and slide deck that highlights the City as a great destination to locate a business.

7. Monthly reports that provide an overview of social media activity, media coverage, and other relevant metrics.

8. The Awardee may be required to conduct a presentation to City officials.

In addition, the consultant should provide ongoing support and recommendations throughout the contract period. This may include regular reporting and analysis of social media metrics, media monitoring and analysis, and ongoing brand management and support.


You may also like...