CITY OF PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND ISSUES PR RFP 

2022-05-30 by EPR Staff

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Item Description: PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICES (EXP. 6/30/25) WITH 1 OPTION YEAR

Date to be opened: MONDAY JUNE 6, 2022

Issuing Department: PROVIDENCE WATER

QUESTIONS

Please direct questions relative to the bidding process, how to fill out forms, and how to submit a bid (Pages 1-8) to Purchasing Agent Patti Jordan.

o Phone: (401) 680-5264

o Email: pjordan@providenceri.gov

Please use the subject line “RFP Question”

Please direct questions relative to the Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise Program and the corresponding forms (Pages 9-13) to the MBE/WBE Outreach Director for the City of Providence, Grace Diaz

o Phone: (401) 680-5766

o Email: gdiaz@providenceri.gov

Please use subject line “MBE WBE Forms”

Please direct questions relative to the specifications outlined (beginning on page 14) to the issuing department’s subject matter expert:

o Yvette Jaquez – Public Information Officer

o (401) 521-6300 X7172

yvettej@provwater.com

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMISSION

Bids may be submitted up to 2:15 P.M. on the above meeting date at the Department of the City Clerk. Room 311, City Hall. 25 Dorrance Street, Providence. At 2:15 P.M. all bids will be publicly opened and read at the Board of Contract Meeting in the City Council Chambers, on the 3rd floor of City Hall.

 Bidders must submit 2 copies of their bid in sealed envelopes or packages labeled with the captioned Item Description and the City Department to which the RFP and bid are related. (On page 1)

 Communications to the Board of Contract and Supply that are not competitive sealed bids (i.e. product information/samples) should have “NOT A BID” written on the envelope or wrapper.

 Only use form versions and templates included in this RFP. If you have an old version of a form do not recycle it for use in this bid.

 The bid envelope and information relative to the bid must be addressed to:

Board of Contract and Supply Department of the City Clerk – City Hall, Room 311 25 Dorrance Street Providence, RI 02903

**PLEASE NOTE: This bid may include details regarding information that you will need to provide (such as proof of licenses) to the issuing department before the formalization of an award.

This information is NOT requested to be provided in your initial bid by design.

All bids submitted to the City Clerk become public record. Failure to follow instructions could result in information considered private being posted to the city’s Open Meetings Portal and made available as a public record. The City has made a conscious effort to avoid the posting of sensitive information on the City’s Open Meetings Portal, by requesting

OVERVIEW

Providence Water (PW) is the main supplier of water for approximately 600,000 people in the State of Rhode Island through its Philip J. Holton Water Purification Plant located in Scituate, RI. In addition to wholesaling water to seven water utilities in the greater Providence area, PW directly serves customers in portions of five (5) communities. In these 5 communities, PW has a large number of assets such as distribution reservoirs (7), pump stations (12), water mains (over 1,000 miles), hydrants (over 6700), meters, and service connections (approximately 79,000) through which it provides water for domestic and industrial use as well as fire protection to its customers.

Providence Water’s sole source of supply is the Scituate Reservoir Complex. The Scituate Reservoir complex consists of six reservoirs: the main (Scituate) reservoir and five smaller reservoirs that are tributary to the main reservoir. Providence Water operates one conventional water treatment plant to purify source water that flows from the Scituate Reservoir to the plant. The raw water characteristics from the Scituate Reservoir are typical of well-protected surface water supplies in the New England region. Providence Water operates five water storage facilities throughout the distribution system. In order to maintain an adequate supply of potable water at a sufficient pressure, Providence Water owns and operates water pump stations in the distribution system and one raw water pump station.

INTRODUCTION

Providence Water (Agency) is seeking formal bids for Public Relations and Communications Services from qualified applicants, Consultants (Firm), as enumerated within the Request for Proposal (RFP). The goal is to promote public information and education, and to inform public agencies of PW’s programs and concerns by distributing information through all available media services in the Greater Providence Region and to assist PW in the promotion of issues of general public concern. Some information programs will be aimed at the public through the general media, while some will be specific to all PW customers. The Firm will provide a variety of services and guidance to the Agency in order to maintain and/or increase the level of quality of effective communication.

SCOPE OF WORK

The successful applicant will be required to perform the following activities:

The Agency will utilize the Firm’s expertise and talent relative to survey research, public information activities and advertising recommendations.

Submittals for print media and press releases for other media shall be delivered in camera-ready form consistent with Greater Providence Region’s media standards.

1. Monthly Services

The development of a 12-month public information and communications plan for the Agency and prepare certain public information releases as required by the General Manager and/or his designee. PW requests 24/7 availability from Firm and is requesting Firm to submit a monthly fee (retainer) for this section (Monthly Services).

A. The successful Firm will assist the Agency staff in developing a:

1. Public outreach strategy for our Infrastructure Replacement Programs/IFR work performed throughout our distribution system.

2. Water quality and/or regulatory public notification program, on a case-by-case basis, as required by the General Manager and/or his designee.

3. Assist the Agency in development and execution of a communication plan for effective, timely communication with the public.

4. The Firm will provide support to the General Manager/Agency as needed.

5. Develop a Communications Plan for consistent, informative communication from PW to the public regarding actions of the Agency, and regarding its programs, services and initiatives. The consultant should initiate ideas on when and how to inform the public and carry out the tasks as directed by the General Manager and/or his designee.

6. Review existing policies and draft new communication and media policies relating to Agency communications.

7. Develop and execute a strategy to improve all forms of public communication, which includes the City’s government access, web site, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of communication as recommended by the consultant.

8. Arrange for, and coordinate, media coverage of issues including organizing press conferences and interviews, and arranging appearances on appropriate media outlets. Provide guidance to Agency representatives in advance of public appearance and media coverage events as directed by the Agency.

9. Assist in development of educational materials, news stories and briefing documents on current issues, as well as long-term matters to ensure the quality and consistency of information provided to the public. This will include writing technical information in easily readable and understandable form, and issuing press releases prior to and following meetings as requested by General Manager and/or his designee.

10. Make recommendations to the Agency for more timely, transparent and effective communication with residents, businesses and guests of the City.

11. Handling media requests.

12. Immediate responsiveness in the course of emergencies.

B. Following the initial phase of research, information gathering and planning, the Firm will be required to implement the public information components under the Agency’s supervision.

C. The successful Firm will also be called upon and provide to the Agency, as needed, assistance in the dissemination of information to the media and public concerning regulatory notices, construction activities, rate adjustments, emergency situations and other matters the Agency may deem necessary.

2. Specific Requests

PW on a regular basis may require additional services beyond the services required in Section 1 paid under the retainer fee. Some examples of these services would include preparation of video presentations, graphic design work, special events and other PW promotions.

As noted herein, each bidder is required to provide a comprehensive list of hourly rates for all classifications and services.

All work performed under this section (Specific Requests) would require a cost quote from Firm and approval from Agency prior to the start of any work.