City of West Hollywood Seeks PR Firm For AIDS Project

City of West Hollywood Seeks PR Firm For AIDS Project

The City of West Hollywood is seeking an agency for Community Engagement & Content Development Support Service for an Aids Monument. The  selected  PR agency will also curate and prepare these stories for archival purposes in support of an AIDS Monument which will be sited in West Hollywood Park that is currently under development by the Foundation for the AIDS Monument (FAM) and artist Dan Tobin, in collaboration with the City.

West Hollywood Background

With a population of approximately 35,000 and about 25,000 residential units in a land area of only 1.9 square miles, the City of West Hollywood is a highly dense, urban community surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.  The City is home to one of the nation’s best-known gay and lesbian communities, as well to as a large immigrant Russian population.  The City is home to the world famous Sunset Strip, the West Hollywood Design District and hosts the annual Halloween Carnaval in October, the Christopher Street West Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian and Transgender Pride Parade and Festival in June, as well as dozens of visitor attractions that include a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment venues. On a typical weekend, the City population swells to over 80,000 and during special events, the City attracts between a quarter and a half million people.

The City of West Hollywood is a General Law City with five Council members elected at- large to four year terms on a staggered basis. The City is also a contract city, which contracts out many of its public services.  Police service is contracted with the Los Angeles  County  Sheriff’s  Department  and  Fire  protection  through  the  Los  Angeles County and Consolidated Fire Protection District.  The City has approximately 210 full- time and about 30 part-time employees. Its operating budget is approximately $112 million.

Community Engagement & Content Development Support The City is soliciting proposals to provide professional services for community engagement services in support of a significant AIDS monument.  The Foundation for the  AIDS  Monument  (FAM)  has  hired  artist  Dan  Tobin  to  design  the  Monument’s physical art piece to be located on City property in West Hollywood Park, in a prominent location significant to the histories of LGBT civil liberties and the fight against AIDS.  The City, in coordination with FAM, is looking to hire a team of consultants to help in the development of content (stories, history, imagery, etc.) for integration into the AIDS Monument and an accompanying website.  It is anticipated that this will be accomplished  through  a  variety  of  community  outreach  strategies  that  will  engage diverse communities in storytelling and history-sharing related to the AIDS epidemic and the continuing battle against HIV/AIDS today.

The City is looking for a consulting team with knowledge of the AIDS crisis and the local community of people, organizations and institutions who have been and are affected by the AIDS crisis, prevention, support services and education campaigns.  The consulting team should have within its cohort some or all of these skill sets:

  • community outreach and engagement
  • story-telling and story collection strategies
  • archiving personal narratives
  • content development for memorials, monuments, or permanent exhibits
  • experience that might be found in museum educators or curators.

Various design concepts for the AIDS Monument shall be derived from the content, stories and input received from the community, stakeholders and others wishing to openly share ideas. The consultant team should give strong consideration to maximizing participation, and shall design an outreach and community engagement program flexible enough to address any major concerns or issues that may arise from the community.

The diverse stories and input collected by the outreach consultant team through the outreach program will be referenced and/or translated by Artist Dan Tobin in his final design for the AIDS Monument, and representative stories will be selected for their integration into the physical art piece as narrative text, imagery and/or personalized soundscapes or video projections, for example.  All of the content collected during the outreach will also be archived by the outreach consultant for future use in a website, digital/virtual environments or other supporting technologies or archival mechanisms.

The collection of stories and information may also provide content for inclusion in the West Hollywood Library’s AIDS collection, and/or other local or regional archives or museums, as well as within the AIDS Monument site itself. Participation by the community is of particular importance in developing a personal and meaningful monument. The City Council of the City of West Hollywood and FAM have expressed the need for a comprehensive outreach plan for building an engaged community around the monument and for collecting AIDS stories from diverse voices.

The City Council approved the formation of an AIDS Monument Outreach Advisory Team  (AMOAT)  in  December  2016.    The  nine-member  AMOAT  is  comprised  of volunteer stakeholders who have been leaders in the community and the fight against HIV/AIDS. The Advisory Team will guide the outreach and public engagement for the development of the AIDS Monument Project, and greatly enhancing FAM’s efforts to create an AIDS Monument that speaks to the diversity of people who are and have been affected by the AIDS epidemic.

Over the next four months, the Advisory Team will help City and FAM staffs to: set goals for  public  engagement;  select  an  outreach  consultant  team;  guide  the  outreach consultant in reaching important stakeholders; and provide feedback on the outreach consultant’s proposal to reach and engage a diversity of communities.   The Advisory Team will also be asked to help guide the content selected for the locally-focused AIDS Monument Timeline which is currently under development by Karen Ocamb as a separate scope of services commissioned by City Council in December 2016.

Goal of the RFP

  • Implement a comprehensive outreach and content collection/archival strategy;
  • Coordinate messaging and communication with the City, FAM, and the artist;
  • Coordinate the  identification  of  a  diverse  group  of  key  stakeholders  and organizations to interview for their stories (aka, “content”);
  • Document, record and archive personal, professional, cultural and political AIDS stories (for use in the AIDS Monument Project and possible supplemental programs) using multiple media resources, such as photography, video and voice recording booths, website entries, articles and transcription services;
  • Identify future partners who may develop programs supplementary to the AIDS Monument; and
  • Coordinate efforts with third party resources  to accomplish the above-stated goals.

Scope of Service

Approved by the AIDS Monument Outreach Advisory Team, or AMOAT, the following are the basic goals and objectives to be met by the winning proposal for comprehensive outreach and content development scope of services:

  1. Get the Word Out
  1. Prioritize Inclusivity and Invite Broad Participation
  1. Collect and Archive the Stories
  1. Engage, Educate and Build Partnerships The main tasks for this project are: collection, curation and archiving of AIDS stories and history through the implementation of an innovative community outreach plan; and development of content for the AIDS Monument and possible use in programs supplemental to the Monument. Specific goal-oriented tasks to be addressed in the proposal include:

Get the Word Out:

  1. The consulting team shall develop and coordinate a communications strategy with the City staff, FAM and the AIDS Monument Outreach Advisory Team (AMOAT).
  1. The consulting team shall also work closely with City of West Hollywood elected officials and leaders in the HIV/AIDS leadership community to identify and engage current groups and individual supporters of an AIDS Monument in West Hollywood.
  1. The consulting team shall propose and implement communication and outreach mechanisms (such as outreach event notifications, social media, networking, flyers and other printed communication materials, articles, and public notices) to engage the diverse local community of people touched by the AIDS crisis. A variety of communication means should be used, especially to engage populations such as youth and seniors who may be difficult to reach using traditional means.   The AIDS Monument Outreach Advisory Team will be a good resource for the consultant team to engage regarding networking.
  1. Upon conclusion of the outreach program, the consulting team shall summarize and prepare a report for presentation to City Council. The consulting team should be able to demonstrate to the City Council achievement of a broad and high degree of community awareness of the AIDS Monument and the various opportunities for engagement, including among diverse communities, AIDS organizations, leaders in the HIV/AIDS community, and City residents and businesses.

Prioritize Inclusivity and Invite Broad Participation:

  1. The consulting team shall design, produce and conduct community engagement sessions, workshops and presentations to engage diverse communities and outreach to organizations throughout the region, varying in scale from large scale community workshops to pop-up events and to one-on-one stakeholder meetings. Key engagement activities may include:
    • Generation of content (blog posts, images, etc.) for the project website or AIDS Monument names or memory book
    • Pop-up workshops or special events
    • Focus groups to solicit input on specific issues from key stakeholder groups
    • Outreach and consultation with key stakeholders
    • Traditional community workshops
    • Video or sound recording booths
    • Other innovative programs suggested by the Consultant Team.
  1. Upon finalization of the consultant(s) contract, and prior to initiating the outreach program, the consultant(s) shall work with City staff, FAM and the AMOAT to: create a mission statement to guide engagement; compile a list of key stakeholders to be directly engaged, including relevant details of stakeholders already contacted by FAM; and create a draft outline and schedule for future outreach events and stakeholder and community engagement sessions. The key stakeholder list should be representative of HIV/AIDS stakeholder groups, including activists,  artists,  caregivers,  cultural  organizations,  health organizations,  etc.  and  representing  diversity  of  race,  gender-identity,  age, sexual orientation, ability, etc.

Collect and Archive the Stories:

  1. The consulting team shall propose, and work with City staff, FAM, the artist, and the AMOAT, to develop a recording/archiving strategy for collecting stories and information gained at community events and individual meetings.
  1. The consulting team shall implement a multi-faceted system to collect, curate and archive multiple diverse AIDS stories in support of the development of content for the Monument, in coordination with City staff, FAM, Artist Dan Tobin, the AIDS Monument Outreach Advisory Team (AMOAT). Collection of stories could include the use of a website, social media, photography, video and/or sound recordings, and written submissions/articles, for example.
  1. The consulting team shall collect enough and diverse stories from individuals and organizations  throughout  the  region  to  represent  the  local  story  of HIV/AIDS.
  1. The stories  shall  be  collected  and  archived  in  such  a  way  that  they  are accessible and verifiable, to include significant data and/or citations such as source and date, and release forms for use by the City, FAM or Dan Tobin of personal information or imagery.

Engage, Educate and Build Partnerships:

  1. The consultant(s) shall work with the City and FAM on coordinated educational messaging that  will  engage  various  generations  of  people,  through  social media, print material and potentially through public service announcements (PSAs).
  1. media platform and event/meeting is an opportunity to educate people about the significance of an AIDS Monument. For example, re-telling some of the representative and poignant stories collected earlier in the outreach process may be a good test to what resonates with people from different perspectives and different generations.
  1. During the course of outreach events, workshops and one-on-one meetings, the consultant(s), the City and FAM shall consider and identify potential future partners regarding the use of content developed during the outreach program. For example, the West Hollywood Library may be interested in adding content to its collection regarding HIV/AIDS or an education-oriented organization may be interested in developing an HIV/AIDS education program for schoolchildren. The consultant(s) shall maintain a list of these potential partners.

Proposal due by April 25th, 2017 to:

Office the City Clerk
City of West Hollywood
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Attn: Community Engagement and Content Development Support Services for an AIDS Monument RFP

Potential contenders could include MWW PR or Burson-Marsteller.

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