Cleveland State University Issues Advertising RFP

Cleveland State University Issues Advertising RFP

Cleveland State University has issued an RFP for Advertising and Media Buying. Required services include advertising account management, creative direction, copywriting, media analysis, planning, and placement. The campaign that will be executed addresses a mix of enrollment and image targets; the approximate annual media budget is $1,000,000. Media venues may include television (network and cable); radio; Internet; out-of-home; and limited print vehicles.

Included in the scope of this RFP are the advertising needs of the University’s recruitment and brand campaigns, which are primarily recruitment and fund-raising oriented, along with the individual advertising needs of the colleges and departments as needed. The work of the selected agency is directed by the University Marketing organization.


At Cleveland State University, a revitalized sense of place meets a rewarding sense of purpose – with extraordinary results.
Our home is the heart of the city, and the pulse here is stronger than ever. It races with the excitement of a record-setting freshman class and ongoing excellence in academic achievement. It races with a $SOD-million campus makeover that is sparking a downtown renaissance. It races with the transformative vision of President Ronald M. Berkman, who is determined to establish Cleveland State as a best-in-class urban university for the 21st century.

At the core of everything we do is our philosophy of Engaged Learning. It’s more than a marketing promise. It’s the mantra that gives purpose to Cleveland State’s mission of providing a contemporary and accessible education in the arts, sciences, humanities and professions, and conducting research, scholarship and creative activity across these branches of knowledge. We pride ourselves on the many ways that we engage our students – inside the classroom, throughout the community and around the globe.

With an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, eight colleges and more than 200 academic programs, Cleveland State is committed to providing a hands-on learning environment where faculty and students connect and ideas mesh with real-world experience. We strive to serve the public, to support faculty in their teaching endeavors and research and to prepare students to lead productive, responsible and fulfilling lives in the region and around the world.

Scope of Work:

Basic services throughout the term are to include overall coordination of all agency services; 1) creative development of a marketing campaigns and the appropriate individual ads/other materials to support the campaign, 2) media planning; media buying; preparation of reports to client;

• Creative Services
We estimate that each year we will create three enrollment campaigns (Fall, Spring, Summer) to acquire completed applications from freshman, transfers and graduate students. As budgets allow, additional work can include brand advertising to the general community.

Outside vendor expenses related to the production of ads, commercials and other materials are to be billed at cost with no markup. Re-sizing of all ads and other materials for various media vehicles is included in these services.

Cleveland State University is looking for a full service agency to develop advertising strategies to enhance the CSU brand strategically, while meeting enrollment objectives for our undergraduate and graduate populations. We require an agency that is metric driven and measurement focused, responsive and skilled in integrating online and offline strategies.

Target markets include:

  • Young (traditional high school} students
  • Sub-segments such as veterans, e-learners, etc.
  • Adult undergraduate students
  • Transfer students
  • Donors, community leaders, Stakeholders

Creative Services requirements:

  • Concept evolution of current “engage” campaign while building/retaining equity in the brand.
  • Creative directors and writers must be able and willing to work seamlessly with CSU’s in-house marketing, PR and graphics department.
  • Recruit, audition, and select talent. Negotiate, manage, and pay talent fees.
  • Manage TV and Radio production; order, quality check, and distribute spots.
  • Experience with the target demo (12-17, 18-24} is desirable. Experience in student recruitment, student retention, and brand with a higher education institution is preferred. The successful agency must learn the business quickly and develop plans for fall ’17.

Media Planning & Buying

  • Identify, investigate, evaluate, and recommend media venues that support CSU goals.
  • Create an annual planning process for media buying, allowing flexibility for change throughout the year as client’s needs change. Identify specific strategies for specific targets: e.g.: displays in high schools or traditional prospects. Manage process to client’s approved budget levels and demonstrate media buying prowess by attaining at least 15% in value-added media purchases.
  • Present recommended media plans to client, coordinated to a summer, fall and spring buying pattern.
  • Entertain communication from all media organizations interested in running advertising for CSU. Provide a comprehensive report of opportunities that might be useful. Present ongoing opportunities that arise (i.e.”special education issues”) for consideration against contingency budget. Media plans wiU-include dominant digital media use measured and reported out through an accessible dashboard.
  • Deliver a minimum of 15% of cost (media buy total) in valued-added services or additional advertising exposure. Document results for same.
  • Traffic all broadcast programs.
  • Verify correct spot placement for all broadcast buys; negotiating “make goods” or credits as required.

Media Invoicing

  • Verify media performance, e.g.: every cable spot ran in requested time slot. Provide all original vendor invoices with Agency invoice.
  • Match print tear sheet (where used) with every non-broadcast invoice. Retain copy of all vendor invoices for audit. Negotiate payment terms with media to allow Client approval and payment periods of approximately 60 days on Agency invoices.
  • Media expenses are reimbursed only after ad appearances and are paid at a standard commission rate. Invoices must be detailed and expenses broken down. Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed net of commission.

Due Date: May 26th, 2017 to:
Address: Cleveland State University
Purchasing Department
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115

PR firms who have worked with universities include Ketchum PR and Burson-Marsteller.

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