COMMUNICATIONS RFP ISSUED BY COUNTY OF SUSSEX
DUE DATE: 03/21/2023 at 11:00 AM
The County of Sussex (hereafter “County”) is located in northwest New Jersey and is the northernmost county in the State. Sussex County Government is comprised of eight departments serving a population of more than 140,000 residents throughout 24 municipalities.
The County is seeking a consultant to provide technical communication support services to the Board of County Commissioners and the Office of the County Administrator to help provide strategic direction, guide internal processes, and assist with external communications.
The County invites consultants with substantive experience in writing, media relations, and government institutions to apply. Successful applicants will have experience in one or more of the following areas below:
a. Handling press inquiries and deal with all aspects of media coverage for a local
b. Assisting local governments with functions of communication, community relations, crisis management, citizen relations, and media relations; and
c. Assisting the local governments with creating public interest in governmental functions, meetings & events.
II. Required Services
The selected organization/agency (hereafter referred to as “Consultant”) will be required to:
• Provide overall Public Relations and Communications Management for the County and Board of County Commissioners, including providing strategic guidance and counseling for the purpose of increasing public outreach and improving public engagement;
• Review current communications and effectiveness in deployment and make recommendations for improvement.
• Make recommendations on strategic use of social media and the development of a plan for maximizing the reach of social media in order to improve public engagement;
• Provide crisis communication, including responding to emergent matters needing concise and clear direction and support;
• Provide issue advocacy and message development;
• Use and further develop the County’s social media for effective/efficient communications with the public and the County’s employees, as well as assist, as necessary, with the implementation of the strategy for enhancing the County’s use of social media;
• Write materials in support of the County’s strategic goals and objectives to increase public outreach and engagement, including writing news releases, media advisories, feature stories, web copy, social media content, etc.;
• Assist with and participate on the team overseeing the development of the new Sussex County website and social media websites.
• Oversee and direct County personnel on public relations matters;
• Attend key meetings as required;
• Interact and collaborate with various County departments as necessary;
• Interact with County Commissioners on a regular basis or as required;
• Interact with County staff on a regular basis or as required;
• Complete all other tasks as requested by the County and/or Board of Commissioners; and
• Provide monthly status reports to County Administration on work performed.
All work must be held in strict confidence and all materials become the property of the County.
III. Proposal Deliverables and Requirements for Public Relations Services
All respondents must include the following items in a proposal addressed to the Sussex County Board of County Commissioners:
a. An executive summary outlining your ability to perform the functions outlined herein;
b. A narrative of how the services would be maintained – including staff levels;
c. Identification of all personnel who will be actively engaged in this contract. You should include a resume for each person that highlights their relevant experience and include matrices’ of the amount of time each individual will devote to the contract.
d. A summary of experience for work with local governments. Describe in detail your experience, if applicable, in each area identified in the scope above. Also describe in detail what your services include.
e. Fee for Services – Description of your pricing structure. List all fees including any retainers, travel, and other compensations.
f. List of References – Please provide a minimum of three references complete with name of reference, address, telephone number and email address. References should be familiar with your skills. Reference responses shall be weighed against the management criteria.
IV. Evaluation Criteria
The Review Committee shall select a Consultant for Public Relations Services based on an evaluation of the below listed criteria.
a. Prior experience in providing public relations servicesto public entities similar to Sussex County. Prior experience and familiarity with providing public relations services to government entities: local, county and/or State. Familiarity with Sussex County a plus.
Weight of criteria: 30%
b. Professional qualifications, availability and experience of key personnel to perform County work. Demonstration of relevant knowledge, skills, ability, qualifications and successful experience of key personnel. List professional credentials, number of years’ experience in relevant areas.
Weight of criteria: 30%
c. Quality of services rendered. Quality of services shall be demonstrated by past contract successes providing similar services. Present examples of work including innovative alternatives or approaches. Ability of provide leadership and guidance to direct overall communications strategy.
Weight of criteria: 20%
d. Cost of goods to be provided or services to be performed. Reasonable of cost to Sussex County. The proposal shall include a section containing the fee proposal for services for the initial year and the four renewal years. The fee proposal should clearly indicate the services associated with the fees and reflect the full scope of services requested.
Weight of criteria: 20%