COMMUNICATIONS RFP ISSUED BY STATE OF MARYLAND

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The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA), a statewide public transportation agency, is Maryland’s primary public transit provider. Comprised of over 3,200 employees, the MDOT MTA operates and supports safe, efficient, and reliable Local Bus, Commuter Bus, Metro Subway, Light Rail, MARC Train, and Mobility/Paratransit services. In FY 2019, MDOT MTA provided 94,026,948 passenger trips with an average weekday ridership totaling 257,608 passengers. MDOT MTA’s services are concentrated in the Baltimore metropolitan area, but also extend to Southern Maryland, Cecil County, Eastern Shore, and Western Maryland regions. In addition to direct and contractually provided services, the MDOT MTA offers operation and financial assistance to Maryland’s twenty-six (26) Locally Operated Transit Systems.

The MDOT MTA’s communications and marketing strategies seek to increase ridership, provide transit educational resources, strengthen agency brand identity, expand communication platforms, enhance the public’s image of the MDOT MTA, and to collect data that can be used to help direct improvements in MDOT MTA’s operations.

2.2.2 General Requirements

A. Full-service Firm- The Contractor shall be a full-service firm experienced in providing advertising (print, radio, TV, out of home, digital and social media), communications, public relations, and graphic design. At a minimum, in-house services shall include an account services department, creative department, broadcast and print production department, and media department. If any services are to be subcontracted, this information shall be specified.

B. Account Team- The Contractor shall assign an Account Supervisor and Account Executive dedicated to the MDOT MTA and shall be available on demand to the MDOT MTA. The individuals assigned to the MDOT MTA account shall be responsible for the coordination of all communications and related activities and projects for MDOT MTA. The Contractor shall assign, as required, a creative team consisting of a creative director, art director, graphic designer, copywriter, and internet/website design and content management team; a public relations coordinator; and a media team consisting of a separate director, media planner, and one or more media buyers.

C. Advertising- The Contractor shall adhere to MDOT MTA and local jurisdictional policies and restrictions regarding advertising standards and subject matter and shall comply with MDOT MTA’s advertising standards. MDOT MTA must pre-approve all communication and marketing materials, including creative design, prior to placement. All material designed, regardless of format (broadcast, print, digital, etc.) may not include the following prohibited categories:

(1) Alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, or related products

(2) False, misleading or deceptive statements

(3) Sexually explicit or obscene

(4) Construed harmful to minors

(5) Holds individuals or groups of people to public ridicule, derision or embarrassment

(6) Depictions of violence, illegal activity, or anti-social behavior

(7) Profanity

D. Upon written notification from the MDOT MTA, the Contractor shall remove any advertisement deemed objectionable by the MDOT MTA from any medium within twentyfour (24) hours. If such an ad was placed without the MDOT MTA’s approval, this removal will be at the Contractor’s expense. The MDOT MTA will remove advertising not removed by the Contractor at the MDOT MTA’s request and bill the Contractor for the associated costs.

2.3 Detailed Requirements The Contractor shall be prepared to provide all services necessary to provide communication and marketing outreach services to the Office of Communications and Marketing to satisfy the purposes of this RFP, including but not limited to the following:

2.3.1 Basic Research Become knowledgeable about the basic subject matter, current research in the area, and the demographics of the target audience.

2.3.2 Strategic Planning Assist the Office of Communications and Marketing in developing a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the audience is reached with the message in the most cost-efficient manner and that all communications, marketing efforts, advertising and public relations campaigns are well coordinated.

2.3.3 Creative Efforts

Upon specific request from the MDOT MTA, design advertising and publications, create and write print and electronic media copy, design and develop social media content, develop and maintain websites, design ad concepts and logos, prepare slogans or themes, specialty items, promotional campaigns, musical jingles, illustrations and original artwork. This includes concept development, PSA’s, scripts, rough layout and storyboards to final production. All material, including campaign strategies, advertising concepts, budgets, on-air talent, ad copy and scripts must be submitted for review by the Office of Communications and Marketing staff and management The MDOT MTA reserves final editing and approval rights for any concept, spots and/or copy. The MDOT MTA reserves ownership rights to all design concepts and advertising, developed for the various campaigns and the RFP process, including all design components for the MDOT MTA. Files must be provided to MDOT MTA upon request. Everything produced, created and developed for the Agency will be considered work for hire.

2.3.4 Production of Mechanicals

Create, design, prepare audiovisuals, and submit finished artwork, graphics, desktop publishing and camera-ready mechanicals.

Due Date:

March 3, 2021 at 2:00pm Local Time

Address:

Heather Martin 6 St. Paul Street, 7th Floor Baltimore, MD 21202 e-mail: Office Phone: hmartin@mdot.maryland.gov 410-767-3835

Agencies to consider for this assignment include Zeno Group and Edelman PR.

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