The City of Burlingame (“City”) is seeking proposals from highly qualified consultants to work closely with the City Manager and her staff to provide strategic communications consulting, graphic design services, marketing, and general communications support to the City
Burlingame is approximately six square miles and is located in San Mateo County, on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay approximately 10 miles south of San Francisco and close to the San Francisco International Airport. It is a California general law city incorporated in 1908 and operates under the Council-Manager form of government. A five-member City Council is elected at large to four-year terms and serves as the board of directors. However, the City recently started the process of transitioning to district elections; the first district elections will be held in 2022. The Council annually selects a Mayor and Vice Mayor from its members. The City Council appoints a City Manager, who serves as the chief executive officer and is responsible for all municipal functions. The City Council also appoints a City Attorney to serve as chief legal advisor for the governing body and the administration. The City of Burlingame offers the following municipal services: general government (City administration, finance, and human resources), public works (engineering, water and sewer, and streets and storm drainage), public safety (police and the Central County Fire Department), leisure and neighborhood services (library, parks, and recreation), and community development (building, planning, and economic development).
Burlingame’s total population of approximately 30,400 residents identifies as 55% white, 25% Asian, and 12.5% Hispanic. More than half of the city’s residents are renters, and the median home value is $1,710,000. Burlingame’s residents are highly educated and engaged in community and City events and initiatives.
Current City Communications
The City Manager acts as the City’s chief public information officer and is responsible for issuing press releases and responses to media inquiries. The City employs a part-time Assistant to the City Manager, who supports the City Manager and produces a popular weekly eNewsletter (“eNews”). The eNews contains information about relevant citywide and department news, events, initiatives, and projects. It also includes a “Community Events” section that contains news and events not sponsored by the City. The City’s other primary methods of communicating with the public include its website (www.burlingame.org), and social media such as Nextdoor, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Each department is responsible for its own content and posts on the website and social media. From time to time, communications support and tools will be included with specific City projects such as the General Plan update (www.envisionburlingame.com) and the City’s recent launch of the district elections process.
Scope of Work:
The City of Burlingame communicates with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders and organizations about various matters. The Consultant will provide general support for the various ongoing communications in the form of content development, graphic design of necessary campaign elements, and message strategizing with the City Manager and applicable management staff.
The three primary types of communications support sought are listed below:
1. One-Time Consulting Services
a. Analyze the City’s existing public communication platforms and tools. Identify and recommend opportunities for improvement, and propose metrics for measuring success.
b. Update the City’s internal and external social media policy.
c. Develop a standard strategic communications playbook for the types of issuespecific, strategic communications support listed in item 3 below.
2. Ongoing Strategic Communications Support
a. Monthly Metric Reporting – compile data and report metrics about City communication platforms
b. Schedule and lead monthly, 30-minute “check-in” calls with City Manager and Assistant to the City Manager
c. Media outreach
i. Maintain and update contacts at media outlets
ii. Monitor coverage of Burlingame and work with media outlets to ensure accuracy in their reporting
iii. Encourage coverage of key City messages and responses to various news items
3. Ongoing, Issue-Specific, Strategic Communications Support From time to time, the City will need “issue-specific” strategic communications support related to a crisis (e.g., police or health/safety emergency), special event (ribbon cutting), emergency (air quality impacts or COVID-19 measures), project (new Community Center project), or other topic (drought).
The Consultant and City will follow the strategic communications playbook created for the City. For these issue-specific situations, as an example only, the Consultant may need to provide the following types of strategic communications support. This is not an exhaustive list, and the Consultant will need to be flexible.
· Be on-call and respond to the City within agreed to response times outlined in the scope of work and playbook.
· Provide frequent updates to the City Manager
· Prepare Council and staff responses to media inquiries
· Draft press releases
· Monitor local publications and online alerts including newspapers and digital media stories where the City of Burlingame is mentioned
· Coordinate with other leaders and communication staff in sister agencies and organizations that serve Burlingame residents (utility agencies, school districts, community service groups, etc.) when needed
· Prepare Communication Calendars, which will include, for example, daily/weekly/monthly communication content and graphics suitable for different types of communications tool (i.e. electronic newsletter, social media, press releases, mailers, website, etc.)
City of Burlingame City Manager’s Office 501 Primrose Road Burlingame, CA 94010 www.burlingame.org
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