montana statecolleges 1

The STATE OF MONTANA, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (“State”) is seeking a communications agency.

Scope of Work:

The purpose of this RFP is to create a streamlined, actionable approach to providing communications among conservation districts and to the public about on-going programs and local and statewide conservation district efforts.

The successful respondent will work with DNRC to coordinate outreach efforts that benefit conservation districts and the conservation partnership (consisting of DNRC, conservation districts, and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services), and to ensure DNRC’s mandated duties are efficiently carried out. No services provided under this scope of work will be duplicative of other on-going outreach efforts of the partnership. The contractor will work with the conservation districts and DNRC to develop specific goals for outreach.

This work requires knowledge of state and federal network systems, conservation responsibilities, excellent communication skills, and the ability to plan and implement strategies to meet the goals and deliverables of this RFP.


  1. Educate the public about:
    1. What conservation districts are
    2. The valuable work that conservation districts do
    3. Ongoing local conservation district and partner programs and projects in communities
    4. How the public can become involved in voluntary conservation activities
  2. Help conservation districts achieve widespread usage of 21st century technologies
  3. Encourage agencies, nonprofits, and individuals to work together to achieve resource goals, and to use conservation districts local ecological knowledge in developing strategies for locally led conservation projects.
  4. Facilitate information exchange and dissemination of information among conservation districts.
  5. Develop and maintain a list serve of conservation district contacts that is compatible with USDA and state networks.


Conservation District List Serve

Most conservation districts are housed in USDA service centers and use the federal network for e-mail. In addition, the DNRC maintains contact information for conservation districts that can be used by any state agency. Alternative e-mail addresses are maintained by conservation districts that are used during federal shutdowns when federal e-mails are not accessible. The Contractor will work with state and federal partners to enhance existing methods of communication with conservation districts for daily contact that is compatible with both federal and state networks. This task also includes maintaining the list serve as needed.  Separate list serves may need to be developed for communications with conservation district chairs, treasurers, or other conservation district officers as requested by DNRC.

  • List serve development and maintenance

Conservation District Websites and Social Media Presence

The Contractor will help conservation districts set up a professional web presence to facilitate constituent outreach and education. This includes not just the setup of websites, but facilitated maintenance, administrator training to use sites, the development of a template that can be easily updated by conservation districts as needed, and development of materials to help administrators generate content, organize, and promote their websites. In addition, the Contractor will develop outreach materials for conservation districts to use to promote local activities, raise funds, and develop community support for conservation district activities. The contractor will conduct workshops and training for marketing, content writing, and methods for delivering messages to audiences both conservation district’s usual audiences, and also to audiences unfamiliar with conservation district duties.


  • Web Development, content workshops, marketing, and public outreach workshops
  • Template designs for conservation district websites
  • Development of outreach materials for conservation district use on websites
  • Individual conservation district support as needed

Public Relations

The Contractor will provide individual or group assistance to interested conservation districts to develop public relations and outreach campaigns to highlight the role of conservation districts and increase participation of locally led conservation activities in Montana and local areas. These could include flyers and advertisements for locally-led conservation district programs, bill boards, display boards for statewide meetings, and news releases as requested by conservation districts that promote their services to the community.


  • Conservation district advertisements/publications for locally-led programs (flyers/postcards/posters)
  • Webinars for writing news releases and human-interest stories
  • Promotional displays or local stories for public education and awareness

District Communications

The Contractor will write and distribute a monthly newsletter that will include conservation district events and activities, training opportunities, DNRC and NRCS news and actions impacting conservation districts, legal updates from MACD, funding opportunities, vacancy announcement, and statewide issues impacting districts, and general conservation news of interest to conservation districts. The Contractor will write at least one article for the monthly newsletter that will be an original story highlighting a conservation district conservation project or human-interest story. The goal of this newsletter is to keep conservation districts informed, educate partners and the interested general public about conservation work across Montana, and connect conservation districts to various opportunities.


  • Monthly newsletters with original conservation district stories

District Connections

The Contractor develop and maintain various web platforms that help create opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and information gathering, as well as connect conservation district employees and supervisors to pertinent resources such as funding opportunities, events, trainings, legislation updates, and other guidelines for general operations.

  • Forum for conservation district employee and supervisor idea share.

Due Date:

January 16


Gwenette Ungerman Phone +1 406-444-6724

Agencies to consider for this assignment include Edelman PR and Finn Partners.

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