ELECTRIC VEHICLE PR RFP ISSUED BY STATE OF COLORADO

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The mission of the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumer energy costs by advancing clean energy, energy efficiency, and zero emission vehicles (ZEV) to benefit all Coloradans. CEO supports Colorado’s goal of 940,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2030 and implementation of the 2020 Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan.

A 2019 analysis by Navigant funded by CEO found that significant policy and market action is needed to meet the Colorado EV Plan goal of 940,000 EVs in the State by 2030. That analysis noted that a marketing campaign that runs for multiple years and increases awareness of EVs among Coloradans is seen as a critical strategy to meet this goal. In early 2020, CEO initiated a two-phase strategy to develop this campaign and increase consumer awareness of EVs in Colorado. In Phase I, CEO worked with E Source to conduct market research on real and perceived market barriers, consumer perceptions about EVs, and messaging and engagement strategies designed to drive consumer adoption. The E Source research culminated in recommendations for Phase II including an EV Education & Awareness Roadmap for Colorado (see Appendix 1 and 2) which identified six segments along the EV adoption curve: In the Driver’s Seat (6%), Ready to Roll (15%), Kicking the Tires (16%), Down the Road (7%), Wait Wait…Don’t Sell me (31%), and Last Gas (24%). The Roadmap baselined EV awareness and perceptions across all market segments, and E Source synthesized this information into the key recommendations for Phase II that are included as project objectives in this RFP. CEO has assembled an Advisory Committee for this project consisting of representatives from utilities, local governments, industry associations, and nonprofit organizations to provide guidance and recommendations for the project. Through the course of the project, it is expected that the awarded entity will work collaboratively with CEO, the Advisory Committee, and other key partners such as utilities, local governments, and dealerships to implement the campaign.

Scope of Work:

The success of this project shall be based upon the following six goals:

1. Is consumer awareness increasing? 2. Are more consumers interested in pursuing EV knowledge? 3. Has consumers’ EV knowledge increased, and is it accurate?

4. Has purchase intent increased, and is it broad-based or narrow across Colorado?

5. Are there more visits to EV websites and dealerships?

6. Has the EV market grown faster than it would have without intervention?

The deliverables of this campaign shall be:

1. Develop a comprehensive EV Education and Awareness Campaign that can be developed and deployed across all market segments (all-market). This includes but is not limited to:

a. Develop common messages and strategies that can be implemented in a cohesive and consistent manner across the state by a variety of state agencies and partners.

i. The messaging should explicitly address misconceptions identified by E Source in the market research, including but not limited to upfront cost and availability of federal and state tax credits, the ability to charge at home, and exemplify that EVs are a solution for Coloradans’ everyday lives.

ii. The messaging should leverage the top 20 marketing strategies identified by E Source including the “five pillars”: EVs are affordable especially in terms of the cost to own, EVs are fun to drive, EVs are easy and convenient, EVs are for you, and EVs are good for the environment.

b. Manage a centralized website to serve as a go-to resource for all things EV in Colorado and aids in implementation of the Campaign. CEO will consider a variety of contracting options for the website, including but not limited to: a prime contractor utilizing a subcontractor; or CEO issuing separate contracts for both the Campaign and the website. If separate contracts are issued, it will be expected that both contractors collaborate on coordinating the Campaign and the website. Proposers must indicate in each other’s Proposals their plan to collaborate. The website must comply with the OIT terms and conditions as outlined in the State Model Contract.

c. Other innovative ideas as proposed by the Awarded Proposer. Proposals should demonstrate Proposer’s knowledge of the EV Education and Awareness Roadmap (Appendix 1) and its recommendations.

2. Develop a specific public awareness & outreach campaign for the “In the Driver’s Seat” and “Ready to Roll” market segments (market-specific) that helps these segments see themselves in an EV with their next vehicle purchase and overcome cost and charging barriers.

3. Ensure robust stakeholder engagement for campaign development and implementation to ensure relevant and engaging campaign strategies and content are created.

a. As described above, the state has assembled an Advisory Committee for this project and the Awarded Proposer shall engage with this Advisory Committee on the development and implementation of this campaign. The state anticipates additional partners to be engaged including but not limited to representatives of utilities, local governments, nonprofits, auto manufacturers, EV owners, EV clubs, and other key stakeholders. Proposers should demonstrate a proven ability to develop and implement a campaign with a broad set of partners.

b. Leverage digital marketing for both the all-market campaign and the market-specific campaigns. This includes but is not limited to search engine optimization and marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.

c. Develop a tool kit of collateral resources and coordinate distribution of collateral through partnered distribution organizations (hereby referred to as “Partners”), such as utilities, local governments, and nonprofits. Coordinate with the state and its partners to implement the campaign through owned, paid, and earned media channels. This should include guidelines for partners on how to use the collateral materials to ensure the campaign is implemented correctly and consistently.

Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), CEO invites qualified strategic communications, public relations, advertising, social marketing and digital media firms to submit proposals to develop and implement the campaign described above. CEO anticipates the following stages for this project: ● Stage 1: Campaign Strategy Development including but not limited to: the overall media and marketing strategy that will be implemented, performance metrics to track, recommended tactics, and the type and number of collateral materials that should be developed in Stage 2. This should include owned, paid and earned media strategies for both the State and Partners to implement. ● Stage 2: Creative development including drafting content and field testing as needed. ● Stage 3: Launch and management of the campaign, including iteration and modifications to the campaign as performance metrics are collected and evaluated. CEO recognizes that Stages 1-3 are iterative and welcomes creative proposals from Proposers that will allow for development of a highly effective campaign.

The Awarded Proposer shall perform the following work tasks and provide the following deliverables to the CEO, each subject to the CEO’s final approval and discretion. It is anticipated that the Awarded Proposer will begin work immediately upon successful execution of a Contract with CEO. I. Project Communication and Administration

1. Kick-off meeting. Immediately following execution of the Contract, the Contractor shall organize and facilitate a 60- to 90- minute web-conference or in person meeting with CEO and the Advisory Committee. The Contractor shall work with CEO to develop the agenda and submit the meeting minutes to CEO within two days of the meeting.

2. Project Check-In Meetings with CEO. The Contractor shall hold coordination calls every two weeks (or more frequently as needed through the course of the project) with CEO to be scheduled by the Contractor upon execution of the Contract. The Contractor shall submit call summaries to CEO within one day of calls. The Contractor shall hold additional calls and meetings as needed with CEO to discuss project findings and challenges.

3. Partner Meetings. The Contractor shall propose a partner meeting strategy with the Advisory Committee and other partners. CEO anticipates the Contractor to hold at least one call per month during Stages 1-2 with the Advisory Committee, and additional calls with partners as needed or requested by the Advisory Committee.

4. Monthly Progress Reports and Invoices. During Stages 1-2, Contractor shall submit monthly progress reports to CEO summarizing work accomplished to date for campaign development. Stage 3 reporting shall be focused on metrics reflecting impact and reach of campaign to date. These metrics should be available for regular review by CEO and its partners. All reports shall be accompanied with the monthly invoice.

5. Administrative Deliverables: a. Meeting Agendas and minutes b. Monthly progress reports and invoices II. Stage 1: Creation of Campaign Strategy

1. Task 1: Develop Campaign Strategy

a. Assess E Source Data, Develop Assessment Framework, and Identify Existing Assets to Leverage. The Contractor shall develop an overall strategy for the campaign. The Contractor shall leverage existing data from E Source on market segmentation and use this as a foundation for all messaging and planning in later tasks. The Contractor shall identify and assess effectiveness of existing outreach assets from partner organizations, as well as additional entities statewide and nationally as appropriate, in order to identify outreach materials proven to accelerate EV adoption (i.e., leverage other resources that have already been developed and proven effective). The Contractor shall identify key metrics and performance indicators for the campaign. Finally, the contractor shall make recommendations on key marketing collateral materials and content to be developed in Stage

2. 2. Task 2: Develop Paid, Owned and Earned Media Plan. The Contractor shall develop a media plan and budget that includes, but is not limited to:

a. Identification of paid digital media strategies including but not limited to search optimization, social media, and other digital advertising as recommended by E Source.

b. Develop strategy for owned media (e.g., CEO and partner social media strategies)

c. Develop strategy for earned media (e.g., newspapers, online news platforms)

d. Strategies for reaching target audiences through these platforms, and rank strategies by effectiveness to impact target demographics identified by E Source. Strategies may also include in-person engagement such as Ride & Drive events; digital events such as educational webinars; and other forms of educational outreach as identified by contractor.

3. Stage 1 Deliverables for Tasks 1 and 2: Final Plan for Campaign.

The Contractor shall present a draft campaign strategy and media plan to CEO and the Advisory committee and incorporate feedback before finalizing the campaign Strategy and media plan. The Contractor shall then provide CEO with a final report summarizing the campaign strategy and media plan including but not limited to:

a. Overall project & campaign goals

b. Creative and message development process and testing plan for the following tasks

c. Description of and rationale for paid, owned and earned media plan

d. Definition of campaign success and the metrics that will be used to track success overtime

e. Plan of action for campaign implementation, including channels and partners to be included, timeline, and budget. Plan shall also include iterative process for alterations or redesign of messaging according to metrics on effectiveness received during campaign management

III. Stage 2: Creative development including drafting content and field testing as needed

Following CEO approval of the campaign strategy and media plan above, the Contractor shall conduct the following activities to create content for the campaign:

1. Task 3: Development of Campaign Branding, Visual Identity, Messaging, and Creative

a. 3A. Messaging & Creative. The Contractor shall develop big, bold messaging and creative materials that will resonate with the target audiences identified by E Source. The materials shall also be created in coordination with campaign partners (utilities, local governments, non-profits) to use through their distribution channels. CEO welcomes creative proposals that leverage the E Source research and also highlight Colorado’s diversity of climate, lifestyle, and culture across the state.

b. 3B. Campaign Branding & Visual Identity. In conjunction with messaging and creative development, the contractor shall develop branding for the campaign that are in alignment with State of Colorado Brand Guidelines. In consultation with the Advisory Committee and other partners, the contractor shall determine how the campaign should be perceived with the goal of moving the EV market forward. CEO expects the contractor to propose multiple draft options and collect feedback from key partners and sample target audiences before finalizing the materials. The branding should reflect the overarching core values of the campaign, including brand purpose, personality and promise.

i. CEO anticipates the final materials to include but not be limited to the following: Scalable logo in color, black & white, and reverse versions, color palette, font guidelines, social media icon and header set (specifically for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook), enewsletter masthead and footer, positioning statement, favicon, and other associated visual elements. CEO welcomes additional deliverable recommendations from Proposers based on their proposed methodology and expertise.

c. 3C. Website and Security Requirements. As recommended by E Source, the campaign shall lead target audiences to a centralized website where they can learn more about EVs and proceed to next steps of the consumer adoption journey. The Contractor shall manage the centralized website for the campaign. CEO does not expect a new website to be built and maintained specifically for this campaign. As there are a variety of existing state, regional, and national websites that serve as EV resources, CEO expects the scope of this project will include enhancements to an existing website or platform that ensures content is relevant to Colorado and designed to help Coloradans purchase electric vehicles. CEO anticipates the website to include features such as purchase calculators, links to dealer inventories, and other resources that provides information to the market and helps achieve the goals of the campaign. The Proposal shall clearly state, with no exception, agreement to comply with, and to ensure personnel doing work for the State under any contract resulting from this RFP will comply with, the State of Colorado Information Security Policies (CISP) promulgated by the Colorado Chief Information Security Officer and available at http://oit.state.co.us/ois/policies. The Proposal shall clearly state that the Proposal shall be in compliance with the current OIT Technology Standards promulgated by the OIT Chief Technology Officer and available at http://www.oit.state.co.us/cto/ea/standards.

Due Date:

February 22, 2021 3:00 PM Mountain Time

Address:

Colorado Energy Office Attn: Sara Graf Procurement Agent sara.graf@state.co.us

Shift Communications and Kaplow PR are relevant agencies to consider.

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