Pinellas, Florida Suncoast Transit Authority Issues Marketing, PR & Advertising RFP

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority provides the county, including the greater Tampa area, including Clearwater, and St. Petersburg with a cohesive public transit system.  Pinellas County is located along the west coast of Florida.

The transit authority is looking for an advertising, marketing and PR agency of record, and has issued an extensive request for proposal.

They seek a strategic, smart agency who can provide the services, be multi-capable and integrated to maximize effectiveness.

As the RFP notes, the agency “must demonstrate its ability to reach and influence new customers as well as develop communication strategies to retain current riders. It is the intention of PSTA to strengthen its brand, promote public transit as an important and integral part of our community, and demonstrate that we are a well-run agency.

The potential image challenges PSTA faces are:

  • Failure of the 2014 Greenlight Pinellas initiative
  • That failure being tied to PSTA
  • Negative misrepresentations in the media
  • Political atmosphere
  • Diversified Board member priorities

The selected Proposer will work cooperatively with PSTA to develop multi-level, integrated advertising, marketing, and branding strategies and assist with public relations and news media efforts to support the Authority’s overall mission and Path Forward Strategic Plan.”

The requirements include to create:

  • Brand Audit and Plan, including to “Assess the current brand and its image in the community”, “Identify and recommend brand evolution, if necessary”, “Determine strategies for improving the brand position”, and to “Develop a comprehensive brand identity plan, which includes metrics for measuring effectiveness.”
  • Advertising and Marketing Services, including to “Advise and assist the Authority with the development of annual communications and public relations plans”, “Plan, develop, and implement advertising and/or media efforts using innovative, creative techniques”, “Negotiate traditional and digital media buys and secure added value benefits where possible”, and to Conduct research and facilitating development of relevant messaging”
  • Web Design Services, including to “Work with PSTA staff to develop website redesign blueprint that will complement and coordinate with the branding plan and meet specific goals.”
  • Public Relations and News Media Assistance, including to “Work with PSTA staff to support local and national news media relations”, “Assist with identifying, targeting, and reaching key journalists and thought leaders”, and to “Provide media training, communication development/execution, and ongoing coaching for select executive staff.”

Proposals are due by March 2nd and should be addressed to:

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority c/o: Jean Smith, Purchasing Agent III Attn.: Proposal # 16-020P

3201 Scherer Drive

St. Petersburg, Florida 33716

Some of the leading independent agencies in Florida include Zimmerman PR, Max Borges & Sachs Media Group – there’s also many large firms as well.

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