Harper College Seeks Digital Media Agency


Harper College is seeking a marketing firm to help plan and strategize its digital advertising campaigns. Harper’s Communication Division acts primarily as an in-house marketing agency by developing strategy, managing budgets, and executing communication projects in a variety of digital media channels for multiple markets. In FY18 (July 2018-June 2019), it is expected that Harper College may make digital advertising media expenditures in an amount of +/-$395,000.

There are three primary enrollment campaign periods within the fiscal year: fall, spring, and summer. Digital campaigns may be enrollment-period based or continuously run through the year.  The campaigns encompass a variety of online channels and media including, but not limited to, social channels, online ad networks, mobile, multimedia, paid, and non-paid media search, remarketing, geofencing, etc. Nearly all media is geo targeted or market-targeted. Creative is usually developed in-house. In general, media is pre-planned with the agency for the next fiscal year (July-June) the preceding March or several months prior to the enrollment period. Some media buys are ad hoc and arise due to unexpected internal client requests or institutional needs/opportunities. All digital campaigns are tracked via Google Tag Manager.


William Rainey Harper College is one of forty-eight (48) community colleges in the State of Illinois that make up the Illinois Community College System. Harper College’s credit full-time equivalent (FTE) including CE reimbursement enrollment for FY 16 was 9,961. The College’s district is located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The 200-acre campus is located in Palatine, with extension facilities at the Learning and Career Center in Prospect Heights and the Harper Professional Center in Schaumburg.

Harper College is now one of the nation’s premier community colleges and one of the largest, serving more than 35,000 people (inclusive of +/- 14,000 credit students) annually in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The College’s academic programs prepare students for rewarding careers and for transfer to four-year universities. Harper offers associate degree and certification programs, advanced career programs, workforce training, professional development, continuing education classes, accelerated degree options for adults and developmental education programs.

Harper is a comprehensive community college which offers transfer curriculum, occupational training, adult enrichment classes, and a variety of other community services. The College offers certificates and associate degrees in a wide range of program areas.

Scope of Work:

  1. Online display media planning/buying/trafficking including primary sites, social sites and network and/or remnant buys. Tracking/activity reports must be provided on a weekly basis with buy. Please provide a summary of media outlets the agency works with and one sample tracking report.
  2. Online search campaign planning, buying, and implementation/management. Includes keyword development with weekly review and Includes ad copy writing by agency and review of each ad by Harper staff. Active and previously run ad copy and keywords must be available to Harper College for review. Search billing must be separated by agency by individual project based on Harper Job#, i.e. Business Department, Liberal Arts and Health Care departments each receive separate line item on invoice. Tracking/activity reports must be provided with a near real time dashboard and monthly reports. . It is preferred that agency provide access to online advertising provider accounts to Harper personnel. Please note if your agency can link Google AdWords account to Harper’s Google Analytics account.
  1. Concepting and creative development, including multimedia Please provide one sample each of (if applicable):
  • Online display ad
  • Social site display ad
  • Search ad copy
  1. Social Media Strategy

Develop and execute social media strategy. Provide tracking/engagement reports.

Due Date:

September 7, 2017


Harper College
Purchasing Department
“A” Building, Room A217
1200 W. Algonquin Road
Palatine, IL. 60067

PR firms in Chicago include Zeno Group and Edelman PR.


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