Fairbanks Natural Gas/Interior Gas Utility is seeking
proposals from firms who can provide comprehensive Marketing, Communication and
Training services to provide a full range of internal and external services. As
a result of the acquisition of Fairbanks Natural Gas, LLC (FNG) by Interior Gas
Utility (IGU), a plan for Marketing, Communication and Training is necessary
for the blending of the two entities and promoting the use of natural gas to
the Fairbanks North Star Borough. FNG/IGU is looking to promote that we are
“Fueling the Future of the Fairbanks North Star Borough”. The communications
and marketing tasks will include but not be limited to strategic planning, brand
clarification, and promoting to the public FNG/IGU’s ability to provide an
abundant and reliable source of natural gas. The training tasks shall include
training current staff in the ability to be able to run and develop successful
marketing campaigns, issue press releases, and be able to perform basic
technical website updates. These initiatives need to also outline effective
communication with the public across multiple platforms to include Facebook.
Fairbanks Natural Gas, LLC (FNG) has been providing natural
gas to Fairbanks since 1998. FNG currently provides natural gas to 1100 plus
locations. FNG utilizes Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to provide Fairbanks with
natural gas from the Titan Plant in Houston, AK. A 5.25 million gallon storage tank
will be completed in Fall 2019 in Fairbanks and plans for storage in North Pole
are at 95% design completion so that new customers can be added starting in
2020. Interior Gas Utility (IGU) was created as a public utility by the
Fairbanks North Star Borough through Ordinance Number 2012-52 in 2012. IGU
began Phase 1 of installing natural gas pipelines in 2015 in North Pole. In May
of 2018, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska issued an order that approved the
purchase of Fairbanks Natural Gas by Interior Gas Utility and in June of 2018,
IGU purchased Pentex from AIDEA and FNG was included in this purchase.
IGU’s web services have been managed by Web907. FNG’s web
services have been managed in house. FNG currently has one staff member
assigned to facilitate communications with the pubic and assist in encouraging
future customers to move from their existing heating systems and appliances to
natural gas. The purpose of this RFP is to find a contractor who can assist
FNG/IGU through training and direct support as necessary to meet its goals of
adding new customers starting in 2020 and beyond with a clear and concise
message and implementing a new or restructuring a current website .
Scope of Work:
FNG/IGU anticipates contracting with a firm or team that has
the ability to provide all the services requested in this RFP. We expect one
firm will be the lead however given the scope of work it is possible, and may
be preferable, that certain aspects of work be done by subcontractors or others
the contractor may be able to partner with who can provide the needed services.
Teaming is encouraged however one firm should be designated as lead on the
The goal is to have one team that will be able to
efficiently and effectively assist FNG/IGU with the following tasks:
Development of a strategic communications and marketing plan: both short and
plans and strategies, identifying audience needs, resources and best practices.
Assistance with implementation of communications and marketing plan that would
include but not be limited to:
Creating coordinated advertising campaigns (print, broadcast, digital, online,
email, etc.) to include written plan,
including objectives, audience description, strategies, tactics
and budgets, creative strategy and design, and concept development.
Development of a comprehensive brand strategy that includes a branding
assessment workshop, a brand promise
statement, and recommendations for logos and taglines.
Creating a new website or revamping an old website (FNG current or IGU current)
to be customer service oriented.
Assisting with website/social media strategy and enhancements that includes developing an
integrated social media strategy utilizing the latest tools and platforms.
Presentation and special event planning and support;
Meeting facilitation and planning
Training of FNG/IGU Staff to included but not be limited to:
Conducting a workshop for staff in how to be able to use the communications and
marketing provided effectively
for future campaigns encompassing social media, press releases,
website updates, email, newsletters, etc.
Training staff in how to implement the plans for future campaigns.
Training staff in concrete and consistent messaging for internal and external communication.
Below is a summary of the major tasks that the contractor
may be called upon to perform during the term of the contract. Additional
public relations or public involvement planning tasks may be added during the
period of the contract.
DEVELOPMENT OF A STRATEGIC
COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING PLAN
contractor will be expected to work with FNG/IGU public outreach liaison to
develop a strategic communications
and marketing plan that identifies target audiences and appropriate communications tools and methods that can be
used for both informing and gathering information
from these targeted audiences.
minimum it is anticipated that the plan will include:
Identification of community concerns and potentially controversial issues;
Identification of communications methods, tools, and materials needed to reach
the targeted audiences and expectations
for FNG/IGU staff in the implementation
Identification of possible cooperative promotional opportunities with entities;
Incorporation and development of internal communication protocols;
Recommendations for media strategies which may include promotional programs and
informational campaigns, market or program surveys,
or other research as may be required.
Methods for measuring success of plan.
TRAINING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF
approval of the plan it is anticipated that the contractor will be available to
assist FNG/IGU with
implementation of the plan. The scope of work and fee for accomplishing each
task or phase of work will be determined
in each negotiated work order. However below is a list of tasks the contractor’s team may be expected to
perform in implementing the communications plan.
Providing a workshop and/or training for FNG/IGU staff as necessary. For the
purpose of being able to provide for the
best use of staff time the contractor will provide training for staff in how
best to use available tools and resources to implement the plan.
Assisting in developing media Strategies which may include: pitching stories,
story ideas, scheduling meetings and
interviews with media, creation of press kits, preparation of talking points
and creation of editorial and media contact lists. Target audiences include local, statewide, national and
Assisting in developing and producing materials to communicate in various printed
and produced formats, to include
but not limited to, fliers, brochures, fact sheets, e- newsletters,
web pages, etc.
Assistance in drafting and edit news releases, media advisories, articles and
other copy, as needed.
Work with staff as needed to develop and manage the FNG/IGU websites as a tool
to effectively reach customers and the
public which may include but not be limited to:
Gathering and reviewing information to understand the web audience and usage
Clearly define overall goals and how to use the web to communicate project information
to target audiences
Website upgrades to enhance functionality and information access to target audiences
Site maintenance and document control
Web management and technical development support
Work may include the creation, production and placement of print, radio and television
advertising to promote the FNG/IGU and the use of natural gas and related activities.
Work may involve the working on special projects or promotions
Offerors are welcome to propose other communications/public relations services
or resources they may be able to provide
during the term of the contract that could benefit the
project. FNG/IGU at its option may include those related services in the scope
of the final negotiated contract if it
is in the best interest of the authority to do so.