Marketing & Communication RFP Issued By Great Lakes Water Authority

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is seeking a consultant to provide public relations and marketing strategy development and representation. Interested proposers will provide communication, marketing and representation services to GLWA as it continues to build its brand identity throughout its eight-county service area.


The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is a regional water and sewer authority that provides water and wastewater treatment services to nearly 40 percent of the water customers and nearly 30 percent of wastewater customers in Michigan On June 12, 2015, history was made as the Great Lakes Water Authority and the City of Detroit entered into 40-year leases providing for GLWA’s operation of the regional water and sewer system. On January 1, 2016, GLWA began regional operations. GLWA is an important example of regional collaboration in southeast Michigan, with the City of Detroit, the counties of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb, and the State of Michigan officially uniting to ensure that both city and suburban water and sewer customers have a powerful voice in the direction of one of largest water and wastewater utilities in the United States.

With the stand-up of the new authority, GLWA assumed operational, infrastructure improvements, environmental compliance and budget-setting responsibilities for the regional water and sewage treatment plants, major water transmission mains and sewage interceptors, and related facilities. These facilities are leased from the City of Detroit for an allocation of $50 million per year to fund capital improvements for the City of Detroit retail system and/or Detroit’s share of capital improvements to the regional system. 

Currently GLWA provides services to 88 member partners across 112 communities in eight southeast Michigan counties. In keeping with the spirit of collaboration from which GLWA was created, the Authority is governed by a Board of Directors that includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties, as well as two representatives from the city of Detroit, and one appointed by the governor of the state of Michigan to represent member communities outside the tri-county area.

Scope of Work:

3.1 Brand Awareness/Positioning

• Develop a dynamic communications strategy with a focus on proactive media outreach for all GLWA programs (such as but not limited to WRAP, Member Partner Charges, Wastewater Master Plan, etc.), as well as key accomplishments of the Authority and itsstaff. 

• Work with GLWA to develop a media strategy surrounding its 5-year operating anniversary (January 1, 2021).

• Work with GLWA on the continued refinement of itsbrand messaging.

• Work with GLWA to respond to and/or counteract any media that undermines the communication goalsof the Authority.

• Work with GLWA to communicate with the municipal finance community.

• Create strategic advertising and marketing campaigns that develop a greater public understanding of GLWA’s role in southeast Michigan and promote and enhance the overall GLWAbrand.

• Identify speaker venues, topics, and current news cycle topics to participate in to position GLWA as a thought leader in the water/wastewatersector.

• Provide counsel on social media strategy developed by GLWA and establish a policy for responding to questions/inquiries made via social media.

• Provide media representation (24/7) through a designated spokesperson.

• Assist in writing annual Year in Review report and designing layout for print, online and PowerPoint.

• Attend GLWA board meetings and member outreach meetings, asnecessary.

3.2 Reputation Management

• Provide executive level counsel in crisis management situations, asnecessary.

• Condense complex technical information into understandablemessaging,

• Have local personnel available 24/7 to assist with responses to urgentmatters.

3.3 Internal Communication 

• Work with GLWA to conduct its annual internal communications survey (focus groups/print and online tool).

3.4 Coaching and Training 

• Work with GLWA to conduct its annual internal communications survey (focus groups/print and online tool).

4.0 Contract Deliverables 

• Traditional (monthly) and social media (monthly and quarterly) metrics reports

• Weekly check-in meetings (phone and/or in-person)

• Weekly status update reports

• Monthly actual to budget reports

Due Date:

May 29, 2020 


Conference Call Number: 1-866-528-2256 Access Code; 9356137

Hunter PR and Shift Communications are agencies worth considering for this assignment.

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