Marketing RFP Issued By San Francisco International Airport

The Airport is issuing this Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) to solicit Statement of Qualifications (“SOQs”) from qualified and experienced firms for the implementation of SFO’s Marketing and Communications Plan, including: 1) Marketing Communications Services, 2) Web Design, Drupal Programming, Optimization, Analytics, and Application Development, and 3) Media Relations and 4) Internal Communication Services.


The San Francisco International Airport (hereafter, “Airport” or “SFO”) is operated by the San Francisco Airport Commission (“Commission”) as a separate enterprise department of the City and County of San Francisco (the “City”). SFO is the major commercial airport for the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. Owned by the City and County of San Francisco, the Airport is located 14 miles south of downtown San Francisco and is situated on San Francisco Bay. The Airport is a major center for both domestic and international traffic. San Francisco is the largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the second busiest airport in the state of California, and the 7th largest in the U.S. SFO is a committed leader in safety and security, customer service and satisfaction, community relations, environmental stewardship, quality of facilities, and financial and economic vitality. With over 58 million passengers in 2018, an airport employee population of over 40,000 and an Airport Commission employee base of over 1,800. The Airport plans and adjusts staffing priorities of the Airport Commission to meet each fiscal year’s organizational needs as well as the changing needs that occur. Our mission is to provide and maintain a competent and motivated workforce that is dedicated to carrying out the mission and goals of the Commission and the City.

Scope of Work:

The Scope of Work is to be used as a general guide and is not intended to be a complete list of all necessary work. The Scope of Work for SFO’s New Marketing Communications Plan may include, but is not limited to, the services listed below. The services listed are meant as a general guide and do not guarantee work will be assigned. Any services performed under this scope will require prior written authorization from the Airport and a mutually signed task order with detailed project scope, specific deliverables, specific milestones and deadlines, necessary resources, team members and roles assigned, other expenses (e.g. travel), required reports, and include a not-to-exceed project budget amount.


1. Strategic Planning and Research Strategic Planning & Research supports all subject areas and may include, but is not limited to:

a. Assist in keeping our ‘living’ strategic Marketing Communications Plan current, positioning SFO as a preferred brand, a gateway of choice, and as an airport industry leader. 

b. Help create a long-range vision, highlight the art-of-the-possible and the soon-to-be possible and develop a road map on how to get there.

c. Evaluate goals, objectives, and plans, provide recommendations on how to effectively communicate the airport’s mission and strategic goals in a timely and efficient manner. 

d. Provide best-practice examples and pioneering suggestions on ways to improve campaign integration, messaging, brand positioning, and reach through channel and content marketing analysis. 

e. Develop and evaluate new marketing programs to promote tenants, airlines, and services and amenities.

f. Identify opportunities for partnership and promotion to leverage and extend the brand reach.

g. Conduct market research on an as-needed project basis as directed.

h. Develop and refine key performance indicators (KPIs), analytics, and attribution models.

i. Assist in the evaluation of marketing communications technologies.

j. Ensure marketing communications reaches the highest level of accessibility through multilingual and multicultural content, universal design, and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliance. 

k. Develop segmentation plans, journey maps, channel and needs analysis.

2. Marketing Communications Services

All Marketing Communications services should consider integrating traditional, digital, and social media components as appropriate as well as providing content in multiple languages and may include, but are not limited to the following areas: 

a. Consumer Marketing Communications. Create, develop and implement innovative, creative, and award-winning programs and campaigns that may include:

• Integrated and optimized multichannel campaigns

• Earned, owned, and paid elements

• Promotions at local events

• Partnering with other local governments, departments, and organizations

• Airport-to-airport promotions; multicultural and multilingual campaigns; in-terminal promotional messaging; in-terminal experiential marketing; and general awareness marketing support. 

• Consumer marketing campaigns targeting Bay Area residents

b. Airline Marketing Communications

• Identify new opportunities to partner with airlines and leverage existing relationships to gain greater visibility for both SFO and the airlines in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the U.S. as required 

• Support airline on-airport and off-airport activations, as appropriate.

• Create, develop and implement marketing communications campaigns to promote new airline routes, capacity increases, SFO specific operational changes, including but not limited to, creating Bay Area out-bound campaigns and support international and domestic in-bound campaigns to promote new and existing services.

• Develop plans and document best practices for business-to-business, business-toconsumer, travel distribution channels, and other channels as appropriate.

• Support may include events, activities, contests, catering, graphic design, photography, videography, data, ad placement, and messaging.

c. Construction Marketing Communications

• Create, develop and implement outreach programs to highlight Airport Development projects. May include in-terminal graphics programs, online and digital communications and interactive programs. Create, develop and implement online, web, digital, social media content and copywriting.

d. Concessions, Services, and Amenities Marketing Communications Services

• Develop and implement a yearly Concessions, Services, and Amenities Marketing Communications Plan to support the Airport’s concessions, services, and amenities to include timelines and budgets. The plan should include, but is not limited to: identifying target markets, channels, internal and external advertising placement, key performance indicators, budgets, timelines, resources, stakeholders and their roles.

e. Business to Business Marketing Communications Services. Developing and implementing a Marketing Communications plan that communicates and promotes business to business aspects of SFO, including but not limited to: 

• Data – promoting APIs, data schema, operational apps, etc.

• Community – generate awareness among various communities.

• Sustainability – promoting sustainability initiatives, thought leadership, environmental impact, etc.

• Business opportunities and partnerships with local businesses, travel distribution channels, corporate travel planners, other government agencies and cultural institutions that leverage promotional and marketing opportunities. 

f. Creative Content Design, Production and Distribution. Supports All Subject Areas with:

• Videography, photography, animation, graphic design, acquiring music rights, production, image capture, editing, post-production, and distribution.

• Scheduling, logistics including licensing, model release forms and obtaining permission to use content, and project timelines.

• Development of creative, graphics, copy writing, copy editing, reports, brochures, presentations or other marketing materials or products to enhance the Airport’s brand and visibility. 

g. Social Media. Supports All Subject Areas with:

• Review and recommend changes to SFO’s social media plan, including but not limited to: scheduling, content planning, content optimization, growing and engaging the fan base, running contests, measuring results, campaign development and tracking.

• Assist with the evaluation and implementation of social media tools to track campaigns, engagement, conduct competitive research, acquire user generated content rights, and engage airport team members to share content. 

• Assist SFO team members with content creation, scheduling, posting, and tracking in native applications as well as other tools; currently using Hootsuite and TrackMaven.

• Recommend ways to optimize owned, earned and paid content.

h. Brand Management. Supports All Subject Areas with:

• Assist the Marketing Communications division with managing the brand, including but not limited to: refreshing and expanding brand guidelines to ensure standards are established and adopted across all platforms including voice assistants, apps, and other electronic and digital applications, developing experiential marketing campaigns, brand experiences, augmented reality brand experiences, and loyalty programs.

• Assist in acquiring licenses and rights to brand standard elements for use on all SFO assets.

i. Media Placement. Supports All Subject Areas with:

• Assist in developing an annual master media placement calendar supporting SFO’s initiatives, including promotional, operational, and business objectives like small business outreach, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. 

• Plan and place paid promotional campaigns that are search engine optimized and social media savvy across multiple channels and types of channels.

3. Event Services

The selected firm may be tasked with producing events celebrating new routes, services, the introduction of new aircraft types, construction milestones, building openings, airport milestones and other events that support SFO as directed. Events may include fundraising and processing sponsorship funds. Event Service may include but are not limited to:

a. Concept and event plan development, including timelines and SOW’s for each event

b. Attendee list development, invitation production and distribution, sending and tracking invitation RSVPs

c. Fundraising through sponsorships

d. Production plan, including run-of-show

e. Production and show management

f. Conduct fundraising activities, including developing sponsorship packages

g. Development of talking points and messages

h. Cost-to-budget and various reports for each event

i. Additional digital components to support the event

B. Web Design, Drupal Programming, Optimization, Analytics, and Application Development (Digital Development)

Digital Development Services may include, but are not limited to the following areas: • Evaluate current marketing communications technology stack, researching new functionalities and services, making recommendations on ways to improve existing systems and/or recommendations for enhanced functionality and to support all Marketing Communications strategies and plans. • Develop, host maintain, support, and program SFO guest-fronting websitesin Drupal, native and web apps, and other digital services including, but not limited to: a Digital Asset Management System, Flight View and Tracking, Airline Schedules, Social Media Management tools, Marketing Platforms to create promotional content like online contests and campaigns, Customer Relationship Management programs and systems, loyalty program platforms, web benchmark/research tools, and the like.

• Ensure assigned guest fronting digital assets meet the City and County’s Cyber Security protocols.

• Assist staff in creating, implementing, and producing social media and online campaigns, promotions, using mobile, web, digital screens, and social media services.

• Create and support a process to ensure seamless and consistent distribution of messaging and content across multiple channels and platforms to optimize messaging. Channels and Platforms currently include: The Information Display System, Websites, Wi-Fi Splash pages, contextual Wi-Fi landing pages, SFO Copilot App, social media channels, live streaming to web, break room screens, and newsletters. Future channels and platforms should be evaluated and added as needed.

• Provide User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) strategy, design, execution, and analytics for websites and apps.

• Provide digital cartography and indoor navigation solutions.

• Explore, evaluate, and recommend new technologies that will improve the SFO’s Marketing Communications effectiveness such as voice activated digital assistants, chat and search, creating a digital community, data visualization, augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality.

C. Media Relations

Media Relations Services may include, but are not limited to the following areas:

• Assist staff with developing strategies and implementation plans for media relations.

• Assist staff to identify and conduct outreach to new communities, organizations, and audiences.

• Provide on-call Crisis/ Emergency Communications and Media Relations support to assist Airport staff in an emergency, crisis, critical, and/or sensitive communications.

• Provide logistics for media events

• Formulate key messages and talking points; writing support for media packets including press releases, fact sheets, etc.

• Conduct media training for Airport Senior Leadership, Airport Duty Managers, Airport Spokespersons and Airport Commission staff as directed.

• Assist in pitching stories to media as needed.

D. Internal Communications Services Internal Communications Services may include, but are not limited to the following areas:

• Assist staff with developing strategies and implementation plans for internal communications functions

• Assist staff to develop Executive messaging to support SFO’s strategic plan, Core Values, goals, and objectives.

Due Date:

December 10, 2019 3:00 PM (PST)


San Francisco International Airport,

Airport Commission Offices

P.O. Box 8097

San Francisco, CA 94128

Relevant agencies include 5WPR and Hunter PR. 

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