Marketing RFP Issued By Washington Student Achievement Council
PROPOSAL DUE DATE: November 1, 2022 – 5:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Olympia, Washington, USA
PURPOSE AND BACKGROUND
The Washington Student Achievement Council, hereafter called “AGENCY,” is initiating this
Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit proposals from firms interested in participating on a
project to promote the Washington College Grant via a statewide marketing awareness
Washington College Grant (WCG) is the state’s largest financial aid program and one of the
most generous financial aid programs in the country. Recent high school graduates and
working-age adults from many low- and middle-income families can qualify to receive money
for college or career training. WCG was expanded in recent years to increase income
eligibility limits, guarantee funding to eligible recipients, and support individuals participating
in approved apprenticeship programs in addition to those enrolled in traditional college
degree programs. The AGENCY administers the Washington College Grant in coordination
with financial aid administrators on college campuses and with participating apprenticeship
WCG’s impact as an incentive to enroll in more education beyond high school is curtailed by
a lack of awareness about the program and insufficient applications for financial aid.
Washington typically ranks in the bottom 5 among the 50 states in financial aid application
completion rates. As a result, many eligible students and families who could substantially
benefit from WCG instead miss out on the chance to have college or career training paid for
by the State of Washington.
This RFP is undertaken pursuant to the requirements of 2SHB 1835 (2022), which directs
the AGENCY to hire a marketing firm to produce high quality advertisements marketed
toward potential postsecondary students and their parents with the goal of increasing
awareness of the WCG program to further the state’s educational attainment goals. The
AGENCY has established a goal that 70% of adults between the ages of 25 and 44
complete a postsecondary degree or credential. The goal was adopted by the state
Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee. At the end of 2019, the educational
attainment rate was 61.7%.
The purpose of the marketing campaign is to increase awareness of the Washington
College Grant statewide, and particularly among eligible populations. The campaign’s target
demographics include but are not limited to: low-income families, undocumented students,
rural communities, and underrepresented students of color, including Black students,
Indigenous students, Latino students, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.
Bidders may submit proposals jointly with one or more business partners or employ
subcontractors to carry out designated aspects of the work.
1.2. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF WORK
The CONTRACTOR will provide services and staff, and otherwise do all things necessary for
or incidental to the performance of work, as set forth below:
A. Action Items
Meetings with Agency
• CONTRACTOR will meet with AGENCY staff to launch the project, learn more about
the WCG program, discuss prior research and marketing strategy, resolve any
outstanding questions about project expectations, and discuss project goals and
creative direction. This meeting will take place virtually at an agreed-upon time, but no
later than December 9, 2022, and is expected to last for up to two hours.
• CONTRACTOR will meet at least monthly with AGENCY staff to discuss short and
long-term goals, media mix, timing, and budget in order to develop and procure
advertising media for the upcoming period. These meetings will take place virtually.
• CONTRACTOR will provide additional consultations via phone, email, or alternative,
mutually agreed upon channels as needed to facilitate the project.
• On or before January 20, 2023, CONTRACTOR will identify a WCG program tagline
in consultation with AGENCY staff for use in branding and marketing materials.
• On or before January 20, 2023, CONTRACTOR will develop and design a program
logo and at least one variation in consultation with AGENCY staff.
o CONTRACTOR must provide logos that are distinct and exclusive to AGENCY.
o At least one logo variation must be designed with an alternative orientation or
dimensions as compared with the primary logo.
o CONTRACTOR will deliver to the AGENCY all final logo files in vector-based
(.ai and.eps) format.
• CONTRACTOR will appropriately license and package any fonts used for either the
logo(s) or tagline with the design files.
• CONTRACTOR will develop and execute the campaign’s marketing plan.
• CONTRACTOR will provide an initial marketing plan for AGENCY review and
approval on or before January 20, 2023, that:
o Includes an initial media schedule.
o Includes an updated project budget based on planned ad placements.
o Outlines audience-specific approaches intended to increase awareness
among the campaign’s target demographics, including but not limited to: low income families, undocumented students, rural communities, and underrepresented students of color, including Black students, Indigenous students, Latino students, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.
o Addresses the need for Spanish-language advertisements.
• Strategies to target specific audiences will be based on CONTRACTOR experience, market research, evidence-based marketing practices, or some combination thereof.
• CONTRACTOR will track and analyze engagement and success metrics to inform ongoing and future ad placements and adjust marketing plan as necessary.
• CONTRACTOR will execute the marketing plan over the course of the contract period, with all creative content developed, ads placed and run, and reporting complete prior to June 30, 2023.
Creative Content Development:
• CONTRACTOR will develop a minimum of three creative concepts for the campaign. Initial creative concepts will be proposed to the AGENCY on or before January 10,2023.
The AGENCY will select one concept for further development and use in the campaign.
• CONTRACTOR will design and develop—in both English and Spanish—campaign creative and related collateral, including video, photography, and print and web graphics for use in out-of-home, digital, and social media advertisements. For Spanish-language ads, additional creative pieces may include Spanish-language broadcast television and radio commercials, or newspaper ads.
o CONTRACTOR will develop Spanish-language adaptations of content rather than applying Spanish translation to creative developed for an English language audience.
o Once a contract is in place, the AGENCY will provide the CONTRACTOR with examples of established WCG messaging to inform message development for the campaign.
• CONTRACTOR will implement a visual strategy that respectfully integrates families, students, and individuals that are relatable to the campaign’s target demographics.
• CONTRACTOR will plan and manage all social media, including paid social ads and any posts, messages, and engagement on AGENCY social media channels related to the marketing campaign.
• CONTRACTOR will design, direct, and supervise any approved photo shoots and production of any approved videos, television commercials, or radio commercials (if applicable).
o Supervising will include, but is not limited to, selecting models/talent, location(s), and props in cooperation with the AGENCY, and directly overseeing production to ensure that timelines and quality standards are met.
o Costs for talent, props, photography, locations, and other incidentals needed for production are considered production costs and are inclusive of the contracted amount.
• All creative products, files, photos, videos, and related collateral will be the property of the AGENCY.
The AGENCY will retain all rights in perpetuity for all aspects of the creative produced.
• At project conclusion, and by no later than June 30, 2023, CONTRACTOR will provide the following in PC-compatible formats on a portable hard disk drive or via a mutually agreed upon cloud-based file transfer service:
o All final print and digital ads and graphics in high-resolution image file format.
o All final video ads and television and radio spots in high-resolution, industry standard video and audio file formats (if applicable).
o All native project files. Native project files include, but are not limited to, all raw video and audio files (including stock video and audio files purchased specifically for the purpose of the project, if applicable), video and audio project files (if applicable), and any stock or custom graphic or image files developed or purchased for the project.
• At project conclusion, and by no later than June 30, 2023, CONTRACTOR will provide all relevant releases from models/talent featured in photos, videos, or ad spots and rights to stock images and video clips (if applicable).
• CONTRACTOR is responsible for purchasing and placing all paid advertising and SEM/SEO, as outlined in the marketing plan.
o Specific media mix is subject to CONTRACTOR’s recommendations, but may include: digital media, such as targeted mobile, paid search, display ads, streaming, and Over The Top (OTT); out-of-home advertisements, such as billboard and transit ads; and social media, such as Facebook, Instagram,
YouTube, and SnapChat. For Spanish-language ads, additional channels may include Spanish-language broadcast television, radio, or newspapers.
o CONTRACTOR will purchase and place out-of-home and in-community advertisements in target geographic areas identified in consultation with AGENCY.
• CONTRACTOR will place and actively manage digital and social media advertisements.
• CONTRACTOR will complete negotiations with responsive media outlets as necessary.
• CONTRACTOR will build final buys and provide copies of media schedule to AGENCY.
• CONTRACTOR will submit orders to advertising outlets.
• For broadcast TV or radio ads, if any are purchased, CONTRACTOR will provide the
AGENCY with a complete buy recap within two weeks of placement, including added
value, projected audience rating delivery, reach and frequency, and Cost per Thousand.
• CONTRACTOR will identify key metrics and use tracking codes and other analytical tools to measure engagement and success.