Orange County Sanitation District Issues Communications RFP

OCSD is seeking increased opportunity to enhance internal and external communication to keep its stakeholders informed and engaged.


The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) operates the third largest wastewater agency west of the Mississippi River. Since 1954, we have safely collected, treated, and disposed of and/or recycled the wastewater generated by 2.6 million people living and working in central and northwestern Orange County, California. Each day we treat approximately 185 million gallons of wastewater, enough water to fill Anaheim stadium over two and a quarter times. About 80 percent of the wastewater comes from homes – sinks, toilets, showers, laundry, and dishwashers. The remaining come from businesses – retail stores, restaurants, manufacturers, hotels, offices, and other industries.

A professional staff of more than 600 employees manages the day-to-day activities of OCSD. Our facilities include 396 miles of sewer pipes, located throughout the county, and two treatment plants – one in Fountain Valley, CA and the other in Huntington Beach, CA – where wastewater is treated in accordance with strict state and federal standards.

Our employees are on duty protecting health and the environment by ensuring the sewer system efficiently operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. We are very proud of the job we do and take pride in providing our customers with quality service.

Scope of Work:

The firm selected will partner with the OCSD’s Public Affairs Office to conduct a comprehensive communications audit. The firm will use quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques to assess and improve the effectiveness of OCSD’s communications including public relations, construction outreach, event management, social media/Web site and general marketing. Including but not limited to:

                A. Use of electronic communications including emails, website and social media;

                B. Use of printed materials and other means of communicating with residents and businesses;

C. Evaluate current communication methods and resident/community engagement and relation to current communication perceptions, expectations, and needs of the community;

                D. Evaluate current marketing/communication practices for OCSD’s events;

E. Routine and emergency communications with the public and public officials, including odor complaints, sewer line breaks, road closures, construction, and emergency situations;

                F. Protocol for Board members and Staff to respond to inquiries/concerns that are received directly from the media, city officials, residents, and businesses.

For each of these areas, the audit should compare OCSD’s practices and performance with effective best practices of other comparable agencies. The audit should also provide recommendations on desirable practices for implementation and recommend cost-effective actions to promote improved overall communications.

After completing the audit, the consultant will develop a Communications Strategy that identifies gaps and opportunities for effective communication of information. The strategy should include the following components:

                • Comparison of OCSD’s communications with effective best practices of other communities and organizations. With recommendation on what practices to implement and how to implement.

                • Provide analysis on OCSD’s current analytics (i.e. number of webpage hits, ranking on Google, Social Media impressions), identify benchmarks to continue analyzing and tools to undertake the analysis.

                • Identify what is working well and what needs attention with current communication processes and policies both externally and internally.

                • Recommend changes that may be required to both processes and policies.

                • Identify current communications roles, and responsibilities and recommend any required changes.

                • Recommend templates or standards for OCSD’s communications.

                • Recommend best practices in reaching target audiences and identify benchmarks for measuring success.

The chosen agency will utilize both quantitative and qualitative research strategies to conduct the Communications Audit and use the results to prepare a Communications Strategy. The agency should be prepared to present the results of the audit and the strategy to OCSD’s General Manager.

Due Date:

July 16th, 2019. 


Proposals must be received via our PlanetBids system at

Relevant agencies to consider for this assignment are Zeno Group and Edelman PR.

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