The City of Palo Alto, California, Utilities Issues Marketing RFP

The City of Palo Alto, California, Utilities Issues Marketing RFP

The City of Palo Alto, California, Utilities (CPAU) is soliciting proposals for integrated outreach and graphic design services. CPAU implements a variety of energy and water conservation, safety, and education programs (e.g. rebate programs, gas safety education, water quality reports, workshops and outreach campaigns) targeting residents, businesses and industry. Services required in this RFP, include CPAU’s traditional outreach—ads, bill inserts, flyers and online media, but will also include whole community engagement and empowerment through the incorporation of new and multi-audience media, integrated campaign planning & implementation, community-based social marketing, and program evaluations.

The types of services in this integrated approach include:

  • Campaign and strategy conception and planning—with an integrated message across diverse media empowering and engaging target audiences.
  • Community based social marketing (CBSM)—CBSM is based upon research in the social sciences that demonstrates that behavior change is most effectively achieved through initiatives delivered at the community level which focus on removing barriers to an activity while simultaneously enhancing the activity’s benefits.
  • ‘Traditional’ media—print ads, newsletters, brochures, bill inserts
  • ‘New’ media—viral marketing, blogs, person to person, social networks, video sharing sites, interactive online media, user-created content sites, games
  • Movie making, including story and script development, animation and graphics
  • Website content creation and site evaluation
  • Audience Research—identifying the various segments of a population and the issues/concerns of each plus the best ways to reach and engage them.
  • Multi-cultural marketing—adapting campaigns to address the interests and concerns of various cultural and socio-economic groups

The City of Palo Alto (City), is a charter city located in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. The City provides electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater collection, fiber and other utility services to customers within its boundaries through CPAU. CPAU is the only municipal utility in California that operates publicly-owned services in all of the above areas. CPAU is a department of the City government under the management of the Director of Utilities, who reports to the City Manager.

The Palo Alto City Council in April 2016 adopted an aspirational greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal of 80% below 1990 levels by 2030. As of 2015, Palo Alto’s GHG emissions were 36% below 1990 levels, primarily attained by achieving a carbon neutral electric supply in 2013. Local solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and electrification of energy uses, including the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), are primary paths identified by the Palo Alto community to achieve a sustainable and low carbon future.

CPAU prefers to retain one vendor and estimated annual budget is $150,000 per year.

Task 1:  Market Research


  • Key findings report
  • Research summary
  • Market analysis
  • Customer journey mapping

Task 2. Strategic Campaign Planning


  • An annual outreach plan at the start of each calendar year or fiscal year, based on scheduling and reporting requirements, as discussed and agreed upon by CPAU staff and selected vendor, incorporating the following attributes:
  1. Use of a variety of outreach mechanisms/media
  2. Identification of barriers
  3. Use of commitments, prompts, norms and incentives
  4. Use of community-based social marketing (CBSM)

Task 3. Graphic Design


  • Any artwork designed for this contract shall become the property of the City of Palo Alto
  • High resolution design file archive transferred to CPAU on a monthly basis

Task 4. Evaluation & Analytics


  • Annual, monthly or ad hoc reporting detailing completed projects and marketing analysis

Task 5. Website


  • Evaluation report with site improvement proposal
  • Improvement timeline

Proposals are due by Wednesday, August 24, 2016 to:

PALO ALTO, CA 94301 (650) 329-2271

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