Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Issues Public Relations RFP
This request for proposals (RFP) provides interested Proposers with sufficient information to enable them to prepare and submit proposals for consideration by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (Commission) to satisfy a need for communications, marketing
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (Commission) will convert to cashless tolling on the Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass, which adjoins the Turnpike’s Mainline near the New Stanton Interchange in Westmoreland County, and Gateway Toll Plaza in Lawrence County in fall 2019. This means motorists in that area will pay tolls electronically via E-ZPass or by receiving a Toll by Plate invoice in the mail. Additionally, by 2022 the entire PA Turnpike system is slated to be a cashless system – meaning that only E-ZPass or Toll by Plate will be accepted. (The Commission has already developed a brand for Cashless Tolling which is currently in use: https://www.nocashzone.com/.) Our primary objective with this RFP is to effectively partner with a proposer to develop and implement an integrated strategic marketing and outreach plan. Services would include professional advertising, marketing, public relations, media tactics and overall communications strategy for the next cashless tolling conversions as well as the full implementation of cashless tolling across the PA Turnpike system.
The tolling industry in the United States and around the globe is increasingly moving to Cashless Tolling in response to customer demand for safer, more efficient travel. A Cashless Tolling project on the Tobin Bridge in Boston was launched in July 2014, marking a significant step towards full conversion of the entire Massachusetts Turnpike to Cashless Tolling by the summer of 2016. Approximately 85,000 vehicles cross the Tobin Bridge daily.
Cashless Tolling interchanges are safer for both motorists and employees. In the first year after the Florida Turnpike removed toll plazas on one section in 2011, accidents declined 37 percent – 40 crashes compared to an average of 63 in the same period during the three previous years.
Cashless Tolling is a growing trend in the United States with more than 35 toll facilities across the country having successfully adopted Cashless Tolling systems. As we strive to design a Cashless Tolling system that provides the greatest benefit to our users, the best practices of other tolling agencies are being considered along with customer feedback.
Scope of Work:
The selected proposer will design, develop and implement strategic advertising, public relations, outreach and internal campaigns that, in collaboration with the Commission, will reduce confusion and promote and provide optimal awareness of the workings of cashless tolling to customers, constituents and employees.
The scope of work will include strategic research and plan development, innovative communications methods to reach our diverse audiences as well as a mechanism (or mechanisms) for evaluating the success of communication activities. Lessons learned will then be incorporated into the next stages of the roll out.
The proposer must be responsive to developing strategic plans, executing integrated marketing/PR campaigns and measuring campaign(s) effectiveness, and thereafter, tracking those studies and modifying recommended tactics accordingly as the roll out continues.
An underlying communication goal is to maximize and build equity for the Commission’s key communication pillars: innovation, safety and customer value
Assist the Commission with integrated communications, marketing and outreach efforts as they pertain to the cashless tolling projects/initiative. The proposer will be expected to design and implement project-specific strategies that meet industry and Commission standards of awareness and outreach. The proposer will also be expected to monitor these efforts and report on the progress.
The process should include but is not limited to the elements which follow below.
1. Strategy, design and content for ~
a) Marketing communications
b) Creative for potential media placements. Designing materials for targeted media placements – for example, could be TV / Radio spots, online, print or transit ads, Facebook ads, etc. (N.B. All media placements are currently coordinated via a separate contract.)
c) News releases, both statewide and regionally
d) Video interviews with the Commission CEO and Special Projects Engineer.
e) E-blast messages to stakeholders (E-ZPass users and truckers.)
f) Prep of PTC leadership/spokespersons
g) Social media
h) Updates to dedicated website (NoCashZone)
i) Employee communications
j) Customer inquiries
k) Professional and industry associations
l) Transportation and tolling agencies
2. Creation of
a) Animations of route, clearly illustrating the new tolling equipment, specific area(s) and stressing the agreed upon messaging.
b) B-roll video and photos of each of the conversion sites.
c) Maintenance of all stakeholder databases (this would include media, legislative and targeted communities). All Turnpike customers are to be made aware of the conversions, however there are smaller subsets in the regions of the conversion(s) who would need to understand how converting to cashless tolling will impact them. These too would be part of the databases.
a) Partner with other modes of travel (trains, planes, rental vehicles), community organizations and/or associations and businesses that may help to champion the benefits of cashless tolling.
b) Coordinate training opportunities with community partners
c) Create innovative and relevant collateral, training materials for partners
d) Implement grassroots marketing tactics
e) “Transcreate” collateral and creative materials for Spanish-speaking audiences.
4. Research and Measurement
a) Have the ability to conduct awareness and messaging research as well as to understand market penetration and impressions.
April 10th, 2019
Contracts Administration Department
Attn: Wanda Metzger
PA Turnpike Commission
P.O. Box 67676
Harrisburg, PA 17106