PG Volunteers Issues Marketing RFP

2019-09-19 by EPR Staff

The grant is aimed at increasing recruitment numbers for volunteer firefighters and first responders for the 37 independent volunteer fire and rescue departments within Prince George’s County, Maryland, the largest combination fire/ems jurisdiction in the United States, bordering the nation’s capital. The purpose of this RFP is to identify, select and engage one or more companies/individuals to successfully execute the marketing objectives of the grant program. Bidding parties may submit for specific or all program components outlined in this RFP.

The marketing effort will target prospective volunteers across Prince George’s County, in Washington, D.C. (where no volunteer fire/EMS programs exist) as well as a modest component targeting prospective “live-in” college student Firefighter/EMTs from across the country.

In addition to the recruitment marketing, a separate RFP will follow later in 2019 for Recruitment & Retention training programs for recruitment team members at the 37 departments The grant is hosted and managed by the HVFD in partnership with the Prince George’s County Fire Commission and Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association. The total maximum contract of this RFP is $415,000.


The Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the regional host of a Federal Emergency Management Agency Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to promote recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters, EMTs and first responders in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The period of performance (POP) for the grant is November 4, 2017 through November 3, 2021. Over the past 18 months, the key stakeholders have been working to ensure the infrastructure needed for a successful recruitment campaign effort is in place. We are now ready to begin the marketing phase of the program. The marketing phase is expected to start October 1, 2019 through the end of the POP period in November 2021.

Scope of Work:

All marketing campaigns will feed into the existing recruitment hub, a centralized resource for prospective volunteers to learn more about volunteering, search and browse nearby departments seeking volunteers and formally request more information.

This component includes, but is not limited to, social media and search marketing, print, billboard, video, radio/TV and other recommended platforms.

Social media and search engines have been the primary driver of recruitment leads to date, with modest actual marketing spend to date.

We expect the RFP response to include an overview of the submitter’s approach and recommended channels based on experience, with the recognition that the actual platforms utilize may change after initial kickoff period with HVFD and key stakeholders, as well as ongoing monitoring of what works and what is not. The successful bidder should be flexible in their approach and adjust to changing marketing conditions.

A marketing plan and budget will be included in this total for an annual “Recruitment Weekend” held every April, hosted by the state. About half of the county’s departments participate. Less than 10% of the total marketing budget should be planned for this event.

Submitter should detail experience development campaigns for a single program that cross multiple demographics. These campaigns will target both general and specific audiences, including (but not limited to):

                • All Prince George’s County residents to ensure awareness of volunteer programs and the       recruitment opportunities that exist

                • High school and college students

                • Individuals with current/prior public safety, healthcare or military experience

                • Empty nesters seeking volunteer opportunities

                • Various other demographics

The awarded bidder will be expected to provide significant strategy and input on target demographics. Interviewing current volunteers, volunteer leadership and related parties will be a key component of the overall vision for the marketing campaigns.

Development of referral programs (non-financial) for existing volunteers may be among the channels visited.

This component should include cost of creative. A cost guide for creative services should be provided if available.

Recruitment Campaign Strategy & Management: $75,000

This component includes overall development of the marketing program, management of all aspects, reporting and related tasks, coordination with key stakeholders within HVFD and county representatives.

Marketing Materials & Video Production $90,000

This includes, but is not limited to, the following expected marketing products:


                • A 2-3 minute overall recruitment video showcasing the volunteer opportunities within Prince George’s County, with 15 & 30-second cut-downs.

                • Two to three 60 second clips showcasing volunteer opportunities based on specific needs,      such as Fire/EMS, EMS, support, high school, military experience, etc. These concepts will be mutually developed during the initial kickoff of the campaign. There should be an expectation of       15 & 30 second cut-down versions of these as well.

                • Short 30-60 second video profiles of a variety of county volunteers, 10-15 total

                • Videos should be formatted for social media as well as potential use on TV for commercials,    PSAs, etc.

                • Video production should include all rights, including music.

                • Photography for use in campaign and recruitment materials.

                • The proposal should assume a 3-5 day overall production shoot to achieve the objectives outlined, although we look forward to overall proposals for specific approaches.

                • Provide pricing, SEPARATE from this cost and production, to produce a custom 60 second video for each department including two profiles.

Offline Materials

                • One or two sets of event materials to include design, production and shipping, as well as  carrying case/holder for 10×10 tent, table drape, pull up signs, tabletop signs and related supporting materials

                • Development and printing of small poster-size promotions

                • Design and production of countywide Prospective Member Guide, 6-10 page PDF, outlining all the opportunities, requirements and process for joining the volunteer Fire/EMS service in Prince     George’s County. This should include mild customization of cover/contact info for each of the participating departments. Cost should include copywriting and editing. HVFD and county stakeholders will assist in content development.

                • Materials may be printed AND PDF, or just PDF.

                • Original files (Illustrator, etc) must be provided.

                • Development of other creative assets and marketing materials needed to support the overall campaign objectives.

                • Recommendations can be made for specific or general event participation, how the submitted vendor would approach and support such events and any additional information.

Due Date:

September 23, 2019


Makovsky PR and Small Girls PR have relevant experience.