PUBLIC RELATIONS RFP ISSUED BY JEFFERSON COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Bid Opening Timeline
Please mail or deliver bids clearly titled “Communication & Public Relations Services” by no later
than Friday, June 24, 2022 at 3:00 PM to:
Jefferson County Commission
124 E Washington St
Charles Town, WV 25414
Attn: Jessica Carroll
Bids will be opened in public at the Commission Office on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 3:01PM.
Jefferson County is located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and seated in Charles Town.
Jefferson County is the easternmost county of West Virginia, bounded by the Potomac River and
Maryland on the north; the Blue Ridge Mountains and Loudoun County, Virginia, on the east; Clarke
County, Virginia, on the south; and Berkeley County on the west. It occupies 212.4 square miles. Its
incorporated municipalities include Charles Town, the county seat (established in 1789 by George
Washington’s brother, Charles); Ranson (1910); Harpers Ferry (1851); Bolivar (1825); and
Shepherdstown (1762). Jefferson County was established from a portion of Berkeley County by the
Virginia General Assembly on October 26, 1801. Like much of the neighboring area, Jefferson
County began to grow more rapidly in the 1970s. Between 1970 and 2000, the number of residents
increased from 21,280 to 42,190. The number of residents increased to 57,701 during the 2020
census. The county experienced significant residential growth without a proportionate increase in
its business and industrial base. The county is part of the metropolitan Washington area; therefore,
the majority of its residents commute outside of the county to work.
In 2021, the Jefferson County Commission contacted a consultant to perform an Emergency Medical
Services (EMS) assessment and to explore ways of improving EMS services to citizens while
managing cost more effectively. This study evaluated the performance and cost of the current EMS
system and provided alternative EMS system models for the County to consider. This study
provided comprehensive data analyses, quantitative data reports, reviewed EMS best practices and
estimated financials for each EMS model presented. The study was completed in February 2022
and subsequently presented to the public. Since the time that the report was released, there has been public scrutiny and misinformation regarding that published data and the impact any EMS
system changes will have on the services provided to the community.
Request for Proposal
The Jefferson County Commission (JCC) seeks to retain a qualified public relations agency to assist
with further development and implementation of the EMS system project (the project) within the
affected community. This Request for Proposal (RFP) is intended to inform county residents and
assist JCC with providing a multi-faceted communications program for the project. This will include
messaging to the public that the image and reputation of the County’s EMS system is of great value
and a direct benefit for County residents, businesses and visitors. The selected firm must be able to
provide strong media and public relations (PR) strategic insight and message development to assist
JCC with proactive campaigns and reactive approaches related to topics surrounding this project.
The consultant will be expected to monitor and, when appropriate, provide timely response to
social media commentary under the direction of the JCC County Administrator. Regular reporting
on social media metrics, accompanied by strategic recommendations for improvement, will be
The firm selected through a competitive bid process will assist JCC in designing, developing and
implementing a comprehensive, integrated and strategic communications, advertising and public
relations program for this project. In collaboration with JCC, the selected firm will grow and
maintain an ongoing dialogue with key audiences, including:
County residents, businesses, organizations and stakeholders
Policy makers, which includes business and political leaders
Social media audiences
The selected frim will be responsible for supporting the County’s strategic communications, media
relations and public relations priorities for this project duration. Our desired partner will have the
capacity to provide strategic counsel and direction, actively share and promote our message,
amplify our successes and position the case that the activities of the County in relation to this
project is creating a better value and quality of life for its key stakeholders.
The JCC reserves the right to perform, manage, and/or administer any function referenced in the
Scope of Work (SOW) at any time during the resultant contract period. Such performance may alter
the amount of overall funds administered by the contract and will be determined on a month-tomonth
In responding to this RFP, vendors should follow the prescribed format and use the forms included,
thus providing Jefferson County with data that is easily compared with data submitted by other
vendors in order to fairly and objectively evaluate the proposal.
The bidding agency assumes no responsibility for conclusion or interpretations derived from the
information presented in this RFP, or otherwise distributed or made available during this
procurement process. In addition, the bidding agency will not be bound by or be responsible for
any explanation, interpretation, or conclusions of the RFP or any documents provided by the bidding agency other than those given in writing by the bidding agency through the issuance of
addenda. In no event may a vendor rely on any oral statement by the bidding agency or its agents,
advisors, or consultants. It is the full responsibility of the vendor to thoroughly investigate the
needs and requirements of the bidding agency not necessarily assumed in this RFP and to submit a
bid for: Communications & Public Relations Services.
Bidders are encouraged to contact County Administrator, John Nissel, to set an appointment to
discuss the project to ensure that the appropriate bid is submitted.
The Jefferson County Government, County Commission, in their judgment, reserves the right to
qualify, disqualify and award the bid to the contractor they see most meets the qualifications of the
I. Scope of Work, Instructions, Requirements, and Details
A. VENDOR PROPOSALS DUE BACK
All proposals offered under this RFP are due back to the JCC office before Friday,
June 24, 2022 at 3:00PM, at which time each proposal will be opened and the review
process started. Proposals may be mailed, emailed or hand delivered to:
Jefferson County Commission
124 E Washington St
Charles Town, WV 25414
Attn: Jessica Carroll
Proposals should be clearly marked “Communication & Public Relations Services”.
C. SCOPE OF WORK
The following provides a general overview of the specific work assignments JCC will
expect the selected firm to complete. These should not be considered an exhaustive
listing of services to be employed to meet the goal stated previously. JCC welcomes
the bidder’s recommendations to add strategies and tactics to this list that can
further enhance JCC’s ability to create awareness of this project. The bidder will
need to complete a comprehensive action plan for how the PR agency would
approach each category below. The budget page should itemize anticipated costs
for fulfilling expectations.
The SOW includes three major components: Media Relations; Web and Interactive
Media; and Reputation and Branding.
1. Media Relations: The anticipated SOW will include:
a) Propose and implement a regional media-relations strategy that
elevates exposure of the project to identified audiences via regional news
and media organizations.
b) Proactively identify opportunities for media coverage, both locally
and regionally, and work to facilitate that coverage.
c) Schedule media interviews for identified elected officials, staff, and
supporters to promote the project.
d) Develop relevant messaging that can take advantage of current
opportunities and events.
e) Propose and facilitate approved media events to promote the project
and its benefits to stakeholders.
f) Draft news releases, advisories and backgrounders (such as a project
fact sheet, electronic presentations, direct mail, etc) to promote the project,
staff and research behind the project, and generate placement of the same
with regional and local news and media organizations.
g) Track and respond to stories in the media that might benefit from a
response from JCC.
h) Monitor, poll and report on the effectiveness of press releases, story
pitches and activities.
i) Generate measurable increases in media coverage of the project and
its impact on stakeholders.
j) Create coordinated marketing campaigns (print, broadcast, digital,
online, email, etc) to include a written plan addressing objectives, audience/
market description, strategies, tactics, and budgets.
k) Develop a concrete social media strategy using tools like Facebook
Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
2. Website Usage/Visitation
a) Evaluate and recommend enhancements to the JCC and related web
pages associated with the project and promote those pages appropriately to
b) Assist JCC in optimizing relevant pages for search engine viability.
c) Develop and implement in close cooperation with JCC a robust social
media outreach targeting appropriate audiences on multiple social media
platforms in a strategized communications flow that emphasizes
3. Reputation and Branding
Jefferson County is well known for its historic, character-rich communities,
on-trend amenities, natural splendor, and hometown friendliness. General
perception of the County is positive. However, its recent public
announcement of the EMS system project remains relatively controversial
among prospective stakeholders. The project is a deliberate strategy for
moving the County onto an alternate EMS system that provides stakeholders
with improved services while effectively managing cost during difficult
The selected bidder should include a thorough discussion of the ways in
which the consultant can augment the County’s reputation and use the
County’s brand to generate awareness of and preference for the project.
Anticipated outcomes might include encouraging/facilitating stakeholder
support of the project; pursuing partners for informational, in-person events
to engage stakeholders and grassroots supporters; attendance at community
events such as fairs, public education opportunities and other outlets;
developing strategic alliances with major players identified as possessing
areas of strength most closely associated with the project.
a) Develop branding ideas, including slogans, to promote the project
and to effectively and successfully raise awareness and connect with the