Public Relations RFP Issued By The Children’s Agenda

2021-02-03 by JamesD

The Children’s Agenda has had a significant amount of growth over the past few years. From a staff point of view, we created and added a number of new positions, including a Director of Communications & Development. We have strengthened our board and staff with more diversity, and our board committees are more active than they’ve ever been before.

Background:

Our community (Rochester/Monroe County, NY) has many programs and organizations to help children—one by one, or year by year. But few efforts actually help change the system for all children, particularly our most vulnerable, over the long run. That’s where The Children’s Agenda (TCA) comes in. Our mission is to advocate for effective policies and drives evidence-based solutions for the health, education, and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health disparities and trauma. Only The Children’s Agenda improves the lives of children of all ages by engaging leaders in systemic change through research, collaboration and advocacy. Our work creates an equitable community. The organization was created in 2004 as an initiative of the Rochester Area Community Foundation with United Way and leading children’s service providers to help our community make (as our tagline says) “Smart Choices & Bold Voices.”

The Children’s Agenda does three things: 

· Advocacy, such as strengthening Child Protective Services or increasing funding for child care assistance. Click here for an example of our digital advocacy work.

· Evidence-Based Research (such as analyzing proposed school district, city, county and state budget expenditures)

· Collaborative systems-building (such as helping lead the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, ROC the Future, and 15 other coalitions). We make systems work for kids.

Scope of Work:

But with the myriad of advocacy activities we could promote, we often find ourselves in a position where we have to react, with a limited time schedule. This has not given us the ability to thoughtfully and proactively plan campaign-based marketing on issues such as education, child care, etc. – issues which have a more prolonged focus. Our goal through this RFP is to effectively and proactively communicate TCA’s information in a timely manner and to increase our reach into the Rochester/Monroe County community and advance our policy agenda through the most effective cost efficient means possible.

Our objectives include the following: 

1. Grow the number of individuals taking online action: sign petitions, send emails or calls to elected officials, etc.) on TCA advocacy priorities by 30% by the end of 2021.

2. Grow the number of individuals who sign up for our Advocacy Network by 10% by the end of 2021.

3. Grow our social network following on Facebook and Twitter by 10% by the end of 2021. Our target audiences, have been identified to be in priority order:

1. Government officials (elected and non-elected) 

2. Current and prospective funders and donors 

3. Our network of advocates 

4. Local partner agencies and service providers

5. Greater Rochester media outlets and journalists 

6. Rochester Community-at-Large 

We are seeking a professional consultant who will take information that needs to be communicated from TCA staff and create authentic communications. The consultant will find the best possible ways to inform the community of our advocacy efforts, events, programs, and mission. Consultant must specifically respond to the realities of how our target audiences get information. Duties would likely include:

1. Increase our name and brand recognition in the Rochester/Monroe County community by communicating our brand, purpose and story to key audiences across all platforms.

2. Proactively find avenues of communications through media platforms, such as radio, television, podcasts, and newspapers. Field media inquiries and requests and vet potential opportunities on behalf of the organization.

3. As appropriate, develop campaign messaging on various platforms, such as social media, website, press releases, communicating advocacy efforts, special events, programs, and basic information about TCA.

4. Work with the Director of Communications and Development to develop content requirements and structured templates for campaign materials.

For reference sake, previously our consultants have spent approximately 10-15 hours a month on our marketing/public relations work.

3. LENGTH OF TIME FOR SERVICES We anticipate a beginning in early March 2021 and ending at the close of December 2021, with the possibility of renewal each year as need and funding allows.

4. ANTICIPATED SELECTION SCHEDULE The Request for Proposal timeline is as follows:

· RFP Posted: January 22, 2021

· Proposals Due to TCA: February 12, 2021

· Invitations for Presentations: February 16, 2021

· Presentations: Week of February 22, 2021

· Selection of Top Bidder(s) / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidder(s): March 1, 2021

5. TIME AND PLACE OF SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS 

The RFP will be posted on our website, thechildrensagenda.org, and will be available to be downloaded from there directly as of 10am, on January 22nd. Respondents to this RFP must submit their proposal via email to Joe Calabrese, Director of Communications & Development at joe@thechildrensagenda.org. Respondents must be received no later than COB, Friday, February 12, 2021. Responses should be clearly marked “RFP – Public Relations/Marketing Consultant” Proposals received after COB, Friday, February 12, 2021, will not be considered or reviewed. 

6. ELEMENTS OF PROPOSAL 

A submission must, at a minimum, include the following elements:

1. Description of the individual or firm that includes qualifications, past work history, and names and credentials of principals.

2. A cover letter outlining the individual’s or firm’s strengths and distinguishing skills or capabilities that would be uniquely suited to The Children’s Agenda and our RFP.

3. Three past projects and clients most relevant to the work proposed in this RFP.

4. Sample materials: email newsletters; social media content; and other online content if needed to supplement the past projects included above.

5. The amount of time the consultant expects to spend on the project on a monthly basis with an outline of proposed fees.

6. A statement demonstrating the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

7. A minimum of two references, that explain the scope of services provided, length of relationships and outcomes achieved.

8. The narrative portion of the submission may not exceed 5 pages.

7. EVALUATION CRITERIA 

This is an open and competitive process. 

The purpose of this RFP is to provide a fair evaluation for all candidates and to provide the candidates with the evaluation criteria against which they will be judged. Our evaluation criteria are as follows:

· The education, experience, knowledge, skills, and qualifications of the firm or the individual who will be available to provide these services.

• The competitive cost of services. 

• The expertise of the firm in working with similar clients (i.e. nonprofits and community-based organizations).

• TCA strongly encourages proposals from Rochester/Monroe County, but it is not the sole selection criteria.

• TCA strongly encourages submissions from W/MBE organizations. We will entertain more than one successful bidder should a collaboration of services be our best option.

8. REFERENCE – SUMMARY OF EXISTING COMMUNICATIONS TOOLS TCA’s communications tools include, but are not limited to:

· Our website, thechildrensagenda.org;

· Monthly email newsletters;

· Organic social media; primarily Facebook and Twitter;

· OneSignal notifications

· Organizational brochures;

· Letters to the editor;

· Press releases and media availabilities; and

· Flyers, posters, and other promotional and marketing materials Content Management Currently, TCA’s staff manages content creation for their advocacy efforts. From a technical side, our website, thechildrensagenda.org, is based on a WordPress platform using Elementor Pro as a page builder. Graphic Design Currently, TCA’s staff manages the design of almost all our promotional materials using Microsoft products (Publisher, Word, Powerpoint). For special projects, we have used freelance graphic designers.

Due Date:

February 12, 2021

Address:

1 S. Washington Street – Suite 120, Rochester, NY 14614

5WPR and Zeno Group are agencies worth considering.