REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF BUFFALO

2022-01-31 by EPR Staff

Background

The City of Buffalo is looking to engage a communications or public affairs firm that will help develop and execute a public education and engagement campaign designed to keep the public informed of its ongoing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments while also facilitating opportunities for further public engagement. In May of 2021, the City of Buffalo received a $331 million allocation from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act. The purpose of these funds was to help local governments quickly recover from the negative economic impacts the COVID-19 pandemic caused while also addressing some of the long-term and systemic reasons why the pandemic impacted certain communities—especially low-income and communities of color—more than others. In July of 2021, Mayor Byron W. Brown introduced a draft plan based on meetings with stakeholder groups and responses from a public online survey. The plan went through several revisions based on conversations with the members of the Common Council and public feedback through an online comments section. A spending blueprint was unanimously adopted by the Common Council in August of 2021. The plan adopted by the Common Council can now be found of the City of Buffalo website’s Buffalo Transformation Fund page at https://www.buffalony.gov/1390/Buffalo-TransformationFund. The page also contains a number of press releases and other public documents developed to help inform Buffalo’s residents of how this historic infusion of federal funding is benefitting them

Scope of Work

The City of Buffalo has issued this Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking qualified professionals to provide Communications and Public Engagement Services. The following questions address specific activities the City of Buffalo will expect the selected respondent to perform. Please describe what steps or strategy you will employ to successfully complete these tasks.

Public Engagement 

It is the goal of the City of Buffalo, and a requirement from the federal government, that the public be engaged during the development and implementation of its ARPA funded programs and initiatives. Many of these initiatives are intended to have a positive impact on the residents who live in communities that have been disproportionally negatively impacted by COVID. How will you help the City achieve this goal through the production of materials for public consumption, stakeholder identification assistance, and logistical coordination? (500 words) 

Online Presence Management 

Many residents, especially during the pandemic and resulting curtailment of in-person activities, have grown to rely increasingly on social media and web-based platforms for information and an opportunity to engage with their elected officials. Describe how you will use these tools to help engage the public and keep them informed of progress for ARPA funded projects. (350 words)

Media Relations 

There has been a great deal of interest in the City of Buffalo’s ARPA spending blueprint, both at the local and national levels. Responding to media requests will be critically important to keeping the public informed. It is also desirable that Buffalo’s innovative approaches to utilizing the ARPA funds are pitched to various news outlets, including publications for local governments, public infrastructure, and regional planning, for the purposes of sharing best practices and sister-city engagement. (500 words) 

External Stakeholder Engagement A variety of civic organizations, non-profit groups, and community-based organizations are interested in the ARPA investments and how it will impact their communities and operations. Please describe what strategies you will employ to keep these types of organizations informed and engaged throughout the program design and allocation process. (350 words)

Intergovernmental Coordination There are a variety of intergovernmental stakeholders which have an interest in Buffalo’s ARPA investments. Keeping them engaged and involved is critical to leveraging additional resources for these and other projects. Describe your strategy for keeping regional, state, and federal partners engaged during the City’s public engagement process. (250 words)

Submission

The Department of Administration, Finance, Policy & Urban Affairs will receive all

sealed proposals that have been addressed by no later than February 3, 2022 at 11:00 am.

All proposals must be clearly labeled on front of package referencing “Communications and

Public Engagement Services”, and delivered to:

Attention: Jessica Brown

City of Buffalo Department of Administration, Finance, Policy & Urban Affairs

65 Niagara Square, Room 203 City Hall

Buffalo, New York 14202

PROPOSALS DUE/CLOSING DATE

February 3, 2022 @11:00 AM

Coyne PR and Alison Brod PR are relevant agencies to consider.