Request for Quotes Strategy and Communications Campaign Project 311

Quote Due Date (Late submissions not accepted) 9/29/2023 by 4:30 p.m.

The City of Cleveland (“the City”), through its Chief of Communications (“Chief”) and Director of Urban Analytics and Innovation (“Director”), is currently soliciting quotes from qualified firms (“Consultant(s)”) to develop and successfully execute a public-facing media and communications campaign for the public launch of 311 as the front door for the City of Cleveland beginning in 2024.


The City of Cleveland seeks a qualified firm to formulate and successfully execute a public facing media and communications campaign for the public launch of 311 as the front door for the City of Cleveland. The campaign will define the City’s approach and path to achieving Mayor Bibb’s vision for a modern, resident-centered 311 platform. A qualified firm will be able to define and execute the campaign beginning in 2024.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of 311 for all Cleveland residents, visitors, and other stakeholders who interact with the City. The campaign should maximize the exposure of 311 through multiple media and communication channels.

The City acknowledges there are a variety of perspectives, models, and approaches available to define and execute a strategy and a communications campaign of this size; therefore, the successful Consultant(s) should be able to discern which model(s) are best suited given the criteria provided and defend those decisions.

The City also recognizes that the scope and specificity of this work may require a cross disciplinary team consisting of multiple Consultants. Therefore, if the Consultant recommends additional support, the City welcomes partnerships and encourages Consultant to include additional team members with complementary skillsets in their response.


What is 311?

311 is a non-emergency phone number that people can call to find information about services, make complaints, or report problems like graffiti or road damage. Even in cities where a different phone number is used, 311 is the generally recognized moniker for non-emergency phone systems. The City of Cleveland’s 311 call center took its first call in March 2009 as part of soft launch, but 311 has never been formally launched city-wide.

A team of customer service representatives currently answer approximately 200,000 calls placed to City of Cleveland’s 311 every year. While 311 accepts calls from anyone, most calls are from residents, City Council, and city staff. Approximately 80% are calls for information, 20% are service requests. With the upgrade to the new system and ease of use, we expect the volume of requests for information and service to increase once 311 is launched.

Project 311

The City is committed to modernizing the 311 Citizen Support Center with $4 million of ARPA investments to support process and technology upgrades to expand access to 311 as well as the public launch. Once 311 is formally launched, the new technology upgrades will allow all residents to call 311 directly or also report an issue online, by email, or by a 311 mobile app through a new and improved resident portal.

Our goal is to improve communication with residents as well as launch a large-scale communications campaign to inform residents and visitors about 311. The goals of Project 311


• Expand access to 311 with the launch of new channels to submit and track requests.

• Collect resident contact information, complaints and inquiries.

• Allow residents to check the status of requests by tracking number or calling 311.

• Enable 311 call takers to better respond to requests via a knowledge portal.

• Enable reporting to improve case management and customer relationship management.

Project Details

The City of Cleveland seeks a qualified firm to formulate and successfully execute a public-facing media and communications campaign for the public launch of 311 as the front door for the City of Cleveland.


The selected consultant(s) is expected to create a comprehensive campaign strategy and implementation plan that is clear, compelling, and concise. In the quote, the consultant shall outline their approach to development of the strategy as well as any required resources from the City. The final Campaign Plan should include:

Identification of Target Audience(s)

This campaign should be designed to reach the diverse group of residents, visitors, and other many stakeholders who engage with 311 and the City. Demographics should include but are not limited to age, income, education, gender, race, technology literacy, and location in the City.

The Consultant should demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of the City residents, staff, and stakeholders and propose opportunities to reach each audience.

The Consultant will also serve as an expert on local marketing trends and commercial opportunities.

Multiple Media Approach

The strategy should maximize the exposure of 311 through multiple media and communication channels, including but not limited to:

o Social media engagement on all major platforms

o Broadcast and radio opportunities

o Promotional events held in multiple locations city-wide

o Op-eds, blogs, etc. to be published in external publications

o Billboards, bus ads, and other paid advertising

o Guerrilla marketing

o Earned media

The plan should include comprehensive ad-buying, media placement, and marketing services that are informed by research and SEO best practices from similar campaigns in other large urban cities.

Media placement should occur in a phased rollout to create data-gathering opportunities that will allow future decisions regarding budget, channel utilization, and overall strategy.

It is the City’s intention that as data is received on a rolling basis so media buying can be adapted to fit current needs that may have changed or otherwise been previously unforeseen.

Allocation of Resources

The strategy should consider the best approach to allocate the limited resources, both staff time and dollars, for the city. This includes but is not limited to:

o Allocation of paid marketing and media budget

o Allocation of time and effort of city staff and the Mayor

o Timing to purchasing advertising spaces/executing a media buy

o Printed materials

o Swag and other merchandise

The plan should also take into consideration the City of Cleveland’s current resources, channels, personnel, and budget, and how those intersect with other broader potential owned, earned and paid media opportunities. The Consultant should consider and plan for the strengths and nuances of the Cleveland media market and the Bibb Administration when developing the campaign.

An internal launch for City employees will be occurring simultaneously. And while the City will be responsible for the internal launch, there may be some overlap in budget allocation that the Consultant will need to be aware of.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The city intends to monitor the progress of the implementation and seeks flexibility to adjust strategy throughout the phased implementation campaign. The campaign should include but is not limited to:

o Approach to tracking the media buys/ spending to ensure the project stays within

budget constraints.

o Appropriate reports/analytics on all phases of the campaign to ensure the effectiveness of the paid and earned media.

o Monitor how those engaging with 311 “found” the tool.

o Opportunities and timing to pivot media or implementation strategy based on reports/analytics.

The Consultant should conduct ongoing monitoring and regularly report to the City with recommendations on how to modify the strategy.

Collateral, Content and Art Direction

The Consultant should support on collateral and content development as well as Art Direction for the campaign. This includes, but is not limited to, content writing and editing for various pieces of collateral across multiple platforms.

The City will provide graphic design for this project using in-house resources.


The Consultant will implement the public-facing media and communications campaign for the public launch of 311. A successful consultant will be expected to deliver the following throughout the campaign:

• Review and Approvals

o A draft Campaign Strategy and Plan shall be presented to and approved by the Chief and Director prior to finalization.

o The Consultant should anticipate regular meetings with the Chief and Director throughout the development of the strategy.

o Completed strategy shall be approved by the Chief and Director prior to release and presentation to the public. All reports, collateral, and presentations as a result of this contract are the property of the City of Cleveland. The City will retain all rights for release, publication, and distribution.

• Strategy Collateral and Communications

o Including but not limited to the campaign plan and strategy, ongoing status reports and summaries (such as 1-pager PDFs), dashboards, external collateral, and presentations.

• Presentation(s)

o Present the results of the campaign to City Administration and Elected Officials, if requested.

• Progress Reports

o Consultant(s) shall provide regular reports on progress of the strategy to the Chief and Director throughout the campaign and on the timeline agreed to in the plan document.

• Budget Reports

o Consultant(s) shall provide regular reports on budget to the Chief and Director throughout the campaign and on the timeline agreed to in the plan document.

• Project Management

o The Consultant will lead all promotional efforts from the inception through execution of the campaign. The Consultant will support the implementation of the public campaign including, but not limited to:

▪ Project Management

▪ Multi-Platform Collateral and Content Creation

▪ Art Direction

▪ Media Planning & Ad Buying

▪ Research, Insight, & Data-Driven Advisement

▪ Metrics Monitoring & Analytics-Based Reporting

The Consultant will provide a project manager who is responsible for implementation of the plan, monitoring progress, tracking metrics to measure success, reporting results, advising on recommended next steps, revising the plan as needed, re-implementing, and repeating these steps as necessary throughout each phase.

When advising the City, the Project Manager should provide all-encompassing recommendations that are informed by data. The recommendations should help answer questions that are both general and nuanced in nature.

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