Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Seeks PR Agency

2022-01-02 by EPR Staff

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Corporation) seeks to retain a qualified public relations and/or advertising agency to assist with the strategy and execution of a comprehensive, statewide business attraction initiative. The Corporation seeks a firm or firms able to further develop and build upon its public relations and creative strategy; cultivate promotional & strategic partnerships with key vertical sector-oriented media and economic development reporters; and provide research & analytics on latest best practices and story trends. The chosen agency/agencies will work collaboratively with website and other partners.

Background 

Rhode Island is engaged in a major effort to further drive the progress of its reimagined brand and its presence for the purpose of projecting a more favorable image to the world. Under the leadership of a jobs-focused Governor and General Assembly, Rhode Island has dedicated substantial financial resources to bring together its people around a new vision for the State—one that brands Rhode Island as the most attractive place in the Northeast to live, grow a business, and visit as a tourist or business traveler. 

Rhode Island’s business attraction efforts support the entire state economy, with a particular emphasis on the following advanced industries in which the state has key strengths:

• Biomedical Innovation 

• IT / Software, Cyber-Physical Systems, and Data Analytics

• Blue Economy: Defense, Shipbuilding, Maritime, and Offshore Wind

• Advanced Business Services 

• Design, Food, and Custom Manufacturing

• Arts, Education, Hospitality, and Tourism

• Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

The Corporation promotes Rhode Island in the domestic and international marketplaces, leveraging multiple marketing and communications tactics, including but not limited to public relations, advertising, social media, public engagement programs, business trade and sales outreach.

Scope of Work

The Corporation requires Proposers to execute media relations initiatives, including, but not limited to, strategic planning, creative story development, unique partnership opportunities, traditional and new school media relations activities based on client feedback and priorities, activating media events and programs, content creation and distribution, social media strategy and to assist other functions of the Corporation as needed.

The results of these efforts will provide a targeted action strategy that complements partner efforts while focusing activities within appropriate industries and markets. The strategy will provide a platform for a targeted business attraction marketing plan to be created. It will also provide guidance for where the business attraction program should focus its time, understand which industries to target and define roles for the business attraction program. A strong emphasis will be placed on the Proposer’s relationships and assets with economic development beat reporters and/outlets and appropriate sector-based publications as well as successful campaigns attained with other clients.

Core Services

At a minimum, the Proposer should be able to perform the following services under the strategic direction of the Corporation’s staff:

Public Relations 

Strategic Planning: Provide the Corporation with an “insider’s look” at the Proposer’s strategic account planning process. What goes into the development of a plan? What type of research do you do? Please indicate how your firm will support the development and writing of Rhode Island’s business attraction strategy.

Public Relations: Provide examples of potential projects where the Corporation would be able to work with appropriate media and brands; identify trade shows and events worthy of consideration; and promote the State at relevant events. 

Content Creation and Distribution: Proposers should share relevant media materials and messaging previously produced; outline steps to monitor, distribute and promote the content being created as a result of the Corporation’s efforts; identify types of content the Corporation should consider producing for business attractions events/projects/campaigns and explain how to best distribute to generate business attraction leads. Please note that this content includes, but is not limited to: press releases, backgrounders, story idea pitches and other press materials, key messages, speeches, etc.

Social Media: Demonstrate how to integrate social media into a brand strategy, including a suggested approach for a global social strategy. The Corporation is interested in hearing the Proposer’s thoughts on how a brand similar in size should resource to efficiently manage a global social footprint. At a minimum, the Corporation will look to the winning Proposer to provide the overarching social strategy and guidance on implementation.

Analytics: Provide an overview of how your agency determines a campaign’s success. What are the analytic tools or services used, and what type of information is reported to the Corporation as it relates to meeting objectives? Please define how analytics can be converted into insights, and how the insights will help guide the Corporation in making decisions on how to market in the future.

Travel and Administration: The Proposer should estimate travel to Corporation board meetings, monthly meetings (can be done virtually), communication and postage/shipping expenses expected to incur during contract period, and any additional reserve funds to be held for marketing contingencies. Travel and per diem expenses shall not exceed rates authorized by Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s Travel and Expense Policy.

Advertising

For each of the following project areas, the Proposer should prove its capability by describing strategies to be used and quality controls. Sufficient detail must be given and must include examples of past projects, ability to meet deadlines, and managerial experience. The Proposer should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of brand in a global marketplace, and the shifting dynamics of how consumers receive and use information today.

Strategic Planning: Provide the Corporation with an “insider’s look” at the Proposer’s strategic account planning process. For instance, what goes into the development of a plan? What type of research does the Proposer perform? 

Advertising Campaign Development: Demonstrate how the Proposer develops a holistic approach to client brand advertising, integrating interactive, including social media, into the overall strategy. Include how the Proposer’s media planning has changed due to barriers affecting traditional frequency and reach via television, including streaming services, video on demand, recording devices, etc. For instance, how does the Proposer approach and extend beyond that 30-second spot? How has the Proposer’s strategy evolved based on the way consumers are receiving and using their information today?

Production/Creative: Does the Proposer do production in-house? If not, how does the Proposer manage production? Is the Proposer’s creative team located in the office that this account will be managed? The Proposer should demonstrate current and/or past client examples of how its brand development moves across all mediums.

Media Planning & Buying: The Proposer should outline its process in deciding where, when, and how to purchase media, what tools or analytics it uses, the determining elements that make the Proposer’s purchasing decisions, optimization strategy, and co-op Strategy. The Proposer should provide an overview of its philosophy as it relates to planning and buying media domestically.

Promotional and Strategic Partnerships: The Proposer should identify where its strategic partnerships or alliances fit into its overall approach and how it has used strategic partnerships to extend a client’s budget and exposure.

Proposal Submission 

Responses to this RFP are due by Friday, January 21, 2022 at 1:00 pm. One electronic (PDF) version of proposal, compressed for email, on thumb drive or disk and eight (8) printed copies of the complete proposal must be mailed or hand-delivered in a sealed envelope marked: 

Rhode Island Commerce Corporation 

Attention: Business Attraction Public Relations & Advertising Agency RFP

315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101 

Providence, RI 02908 Note: 

Questions, interpretations, or clarifications concerning this RFP should be directed by e-mail tomarketing@commerceri.com no later than 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Responses to questions, interpretations, or clarifications concerning this RFP will be posted online via addendum atwww.commerceri.com and www.purchasing.ri.gov on Friday, January 7, 2022 to ensure equal awareness of important facts and details.

Coyne PR and Magrino PR are agencies worth considering.