River Forest Communication Services RFP Issued

2021-01-04 by Jim Crickell
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The Village of River Forest is currently soliciting communications firms to provide a proposal for communications services. Below you will find a proposed scope of services to identify what assistance the Village is seeking.

Background:

Community profile

The Village of River Forest is a non-home rule community with a Village President and Board of Trustees elected at large and a professional Village Administrator who runs the day to day operations of the Village. River Forest was incorporated as a municipality in 1880.

Location

The Village of River Forest is a mature community located approximately 10 miles west of downtown Chicago.  The Village is home to 11,172 residents, an assortment of businesses and two universities: Concordia and Dominican. The Village is bounded on its west side by the Des Plaines River and large tracts of Cook County Forest Preserves. River Forest is bordered to the east by Oak Park, to the south by Forest Park, to the north by Elmwood Park, and to the west, across the Des Plaines River, by Melrose Park and Maywood. River Forest is centrally and conveniently located in the Chicago metropolitan area and it is well served by an efficient roadway network and mass transportation system.

Demographics

River Forest is an affluent community of 11,172 with an average household income of $206,744. Nearly three-quarters of all adults age 25 or older have a college degree.

Scope of Work:

The Village proposes that the selected communications firm would manage the Village’s communications channels including:

· Website: https://www.vrf.us/index.html o Particularly the “News” section: https://www.vrf.us/news/index.html

· Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VillageofRiverForest/

· Instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/VillageofRiverForest/

· E-News: https://www.vrf.us/E-News.html o The Village’s E-News is currently managed and sent through the Village’s Blackboard Connect account. It is an HTML based email newsletter, that also has the ability to send robocalls and text messages.

· Written Communication: o From time to time, the Village sends written communication to residents, business owners, or the press, via letter, postcard, etc. The frequencies below are intended to provide an estimate of the scope of communications the Village currently performs.

· Approximately five times a week, the Village posts general reminders, promotions or communications across its website news section, Facebook, and Instagram.

· Approximately once a week, typically on Thursdays, the Village sends a Special E-News message. This is typically under the signature of the Village President. The Special E-News focuses on a few important news stories. During 2020, these have been structured as COVID-19 Updates with other news items following. At times, they are sent more frequently and on short notice in order to be responsive to current events and important updates.

· Approximately once per month, the Village sends a monthly E-News that is a longer form ENewsletter. It is led by a letter from the Village President, and then includes information from the Village and sections focusing on news from other taxing bodies.

· From time to time, the Village sends written communications, distributes press releases, and sends robocalls. During the early months of the Village’s COVID-19 response, these channels were used more frequently, and are generally used on an as-needed basis.

· Crisis communications are needed on occasion and require an immediate response, including during non-business hours. The following engagements will be necessary to manage the Village’s communications:

· Weekly status calls with staff to discuss upcoming communication needs and topics.

· Conversation and drafting with the Village President:

o The Village President is active in drafting and approving communications that go out under her signature. The selected communications partner will be required to have at least one weekly touch point with the Village President to discuss and understand the topics to be covered in the message, exchange with her drafts of the message, and ultimately obtain her approval before it is distributed.

These services will require an expertise in guiding discussion related to decisions and strategy on what to communicate, crafting messages, and providing graphic design work to accompany communications. Please feel free to write or call with questions. The Village is open to suggestions on the scope of services. The Village respectfully requests that you respond with a written proposal by January 7, 2020 to jpape@vrf.us. At that time the Village will evaluate and determine next steps, which will likely include scheduling an interview.

Due Date:

January 7, 2020

Address:

jpape@vrf.us.

Relevant agencies to consider include Finn Partners and Prosek Partners.