Social Media RFP Issued By Whatcom County Washington

The purpose of this request is to solicit proposals for a social marketing campaign that will encourage people in Whatcom County ages 16-26 to adopt behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Phase 1 of this project was completed by December 30, 2020 and includes the creation of a campaign strategy, messaging platform, and brand identity. The successful contractor will be expected to implement the campaign per the strategy developed in Phase 1. This project will be carried out in collaboration with student and staff communications professionals from higher educational institutions in Whatcom County. The project should employ a social marketing approach and must incorporate information from formative research summarized in the Whatcom County Health Department’s COVID-19 Prevention Behaviors report.


Whatcom County Established in 1854
Whatcom County was established on March 9, 1854, by the Washington territorial government from a portion of Island County.

Home Rule Charter
There are 39 counties in Washington. By virtue of its Home Rule Charter adopted in 1978, Whatcom County is one of only 4 counties in the state that have a county constitution. This constitution or Charter gives control of county affairs to the people of the county rather than the state legislature.

As a charter county, there are 2 primary factors that make Whatcom County different from other counties. The first is a separation between legislative and administrative functions. This is accomplished through an elected nonpartisan 7-member, part-time county council (legislative) and a full-time elected county executive (administrative).

The second difference is the right of initiative and referendum provided to county citizens by the Charter. The county charter defines duties and responsibilities of the branches, elected officials and departments. The Whatcom County Home Rule Charter is available on our website, or a print copy may be obtained at the Whatcom County Executive’s Office or the Whatcom County Council Office.

Whatcom County’s History
Long before it was discovered by Europeans, Whatcom County was home to Northwest Coast Indians, the Lummi, Nooksack, Samish and Semiahmoo. The area was claimed by the Spanish in 1775 and later by Russia, England and the United States. Bellingham Bay was named by Captain George Vancouver of the British Navy during his expedition into the waters of Puget Sound in 1792. Fur trappers and traders were the first non-Indian residents to settle in and Hudson’s Bay Company set up shop from 1825 to 1846.

In the early 1850’s, a tremendous amount of building took place in California (after the San Francisco fire) and lumber became scarce. Word of dense stands of Douglas fir brought California miners Roeder and Peabody north, to Bellingham Bay. An impressive and strategically located waterfall, referred to by the Lummi Indians as What-Coom, meaning noisy, rumbling water provided Roeder and Peabody an ideal lumber mill site, and a name for the area’s first permanent town. In 1854, its rapid settlement prompted territorial legislature to create the County of Whatcom, an area that, at the time, took in all of present-day Skagit, Island and San Juan counties.

Scope of Work:

A. Implement actions outlined in Phase 1 Campaign Strategy, including:

1. Developing creative assets for paid and owned media, marketing collateral, and presentations

2. Managing paid and earned media strategies

3. Creating or adapting campaign microsite

B. Refine and adapt campaign to meet evolving COVID-19 communication needs, including but not limited to:

1. Changes to COVID-19 guidance and requirements

2. COVID-19 vaccination 

C. Collaborate with, advise, and conduct strategic planning with project steering committee

D. Monitor and evaluate campaign objectives and outcomes 

E. Advise and support community outreach and partnership development

4.0 Population to be Served 

Whatcom County youth and adults ages 18-26. 

5.0 Period of Performance 

The term of the contract is estimated from February 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021. The contract period may be extended upon mutual agreement depending on performance results and funding availability.

6.0 Funding Availability

Funding for this RFP is anticipated to be awarded in a single contract of up to $200,000.

7.0 Anticipated Outcomes 

Success of the project will be demonstrated by audience engagement with the campaign, measured by audience awareness, reach of campaign materials, and analytics that describe audience interaction with the campaign. An independent, post-campaign evaluation is also expected to be completed by the Whatcom County Health Department, which will measure the project’s success in terms of adopting of desired behaviors promoted through the campaign.

Due Date:

2:30 PM on Tuesday, January 26, 2021


Attn: Sara Winger, Purchasing Coordinator Whatcom County AS-Finance 311 Grand Ave., Suite 503 Bellingham, WA 98225

Agencies to be considered include MWWPR and Hunter PR.

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