SolTrans is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a Contractor using Best Value Procurement Guidelines for Marketing & Public Relations Services. The goal of this solicitation is to enter into a Contract with the firm that will be able to best meet SolTrans’ needs.
SolTrans is seeking a full-service marketing/advertising agency to serve as advisor and partner to SolTrans. The selected PROPOSER will be asked to develop a strategic marketing plan that will complement SolTrans’ business plan initiatives, as well as to provide direct marketing support for current SolTrans activities. SolTrans has therefore issued this RFP for Marketing & Public Relations Services.
Though different products and services will be required, they should always be designed to meet the following objectives:
- Build on SolTrans’ Brand.
- Increase ridership
- Increase awareness and support for SolTrans services.
- Build a communication and marketing strategy, budget and plan to help inform the public of changes and promote changes.
SolTrans is a Joint Powers Authority that provides public transportation to the Southern Solano County Cities of Vallejo and Benicia. The SolTrans Joint Powers Agreement was approved in the Fall of 2010 by the City of Benicia, the City of Vallejo, and Solano Transportation Authority to build a unified public transit system in Southern Solano County. On July 1, 2011, SolTrans officially assumed responsibility for transit operations and all its related public transit programs, previously provided for by its member Cities of Vallejo and Benicia.
SolTrans provides local and express bus service to the Solano County Cities of Vallejo, Benicia and Fairfield, with express bus service connecting to the Contra Costa County communities of El Cerrito, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek, with regional connections to rapid transit service. There are currently 16 routes in operation. The SolTrans fixed route fleet consists of 21 diesel hybrids, 3 conventional diesel, and 2 new battery electric buses for local service, and 21 over-the-road buses for express service, of which 10 are powered by compressed natural gas and the remainder are diesel-powered.
In addition to fixed route service, SolTrans provides ADA complementary paratransit bus service, general public dial-a-ride service within Benicia, administers a Local Taxi Scrip Program, and partners with Solano County agencies in the Intercity Taxi Scrip Program. Solano County’s Intercity Taxi Scrip Program is an innovative, award-winning program that provides direct service between cities in Solano County for ambulatory ADA Paratransit qualified individuals. The demand response fleet consists of 12 gasoline-powered cutaway vehicles.
Scope of Work:
The general marketing program is designed to increase overall awareness of SolTrans’ brand identity throughout its service area. The Contractor will develop an overall strategic marketing plan each year to complement the SolTrans business plan. The marketing plan will expand the current creative concepts and designs artwork to target markets identified through SolTrans’ research and data analysis. The successful PROPOSER will make recommendations and define methods for communicating and advertising to those target markets. Advertising media may include, but is not limited to: temporary and permanent signage; newspaper advertisements; direct mail; streaming, social and digital media; banners and billboards; and cable television advertisements. Specific marketing campaigns will be developed in response to changing agency needs to keep the program fresh and responsive.
SolTrans is currently undergoing a Comprehensive Operations Analysis, which has the potential to greatly impact current routes and route structures, redesigning routes to better match current travel and work patterns. SolTrans will need assistance in terms of marketing and outreach to help encourage public participation during the project development phase and support of any new services. In addition, SolTrans Express services will be undergoing changes in structure, branding, and route-naming convention, and SolTrans will need marketing expertise to help educate and inform the public of these changes.
The Contractor shall complete those tasks as spelled out in its approach to the project, which are negotiated in the final scope of work. Specific tasks and deliverables required by SolTrans may include, but are not limited to, to the following:
- Provide creative design services.
- Development of newsletters and press releases.
- Develop social media strategy, including posting.
- Quarterly updates.
- Attend regular meetings and establish milestone dates for projects.
- Develop methods and means of customer education.
- Develop methods for evaluating and measuring marketing effectiveness and performance.
- Provide advice and assistance on matters pertaining to marketing, public relations and outreach.
- Adhere to SolTrans brand standards guide.
- Develop a standardized marketing guide to form the design of future materials.
- Utilize past materials, designs, brand standards, research and data analysis and other planning tools to gain understanding of market and produce effective strategies.
- Provide art, creative direction and source photography ensuring proper usage/copyright terms.
- Represent SolTrans at community events and activities.
Media buying in accordance with a strategic marketing plan will be required, including consideration of the target market. The CONTRACTOR will research, plan, execute and implement advertising in finished form, with prior written authorization from SolTrans, and forward to production and media with proper instructions. The CONTRACTOR will disperse all necessary materials to media suppliers, printers and all other third parties needed to accomplish the approved marketing communications and advertising ideas, programs and campaigns.
- Provide media information and plans that are standard to the transit industry.
- Provide media plans with buy detail, including placement dates, circulation/readership figures, and proposed added value.
- Seek out media opportunities such as promotions or other editorial opportunities.
- Proof read and monitor ads for run verification.
- Process and verify purchase orders and invoice timely.
- Obtain prior approval for all and any subcontractor work.
- Provide media production services.
- Establish advertising schedule and develop media buying plan.
Web-Based and Social Media Activities:
- Work with smartphone compatible social media tools.
- Provide recommendations for websites and social media pages.
- Identify new social media technologies.
- Review and revise all new media endeavors to work concurrently into one unified communications package.
- Provide recommendations for content development.
- Develop and edit creative and technical content for all social media pages and website.
Beth Kranda, Executive Director
Attention: Larry Deleon Guerrero, Interim Program Analyst
311 Sacramento Street
Vallejo, CA 94590
MWWPR and Rubenstein PR are possible candidates for this assignment.