Submission Deadline: October 26, 2023, no later than 11:59 p.m., local time.

A. Objectives

The awarded Bidder will recommend and include reasonable, attainable, and measurable objectives of the campaign which will result in higher domestic migration numbers into Maine and joining Maine’s talent pool.

B. Target Audiences

While virtually any worker in the United States could potentially move to Maine, in this effort, the focus is on the following target audiences:

1. Workers and Families with Existing Ties to Maine: Whether they have vacationed or visited Maine before, attended college at one Maine’s higher education institutions, know other friends and/or families living in Maine, those with prior or existing ties to Maine are a likely target to return as workers.

2. Young Families: Families with young children may be attracted to Maine’s sound school systems; its Alfond 529 grant, which provides $500 to every baby born in Maine its low crime levels and the possibility of remote work within a state that has so much to offer.

3. Remote Workers: In today’s mobile society, remote workers can choose to live in one state while working for an organization in another state. With all Maine has to offer, it is an attractive option for Remote Workers, who may move here while working for an out-of-state firm but may ultimately seek employment with a Maine-based company.

4. New Americans, Skilled Workers, and International Trained Professionals living in other U.S. States: Growing Maine’s racial, ethnic, and multilingual workforce is key to achieve our overarching talent attraction goal, particularly among workers with easily transferrable skills. Furthermore, this campaign seeks to pay special attention to the two plus million college-educated (or beyond) immigrants in the United States who underemployed and are not able to optimize their academic and professional background with their current occupations in States outside of Maine. Maine is putting forth an array of coordinated initiatives to ensure internationally trained workers and professionals can reach their optimal career potential in Maine.

5. Recent College Graduates: Maine has several programs, such as the Education Opportunity Tax Credit, which reimburse college debt for recent college graduates living and working in Maine.

C. Geography

The awarded Bidder will provide grounded, clear recommendations on reaching the most likely prospects within the Department’s five target audience groups – whether within other New England States, key metropolitan areas/states in other parts of the country, or via recommendations other than geographic location.

D. Strategies

The awarded Bidder will assist the Department in achieving its objectives by:

1. Creating a Brand that is flexible enough to stand on its own in national/regional education, outreach, and promotion efforts as well as be used by in-State organizations, businesses, institutions, and State agencies in their workforce recruitment efforts.

2. Creating a Campaign that supports or can be layered thematically with other current workforce attraction campaigns conducted by organizations within the state, such as efforts by the nonprofit Live + Work in Maine. This new campaign must also leverage the Office of Tourism campaign, which will run concurrently.

3. Using Highly-Targeted Paid Advertising to reach those easiest to reach lowhanging fruit in our target audiences. Given our budget, we believe exploring digital retargeting ads, other forms of digital advertising (YouTube, apps/games, podcasts), as well as appropriate and targeted sponsorships will prove most effective. However, we are open to all suggested approaches.

4. Maximizing Public Relations efforts to effectively reach these audiences, including traditional print and broadcast outlets, social media outlets, websites, blogs, podcasts, and other online outlets.

5. Creating a Tool Kit of materials that make it easy for Maine businesses, educational institutions, nonprofits, trade and professional associations, State agencies, and other groups interested in hiring employees/expanding workforce capacity to help spread a consistent message about the advantages of living and working in Maine. The contents of this kit shall support the effective recruitment of out-of-state workers to work and live in Maine – all parts of Maine, particularly to rural areas.

6. Designing a Website to maximize the connection with other campaign elements. The successful Bidder will ensure that all messages and materials are available via a standalone website specific to this effort. The website shall feature highly interactive features and functionality to facilitate connections with other related campaigns; act as one stop shop for interested parties seeking to move to Maine and a virtual resource hub or portal for Maine employers to retrieve resources as needed.

E. Brand and Campaign Theme Creation

The awarded Bidder will create a brand, brand persona, and campaign theme for Maine’s campaign to attract workers to the State based on career options and lifestyle choices. This brand must be developed within the context of how it is integrated into national and regional (external) promotions as well as used by Maine businesses, organizations, cities, and geographic regions for their workforce attraction campaigns within their own unique needs at the local, regional, or state level. All areas of the state must be represented. The State of Maine and the Department are specifically interested in focusing on Maine’s more rural areas, particularly the least populated counties.

Creative concepts and creative messaging for positioning Maine authentically and compellingly are encouraged. The awarded Bidder will be responsible for conducting all necessary research critical to developing their concepts and creative messaging materials.

F. Market Analysis and Recommendations

The awarded Bidder will identify target groups from within the Department’s requested target audience categories, and conduct primary research as needed, such as segmentation research, analysis of market trends, analysis of website trends, ad testing, web user experience testing, capturing, and understanding target audience insights and data. This information will be used to develop targeted, effective, measurable outreach.

The Department is currently conducting research to better understand the domestic migration patterns that emerged post pandemic and the year 2020. In 2021, Maine jumped from 42nd to the 14th State in overall net-domestic migration. Additionally, it was 7th in the nation in domestic net migration in 2021 and 10th in 2022. This research is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2023, and the awarded Bidder will be supplied with a copy of the research results to aid in developing this stage.

G. Workforce Attraction Tactical Campaign Plan

The awarded Bidder will develop and implement a 2-year workforce attraction plan.

H. To accomplish the outcomes described above, the awarded Bidder must provide the following services:

1. Creative Services

For all recommended tactics, provide creative services including but not limited to graphic design, copywriting, advertising development – print (including printing)/broadcast/digital – video production, photography, stock photography, illustrations.

All original advertising material, layouts, copy, photography, illustrations, sketches, and storyboards created by the awarded Bidder will become the property of the State of Maine/Department once contractor charges are fully paid. If necessary, the awarded Bidder will negotiate the transfer of rights from any subcontractor to the Department should a subcontractor be used to provide any creative services.

2. Media Services

For planning, negotiating, purchasing, and placing all media. Including tracking and reporting on campaign performance, evaluating analytics, checking all media for accuracy, appearance, and quality, and verifying all paid media ran as scheduled.

3. Public Relations Services

For implementing all recommended public relations tactics, including article writing, pitching, placement, scheduling of appearances for the Department staff on podcasts, TV, broadcast opportunities, scheduling of Department staff to speak at national, regional, and/or statewide meetings and conferences.

4. Web Services

For creation of a standalone website with linkable elements to the Department’s site and other sites/portals in the workforce attraction space as appropriate.

This website must include a level of functionality to support what is described under Strategies in Part II D of this RFP.

5. Account Management Services

For a day-to-day point of contact for Department staff and overall account management, including contracts, budgets, billing, quality control, and project management to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget. Attend and present at Department steering committees, related conferences, and events as needed. Work with any business or trade associations, as directed by the Department, to co-present on the use of tool kits.

While the awarded Bidder is not required to have an office in Maine, it is very likely that the Department will require the awarded Bidder to attend in-person meetings in Maine to conduct presentations or meet with stakeholders. Therefore, the Bidder shall be prepared to travel to Maine as needed.

The awarded Bidder will provide a monthly report on key performance indicators (KPIs) for review by the Department.

I. I.T. Policies

a. Digital Accessibility

b. Social Media for State Business

c. Domain Name Policy and Procedure

A waiver for domain naming is possible, but will need to have a request submitted to the MaineIT Enterprise Architecture Team once the proposed domain name has been selected.

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