The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Office of Communications is seeking proposals from qualified Vendors to provide full-service marketing, communication, and advertising services – including media planning and buying – on an “as needed” basis to support the department’s various programs, particularly for health-oriented media campaigns and materials.
Qualified Vendors will have extensive experience in researching, conceptualizing, designing, implementing and evaluating media campaigns. The awarded Vendor shall provide technical services related to:
• Developing and producing communication and outreach materials and advertising campaigns; and
• Providing strategic media planning and buying, including identifying, recommending and facilitating the optimum use of paid advertising media to maximize the impact of a limited marketing budget.
The Vendor must demonstrate significant expertise in understanding principles and concepts of marketing and health promotion as well as working with diverse populations. The Vendor will be involved in large scale projects with far reaching impacts, but also smaller scale projects as needed. Budgets for each project will vary based on available funding. The frequency and scope of various marketing campaigns will be determined according to NCDHHS’ priorities, objectives and resources at that time and will change over the course of the contract. NCDHHS has 15 programmatic divisions and offices, and the majority of media campaigns have historically originated from federal and state grant funding provided through the Division of Public Health. For calendar year 2019, DHHS anticipates roughly $2 million will be spent on media buying and message development.
A Vendor awarded a contract as a result of this RFP will receive individual scopes of work as campaigns and projects are identified and funded.
Projects could include:
• Strategizing, conceptualizing and producing materials for a large-scale media campaign that would then be placed in a variety of mediums by the Vendor.
• Using ads already developed by the Centers for Disease Control or other partners and developing a media plan and executing the buy.
• Developing an array of creative materials needed by DHHS, such as an organic social media campaign, a video to support a program or a coordinated suite of materials (brochures, stickers, decals, posters, etc.) to support a program’s work.
Most creative development and any associated media buys would likely focus on bringing about beneficial changes in behavior among members of a select audience.
DHHS reserves the right to advertise on the open market any singular project or service that does not require the full range of services as described in the scope of this RFP.
Scope of Work:
The successful Vendor shall plan, coordinate and execute specific portions of NCDHHS’ various advertising campaigns. The Vendor will work and interact with NCDHHS staff, partner organizations and other Vendors to provide full integration of advertising plans.
The Vendor must also be able to effectively conceptualize, develop and deliver various health-related messages to targeted audiences. At times this may be the development of a full-scale advertising campaign focused on behavior change, including the media buy. Other times, it may be the creation of materials (print, video and other marketing collateral) that support DHHS programs and initiatives or the placement of a campaign previously developed by DHHS or by a partner group, such as another state agency or the Centers for Disease Control.
The Vendor must be able to research, strategize, conceptualize, develop, and implement various marketing campaigns and the associated media buy to increase public awareness and knowledge of various DHHS programs and initiatives, Topics could include, but are not limited to:
o Public health messaging focused on the prevention of disease
o Communications supporting mental health initiatives
o Messaging that can help turn the tide on the opioid crisis, a priority of the state of North Carolina and DHHS
o Marketing materials, including videos, that support DHHS programs and initiatives
The Vendor should always strive to ensure the most effective use of limited resources, particularly in regard to paid media, which will encompass a significant amount of the selected Vendor’s work. The Vendor is responsible for acquiring desirable time slots and media space for DHHS campaigns. Using market research information, such as demographics, media usage, ratings, click-through, impression and engagement rates, the Vendor must choose the best possible venue or medium for an advertising campaign as well as the most cost-effective. This will require the Vendor to keep abreast of industry figures, including distribution, reach and audience figures.
The Vendor must have established good relationships with advertising sales agents in North Carolina media markets to obtain the best prices and value for advertisement placements, campaigns, or even media bundles. They should continue to develop those relationships with media companies and forge new ones to continue to provide DHHS with the best advertising opportunities.
The Vendor must also monitor the purchased media to make sure the advertisements appear as planned, and then credit or bill DHHS divisions as necessary to settle accounts.
At times, the Vendor may be asked to attend in-person meetings on site in Raleigh, N.C., and possibly other areas of the state.
Note: The subject matter of campaigns will be determined by DHHS and its Divisions. Budgets for developing campaigns, marketing materials and doing media buys will be dependent on available funding. Deliverable due dates will vary depending on the frequency of the various marketing campaigns. At times, work must be done under a tight deadline. For each project or campaign, DHHS will provide a scope of work, budget and deadline and the Vendor will propose a plan to DHHS on how to execute the work and any accompanying media buy. The Vendor must obtain DHHS approval prior to beginning work and notify DHHS prior to beginning any work will require funds above the agreed upon budget.