University of Kentucky Seeks Public Relations Agency

2017-10-31 by EPR Staff

University of Kentucky Seeks Public Relations Agency

The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) is seeking an advertising agency to perform various marketing and advertising services throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky to promote an innovative web-based Substance Use Disorder Information and Referral Service (SUD- IRS) called Find Help Now KY, associated with the Kentucky Governor’s Don’t Let Them Die Campaign, that goes live in January 2018. The purpose of this Request for Proposals is to contract an agency that can assist KIPRC and state agency partners (Governor’s Office, Office of Drug Control Policy, Department for Public Health, and Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities) in developing and implementing a comprehensive marketing plan that will reach key target audiences.


Kentucky had the 2nd highest overall poisoning emergency department (ED) visit rate (majority were drug-related) in year 2014, 3rd high drug overdose fatality rate in year 2015, and 4th highest neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) rate in year 2013 in the U.S. In 2015, the age-adjusted drug overdose fatality rate in Kentucky was 29.98 deaths/100,000 population with 1,273 deaths. The Kentucky opioid overdose emergency department visit rate was 84.5 visits/100,000 population in year 2015.

To address the elevated drug overdose morbidity and mortality rates in the state, a number of strategies have been undertaken by the CDC-funded Kentucky Drug Overdose Prevention Program (KDOPP) at KIPRC. One such strategy was the creation of the Find Help Now KY website. The completely ad-free website provides a interface to rapidly connect people with SUD treatment providers throughout the state. The unique features of this website are 1) near-real-time treatment slot availability information for each provider; 2) a comprehensive list of all SUD treatment facilities throughout Kentucky; 3) an information library containing hundreds of helpful targeted information regarding substance use disorders, treatment, and recovery; and 4) an administrative portal which allows treatment providers to quickly update their facilities’ available treatment slots, and provides key stakeholders access to detailed analytics and reports about the state of addiction treatment throughout Kentucky. This will be the most comprehensive and real-time SUD treatment locator in the U.S.

The goal is that this integrated public awareness and marketing campaign will build on collective Kentucky state agencies’ efforts (Governor’s Office, Office of Drug Control Policy, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Public Health, and Behavioral Health and Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities), particularly Don’t Let Them Die, to prevent SUDs and improve accessibility of SUD information and SUD treatment.

The Don’t Let Them Die campaign was implemented in July 2017 to highlight the dangers of opioid abuse and to provide information on SUD treatment and harm reduction strategies such as naloxone administration. The Don’t Let Them Die campaign uses both web content and statewide advertising to “recognize the inherent value of human life – even in the grip of addiction – and take proactive steps to help their friends, family and communities overcome this crisis”. In the initial public awareness campaign, radio and television ads featured 911 call audio of a Kentucky mother who discovered her son fatally overdosing in 2016.

Scope of Work:

  1. Develop comprehensive statewide marketing plan to promote the Find Help Now KY website and the Governor’s Don’t Let Them Die campaign.
  2. Work with KIPRC and stakeholders to develop a succinct message which clearly and effectively communicates the purpose, necessity, and value of the Find Help Now KY website
  3. Research and identify SUD-specific language and opinions of key audiences
  4. Design targeted advertising and marketing materials specific to the professional and general community audiences outlined in Section 2.1.
  5. Evaluate current marketing products and strategies of the Don’t Let Them Die campaign to ensure consistent messaging and avoid duplication of effort.
  6. Design billboard or other prominently displayed advertisements and place in target regions
  7. Produce radio advertisements for local Kentucky radio stations as well as Internet-based radio such as Spotify and Pandora.
  8. Produce digital video and television public service announcements promoting the joint Don’t Let Them Die – Find Help Now campaign and the Find Help Now KY website.
  9. Design user-friendly, easy-to-understand information and training materials for professionals using the Find Help Now KY website as a tool for provider referrals
  10. Design user-friendly, easy-to-understand information and training materials for treatment providers who will be managing their facilities’ listings and providing regular updates on their treatment slot availability
  11. Provide focus group testing to evaluate usability and functionality of the Find Help Now KY website with individuals representing key audiences.
  12. Integrate the winning projects from the High School and University ad contests into the Don’t Let Them Die- Find Help Now KY marketing efforts.
  13. Provide regular, at least weekly, status updates throughout the duration of the contract period
  14. Create a report based on the results of various marketing efforts and the campaign as a whole

Due Date:

November 7th


LEXINGTON, KY 40506-0005

PR agencies with education experience include Finn Partners and Cohn & Wolfe.

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