US Ignite Seeks Communications & Media Partner

US Ignite seeks communication and/or public relations firms to provide contracted graphic design, media relations, and communications support for the Washington, DC- based non-profit.  This document is a request for proposal (RFP) regarding partner capabilities in several aspects of graphic design, media relations, and communications support. Potential partners can offer to provide all or any of the described services, either bundled or separately, to US Ignite. 


US Ignite is a national nonprofit, a 501(c)(3), that is accelerating the smart city movement – and creating value for an entire ecosystem – by guiding communities into the connected future, creating a path for private sector growth, and advancing technology research that’s at the heart of smart city development.

Why is this important?

Because local governments need to improve quality of life and ensure economic development in their communities, particularly during a time of rapid technological change. Businesses recognize the importance of the emerging market around smart communities and need to find commercial strategies that are repeatable, scalable, and sustainable. And foundations and federal agencies need to channel their institutional aims into efforts ranging from cutting-edge research to practical economic development initiatives that deliver measurable benefits.

As a trusted partner, US Ignite brings this entire smart city ecosystem together, successfully pairing financial investment with technical and organizational expertise. Through the public-private partnership programs we run, US Ignite is a catalyst for communications network advancement, and for innovation in smart city services that are powered by a new generation of technologies.

Scope of Work:

The following provides a general overview of the work assignments US Ignite anticipates the selected firms to complete. Please note that proposers are not required to respond to the full criteria outlined in the scope of work. Your organization will not be penalized in the Proposal Evaluation Phase should your organization choose to respond to a subset of assignments noted in the Scope of Work.

While US Ignite’s project budget for outsourced graphic design and communications support has been variable over the years, it has averaged around $150,000 annually. However, US Ignite is open to spending more or less depending on the services offered by prospective partners.

The items noted below should not be considered an exhaustive listing of tactics to be employed to meet the goals stated above. US Ignite welcomes proposer’s recommendations to change or add strategies and tactics to this list that can further enhance US Ignite’s ability to create awareness of its offerings in the smart city community.

Part A – Smart Gigabit Communities Scope (SGC) of Work

1. Conduct media outreach to secure placement of US Ignite quotes and community stories with appropriate national, regional, technology, and trade media outlets.

2. US Ignite Annual Application Summit

a) Expand media interest in and coverage of the US Ignite Annual Application Summit (scheduled for April 2020).

b) Promote key-takeaways and accomplishments from the US Ignite Annual Summit at the local and national level.

c) Suggest strategies for promoting and featuring US Ignite applications on social media and other appropriate venues as opportunities arise.

3. Promote SGC Community Reverse Pitches and other community activities.

4. Create SGC marketing materials to further spark interest in the program, such as SGC brochures and other marketing materials.

5. Help refine SGC PowerPoint presentations, including graphic art and/or design work.

Part B – Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Scope of Work

1. Conduct media outreach to secure placement for PAWR-related stories, including:

a) Announcement of the final PAWR platform to be named in 2020

b) Operational availability of multiple PAWR platforms for general research

c) New partnerships with federal agencies and the private sector

d) Key research milestones

2. Showcase Event

a) Help support preparations for a showcase event in the fall of 2020

b) Expand media interest in and coverage of the showcase event

3. Create PAWR marketing materials to further spark national and international interest in the program, such as PAWR brochures and other marketing materials.

4. Help enhance PAWR PowerPoint presentations, including graphic art and/or design work.

Part C – General US Ignite Scope of Work

1. Address miscellaneous communications request, including communications requests for US Ignite’s Smart Transportation Testbed program, Forum program, and Smart Cities Data Exchange program. 

2. Attend weekly US Ignite meetings (one representative) by phone.

3. Provide graphic art and/or design work to US Ignite, including potentially creating branded templates that will communicate US Ignite’s messaging to stakeholders.

4. US Ignite would like proposers to provide some metrics by which their work could be measured over the course of a year. A list of some examples might (but does not have to) include: 

○ Key input metrics such as stories pitched and reporters called.

○ Key output metrics such as coverage by new media outlets, staff and partner quotes placed, and traffic to          

○ Key outcome metrics such as new cities or companies signed.

Part D– General US Ignite Expected Duties

1. Spearhead public relations efforts and expand media contacts with key industry stakeholders (especially in the telecommunications, networking, and Smart City fields).

2. Aid US Ignite communities in directing media outreach about their project success stories (e.g., local media lists, press releases, letters to the editor, media kits, special events).

3. Supply thorough reporting on media outreach results and metrics to US Ignite and public and key stakeholders (i.e., number of new media outlets, website traffic, social media hits, etc.)

4. Provide intelligence on opportunities for participation in events.

5. Advocate US Ignite mentions and placement with partner and stakeholder communication channels.

Due Date:

December 18

Address: by 12:00 pm eastern

Relevant agencies include Headline Media and MWWPR.

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