Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Issues RFP For Communication/Public Relations


Purpose:

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE), a non-partisan, elected, 15-member board, is completing a strategic plan for the future of public education in Utah and seeks to generate measurable awareness of the plan and its implications among identified governing partners and audiences in the state. USBE also seeks to highlight school success stories and best practices that reinforce key aspects of the strategic plan.

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) requests proposals from interested public relations firms to provide communication and public relations services that:

·         Promote USBE’s strategic plan

·         Position USBE as the leading governmental source of direction for Utah’s public education system

·         Drive traffic to USBE’s website and associated social media

·         Promote awareness of how the strategic plan addresses needs within the system

·         Produce clear measures of success

·         Propose and provide means of detecting, identifying, and responding to shifting stakeholder expectations throughout the rollout.

Background:

The Utah public school system encompasses more than 650,000 students – or more than one-fifth of the state’s population – 35,000 licensed educators and 25,000 classified staff members. There are more than 1,100 schools divided among Utah’s 43 school districts and 130 charter schools. For more than a generation, the state has been the lowest-funded system, based on per-pupil expenditures, in the nation. Despite this, Utah students achieve higher-than-national-average scores in reading, mathematics, and science based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Nearly 90 percent of Utah students will graduate from high school.

The Utah State Board of Education employs a four-person communication team that includes members with backgrounds in mass media and social media and expertise in system data and interpersonal contacts throughout the system. The selected firm should anticipate working closely with these individuals.

Scope of Work:

The following provides a general overview of the specific work assignments USBE will expect the selected firm to complete. These should not be considered an exhaustive list of tactics. USBE welcomes the selected firm to recommend additional strategies and tactics to further enhance USBE’s ability to make its strategic plan successful. USBE anticipates regular meetings with the selected provider. USBE is flexible on how often these meetings should occur and is open to meeting telephonically and/or digitally.

The scope of services includes three major components: Reputation and branding, collateral material (brochures, flyers, presentation handouts, infographics, research materials, case studies, etc.) creation, and issues management.

                Reputation and Branding: 

In past years USBE emphasized its role as service provider and collaborator, boosting its reputation among district and charter schools. This came at a loss of reputation with the State Legislature. More recently, USBE emphasized its accountability role by holding district and charter schools to higher financial standards. While this improved relations with the Legislature, district and charter schools were less enthusiastic about it. The current Board seeks a synthesis of service and accountability through its strategic plan to become the leader envisioned in Utah’s Constitution where “general control and supervision” of the public                 education system rests with USBE. USBE anticipates the selected firm will help develop core      messages to augment USBE’s reputation with governing partners. At the same time, USBE is                interested in developing its relationships with major players in the public education system who       don’t necessarily have a direct role in governing such as parent and teacher groups, business      organizations, charitable foundations, and community activists.

                Collateral Material Creation: 

USBE envisions that the work may include, but is not limited to:

·         Web content and messaging to highlight the strategic plan.

·         Social media graphics and strategy to supplement the plan’s web presence.

·         Short videos.

·         Infographics

·         Web- and/or print-based brochures and flyers.

·         White papers or research materials.

·         Case studies.

·         Presentations and handouts associated with the presentation.

·         Data sheets.

·         Emails.

                Anticipated Outcomes:

·         Increased web and social media traffic

·         Increased social media mentions

·         Positive scores on brief surveys to governing and non-governing partners (e.g.,legislators, LEAs, PTA, UEA groups) about USBE performance

·         Improved passing rates of USBE-backed legislation

Due Date:

December 28th

Address:

250 East 500 South

Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111-3204

5WPR and Rubenstein PR have relevant experience.

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