The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit sealed proposals to establish a contract through competitive negotiation for the purchase of advertising, marketing, research and public relations consulting services on an as needed basis for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Communications Division, other entities within the Transportation Secretariat, including the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), Port of Virginia (POV), Department of Aviation (DOAV), Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) or ‘Virginia Space’ and the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board (MVDB) and entities added to this joint effort by contract modification for a period of two years with three (3), one (1) year renewable options. The qualified firm(s) will furnish counsel, produce and execute comprehensive marketing and communications programs in conjunction with the planned VDOT initiatives. The contract may also be used by other agencies under Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation. It is the intent of VDOT to award contracts to multiple qualified firms.
The VDOT Communications Division provides an array of communications services to the agency. Consultants from this solicitation should have expertise in the following areas:
1. Public Involvement and Stakeholder Outreach
a. Customer engagement
2. Strategic Communications Planning
3. Media Planning, Buying and Advertising
4. Web site Design, Support, Enhancement, Development and Implementation
b. Content Development
c. Graphic Design
d. Copy Editing and Web Writing (SEO & SEM) Search Engine
f. 508 Compliance
5. Social Media
i. Development and Implementation
b. Content Planning
c. Content Marketing
d. Community Management
e. Promotions ( Boosted Posts and Ad Campaigns)
f. Consumer Trends
6. Internal Communications
b. Internal Communications Assistant
a. Consumer Research
b. Market Research
8. Public Relations
a. Community Outreach
b. Event Planning
9. Publication Writing and Design
a. Adapt concepts or copy into cohesive messaging, layout and design, utilizing graphics, photography or illustrations as needed.
b. VDOT may also request assistance with the provision of printing specifications, recommendations
10. Photography and Video Production
a. Script Writing
b. Set up
d. Video Production ( pre-production, production, and post-production)
a. Website: Writing for online presentation
b. E-newsletter: Writing brief features and bullets for online newsletter format
c. Publications: Drafting content for brochures, fliers, annual reports, etc.
d. Commercials: Writing commercial ads for radio, online and digital
e. New Releases: Converting information to VDOT news release format
12. Branding and Graphic Design
d. Animated content for the 16:9 area (top right corner) of the VDOT owned electronic bulletin boards
13. Media, Public Speaking and Communications Training Administrative Services/ Procurement
14. Research, development and submission of industry awards such as the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s Virginia PR Awards and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ TransComm Awards
15. Special Project and Initiatives
a. Conduct appropriate communications research, planning, implementation and evaluation to support internal and external communication initiatives and special projects
b. Implementation of communications strategies, including:
i. Market Research
iv. Community Outreach and Public Relations Programs
v. Special Events
vi. Social Media Outreach
All of these are elements of VDOT’s strategic communications efforts.
Scope of Work:
The VDOT Communications Division desires consultant services to provide assistance with statewide communications, public relations, marketing and research. The resources dedicated to these initiatives will vary and the successful Contractor(s) will provide effective communications strategies accordingly. Some of the services related to this contract may include but not be limited to strategic communications planning, media buying/advertising, public engagement, community outreach, social media and market research. Task Order (TO) assignments will be made by the VDOT Communications Division, the TS or entities added to this joint effort by modification. Project information will be provided to the Contractor with a request for estimate. The TO scope and cost will be negotiated by the TO Manager. Upon completion of negotiation, a Notice to Proceed (NTP) may be issued for the agreed upon TO scope, schedule and cost.
SCOPE OF SERVICES: The scope of services to be provided shall consist of, but not limited to the following:
1. Data Gathering, Market Research and Analysis
a. Contractor shall collect pertinent and relevant data perform research, draft, and recommend advertising and additional marketing campaigns compatible with VDOT goals.
b. Qualitative research studies may be required to develop system-wide .
c. Advertising strategies must be based on sound research. The Contractor shall evaluate and report the ongoing effectiveness of advertising Administrative Services/Procurement placed on behalf of VDOT. The Contractor shall analyze and utilize marketing research information to:
• Gauge changes in market conditions, and use the information to improve advertising, marketing, collateral creative, strategy development, and overall communications effectiveness.
• Where applicable, determine the number of inquiries and calculate the rate of conversion of inquires generated by an advertising or marketing program.
• Determine the overall effectiveness and return on investment an advertising or marketing program would provide.
2. Development of Communications Concepts, Planning, and Budget
a. The Contractor shall develop communications concepts based on VDOT marketing initiatives and goals, in consultation with end-user(s).
b. Determine what types of communication, media, and/or messages are most effective in communicating the desired message, and apply this information to develop future communications.
c. Develop advertising and marketing concepts that communicate message points as stated in the campaign plan. The plan shall include but not be limited to communications goals and strategies; total media expenditures; production budget; required research; media schedule; and Contractor’s fees, where applicable.
d. Modify plans as a result of budget changes or at the request of VDOT.
e. Work with VDOT staff to assure that expenditures do not exceed advertising budgets without prior written approval.
f. Provide monthly budget updates.
3. Creative Services; Strategic Planning and Management
a. Contractor shall propose a creative approach to the strategic planning and management of VDOT information, branding, advertising, communications,
b. In consultation with the end-user(s), the Contractor may assist in annual strategic marketing planning including, but not limited to recommending advertising, print, and electronic marketing campaigns, based upon sound brand management strategies
c. Contractor shall translate advertising and marketing goals into creative strategies, into advertising and marketing communications concepts that provide maximum exposure, impact and return on investment.
d. Developing overall campaigns based on media and marketing strategies based upon approved goals.
e. Providing services to place, verify, measure, and make timely disbursements for all advertising placements.
f. Developing and executing creative strategies for advertising and marketing elements, in consultation with VDOTend-users.
g. Developing and monitoring creative and production budgets, in consultation with VDOT agency end-users.
h. Evaluating, hiring and administering Subcontractors, as requested by VDOT end-users, including, but not limited to, production companies; software and social media firms; billboard firms; market research firms; digital media specialists; videographers; actors/extras; photographers; graphic designers; and media buying services.
4. Media Planning/Buying
a. The Contractor shall translate advertising, marketing goals, and strategies into effective media plans and buys, which may include but are not limited to television, radio, print, and advanced digital and mobile advertising. A schedule of media buys shall be prepared and presented to the end-user for pre-approval.
b. Media planning shall include incorporation of approved research and shall demonstrate the ability to leverage advertising dollars for maximum delivery through value-added merchandising and off-rate card negotiation and other benefits.
a. Execute advertising and marketing campaigns that accurately address VDOT services and goals utilizing proven capabilities for high quality and cost efficiency.
b. Maintain timelines and deadlines, while keeping all appropriate staff informed of project status.
c. Maintain approved production budgets. No budget shall be exceeded without prior written approval by stakeholders Administrative Services/ Procurement
d. Manage the creation and/or production of collateral material, including but not limited to, videos, advertisements, newsletters, brochures, event materials (i.e. signage and programs) and audience- specific direct mailings, upon request by VDOT.
e. The Contractor shall schedule a meeting or conference call with the designated stakeholder to discuss and confirm that specific goals are thoroughly understood. If commercial production is required, the Contractor must bring a creative/production person to the meeting or include him/her in the conference call. The commercial production agent shall act as a Subcontractor of the Contractor without mark-up. There shall be no obligation on the part of VDOT until the project approach and or written Contractor proposal activities are approved by the agency.
6. Electronic/Digital and Direct Mail Marketing
a. Develop electronic/digital marketing programs to work in concert with VDOT marketing initiatives, if requested.
b. Develop direct mail marketing programs to work in concert with VDOT advertising and marketing initiatives and goals, including obtaining and providing audience-specific mailing lists and creating mailings asneeded.
7. Additional Related Services
a. Tracking, Measuring, and Monitoring of Outcomes and Performance Metrics.
b. Preparation and submittal of project-specific written reports and/or meeting summaries, outlining research findings in support of the implementation or revision of specific VDOT marketing strategies.
c. Present Conclusive Findings, Reporting, and Recommendations to Agency Management and/or other decision-making bodies.
d. Work with VDOT stakeholders to develop and complete special projects as assigned.
January 11th, 2019
Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
Central Office Mail Center- Loading Dock Entrance
1401 E. Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Attention: Alice Braswell-Jones, Contract Officer
Edelman PR and W2O Group have relevant experience.
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