Virginia Railway Express Issues Social Media Advertising RFP

Virginia Railway Express

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is soliciting Quotes to establish a firm-fixed unit price Blanket Purchase Order with one (1) qualified and experienced Contractor to manage VRE’s social media advertising campaigns.


VRE is a commuter rail service linking the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) are transportation districts established under Virginia law and jointly own this service. An Operations Board consisting of members from each of the jurisdictions within the VRE service area governs the development and operation of VRE and serves as an advisory board to the NVTC and PRTC governing boards. Use of the term VRE in this RFQ refers to NVTC and PRTC. 2. VRE began operations in 1992 and carries an average of approximately 19,000 weekday trips on two (2) lines. In January 2014, VRE’s Operations Board adopted System Plan 2040 which calls for expansion of service, requiring the addition of rail cars, expansion of station and maintenance and storage facilities, as well as expanding operations to meet the goal of doubling ridership by 2040. VRE’s multi-prong program addresses short term growth needs, as well as longer term capacity improvements and investments in maintaining and servicing VRE’s equipment and facilities. 3. The primary mission of VRE is to provide commuter-oriented passenger rail service between the outlying suburbs and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria urban core. Some tourists and “day-trippers” also ride the trains. The service is heavily oriented towards the core area in the morning peak and in the opposite direction in the evening peak.

Scope of Work:


The Contractor shall, at a minimum, have the following qualifications:

1. Possess two (2) Blueprint Certifications, a Facebook Blueprint Digital Marketing Associate Certification and one (1) additional Blueprint Certification.

2. Have a minimum of three (3) years of experience in social media advertising.

3. Have experience in the development of effective targeted campaigns, strategies and tactics.


The Contractor shall be responsible for the following tasks:

1. Manage VRE’s social media advertising to include Facebook and Instagram. However, future media advertising may also include Waze, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

2. Ensure effective text and proper imagery are employed. 

3. Create social media advertising with the same look and feel as the VRE website.

4. Deliver advertisements in desktop and mobile formats. 

5. Design and ad copy shall be presented to the VRE Marketing Administrator for approval.

6. Place approved social media advertising using approved VRE accounts. The Contractor shall be responsible for the cost associated with placing advertising orders and shall include such costs in its monthly invoice to VRE including.

7. Create new campaigns, to include the following: 

a. Marketing plans and performance reporting, which shall be presented to the VRE Marketing Administrator for approval.

b. Text, imagery, and campaign parameters, which shall be presented to the VRE Marketing Administrator for approval.

8. Modify current campaigns to drive down the cost per click. The Contractor shall consult with the VRE Marketing Administrator on ad copy/text variations. Current campaigns include day trips, general commuting on VRE, mobile ticketing, Alexandria to Union Station and reverse flow trains. 

9. Turn off campaigns. 


The Contractor shall be responsible for the following on a monthly basis:

1. Track and report on success/impact of campaigns. 

2. Monitor and optimize the effectiveness of campaigns. 

3. Provide updates on the performance of all media suppliers’ activities to ensure allservices purchased are delivered and that actual performance meets or exceeds the industry standard for that medium.

4. Submit to the VRE Marketing Administrator a formal monthly report that includes the following:

a. Impressions

b. Click through rates 

c. Cost per click 

d. Overall dollars spent

Due Date:

January 13



1500 King Street, Suite 202 

Alexandria, VA 22314 

P: (703) 684-1001 F: (703) 684-1313

Relevant agencies include Porter Novelli and Alison Brod PR.

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