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The Denver Preschool Program is pleased to release the Request for Proposal (RFP) for management of its Communications, which includes five major projects. Response options include responding as a single entity to complete all projects, responding as a single entity to any one project or responding as a single entity to any combination of projects:
1. Strategic Communications Consultant
2. Community Outreach
3. Public Relations & Copy Writing
5. Website Development
Please view the RFP here.
Communications RFP Questions: September 20, 2018
1. In the pre-proposal conference, it was noted that DPP maintains about 18 contracts, consisting of 100 contractors, is this count inclusive of the communications contracts?
Yes, these estimates are inclusive of communications contracts and contractors.
2. With whom does DPP currently work and why is DPP looking for new contractors?
The projects listed in the RFP are currently managed by 303 Software, D+i Creative, Elementive Marketing, Gomez Howard Group and Hannah Morris. DPP’s procurement policy requires a formal RFP process for all contracts over $100,000. The RFP review committee will review and select the best proposals for each contract, whether that is a new or existing contractor.
3. Page 5 of the RFP indicates preference towards a single entity proposal. If a subcontractor is proposed will it detract from the RFP application? Is this preference throughout the entire RFP or the singular projects?
While a submission from a single entity is preferred, the use of a subcontractor is allowed. DPP is open to working with organizations who submit a strong proposal that may include the need to subcontract portions of the project(s). This single-contractor preference is throughout the RFP.
4. For Project V: Website Development (pg. 22), is there currently a connection between Expression Engine, DPP’s hosting platform, and Zoho, DPP’s current CRM management system specific to partner relations?
There is not currently a connection between Expression Engine and Zoho.
a. Are different systems being considered?
DPP will continue with Expression Engine but is willing to move away from Zoho.
b. How long has DPP been using Zoho?
DPP has been using Zoho for about one year.
c. How much and what type of data is held within Zoho?
There are between 100-150 partner organizations currently tracked in Zoho, including their contact information, meeting notes and next steps to follow up with each organization.
d. Does DPP use Google as an email and calendaring platform?
Yes, DPP uses the Google Platform for both email and calendars.
5. For Project IV: Design (pg. 20), is DPP open to the possibility of rebranding with new designs and altering the current website design?
DPP has gone through multiple instances of rebranding in the past and is open to it in the future.
6. If in a proposal for Project I: Strategic Communications Consultant (pg. 6) there were a media buy, would the allotted budget proposed exclude the media buy budget?
Yes, the purchasing of the placements for the media buy is a separate line item outside of the portion of the budget allotted to the contracts for Projects I-V. However, the fees incurred for the media buyer would be included in the contracts portion of the budget.
a. DPP’s media buy includes digital, radio, print and Facebook ads and runs for a full calendar year. What is the current expenditure on the media buy?
The media buy for 2018 was budgeted at $332,400.
7. Does DPP currently have media buyer for its print and radio ads? Is this media buyer a part of this RFP? If not, will the media buy be a requirement for the proposal(s)?
The media buyer is not currently part of the RFP, nor is it a requirement as part of any proposals.
a. Would the media buy be all-inclusive?
DPP is interested in a media buy that includes all platforms listed above, this does not have to be all-inclusive.
8. In DPP’s internal 2018 communications plan, is there currently a specified plan on reaching hard-to-reach populations?
Yes, DPP’s current communications plan includes the goal of connecting with hard-to-reach and non-English/non-Spanish-speaking families, particularly in southwest and far northeast Denver.
9. Does DPP have a multi-media team, including digital advertising, paid Facebook ads, organic Facebook, radio advertising and print ads, assembled?
Currently DPP’s multi-media communications are shared among four different contractors.
10. Are all projects included in the RFP expected to work together?
Contractors would be expected to work with, meet with and share information with contractors on other projects as needed.
a. Do the current communications contractors tend to work together and collaborate?
Yes, many of the projects overlap and contractors collaborate as needed.
11. Does DPP maintain a Facebook and Twitter account?
DPP currently runs both a Facebook account and Twitter account.
12. Does DPP have a bilingual website?
DPP’s website is bilingual, though not all English pages currently have a corresponding one-to-one Spanish page.
a. Does DPP have a dedicated spokespeople who speak Spanish?
Yes, DPP currently has a Spanish translator for written documents as well as a Spanish-speaking spokesperson.
13. On page 19, Project III, it refers to supporting DPP’s evaluation team, who evaluates DPP’s operations and student’s outcomes. Would a contractor be provided all the data from the evaluation team?
All contractors would have access to DPP’s evaluation data as needed.
14. For Project V (pg. 22), what are the expectations of the website team when handling SugarCRM - is SugarCRM the system that is currently holding the data?
SugarCRM is the canonical source of data but, for the sake of maintaining the website content, the contractor would not need to interact with or have knowledge about DPP’s SugarCRM. The contractor would need to automate the retrieval of the xml file from the SFTP server, read the XML and update the website's backend with the data contained therein.
15. For Project V (pg. 23), will there be functional requirements for a login portal for families on the DPP page?
An application portal would need to both read and write from DPP’s SugarCRM, would require architecture updates of the site and could have many other layers of complexity depending on the full scope of features decided upon.
16. Would the DPP application process, where families can currently fax, email, or mail in their applications and required documents, be able to be streamlined?
With the help of the Project V contractor, DPP would like to launch an online application. The application itself would be difficult to streamline due to requirements around the information we are required to collect and the relevant DPP policies that need to be included.
17. For Project II (pg. 15), what is the scope of DPP’s presence at events around the community?
DPP attends over 100 community events each year, in all quadrants of the city.
18. DPP holds Preschool Showcases (pg. 16), a one-stop opportunity for parents to connect with a variety of quality-rated early education programs in their area and learn more about available financial resources. Where are the Showcases held?
In 2018, Showcases were held in the far northeast, near northeast, northwest and southwest Denver.
19. Does DPP plan to continue to attend 100 events annually?
DPP chooses which community events to attend based on past evaluation forms and if they meet our criteria for attending. In 2018 DPP had a presence at all events that met our criteria for attending.
a. How does the DPP staff cover all the community events?
The contractor for Project II (pg. 15) would be responsible for staffing outreach events, not including DPP’s Preschool Forum teacher training series.
b. What would the contractor’s role be as far as staffing for those events?
The contractor would be responsible for staffing outreach events. The outreach team then fills out an evaluation form and uses the information in submitting its recommendations for the coming year.
c. Will DPP’s current community outreach contractor be supporting the coming Preschool Showcase on February 9 in northeast Denver?
Yes, the current contractor will continue to work on events for DPP, including the Preschool Showcase, through December 31, 2018 and into January 2019 if necessary.
20. Is DPP open to creative ideas as far as staffing of these outreach events?
Yes, as long as they are qualified candidates who would be a positive and diverse representation of DPP.
21. With regards to billing, is DPP open to a non-hourly option and instead applying a project fee that would not be exceeded and would cover all outlined deliverables?
Funds payable by DPP shall be distributed to the contractor on a reimbursement basis only, for work performed and/or expenses incurred during the applicable period.
a. Also with regards to billing, would invoices be submitted monthly? And if you are open to a project fee instead of hourly would monthly (or other?) billing be applied?
Reimbursement requests must be received by DPP on or before the fifteenth day of the month subsequent to the month for which reimbursement is being sought.
22. What are the total number and type of contractors currently engaged with DPP - not just those in the communications and creative industries?
DPP maintains about 18 contracts, consisting of 100 contractors. Outside of the communications and creative industries, contracts include evaluation teams, an enrollment team, quality initiatives teams, and other operational supports.
23. What relationships has DPP already established with the Denver community? Please specify any key organizations and/or people you are already working with.
DPP partners with more than 100 businesses, non-profits and advocacy organizations. Example organizations include the Denver Public Library, Southwest Denver Coalition, Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, Reach Out and Read, Mi Casa Resource Center, the Mayor’s Office of Children’s Affairs, etc.
24. How are you currently identifying families with 3-year-olds in the Denver area?
DPP employs of myriad of communication tools to reach younger families, the list includes direct marketing, digital advertising, partnerships and preschool providers.
25. Which outdoor advertising channels has DPP engaged with in the past 3 years?
DPP has advertised through all out-of-home options available in the Denver community.
26. May we please gain access to your Google Analytics account? We are happy to provide you with our email address to allow us view access only.
To ensure fairness throughout the RFP process and to all potential applicants, we have included a monthly report here.
27. How hands-on is the Board of Directors regarding past projects and introductions to community leaders?
DPP’s 12-member Board of Directors plays a key role in spreading awareness of DPP in the community.
28. Do you require the full core team to attend monthly meetings in person, or can some be virtual?
In-person attendance is preferred, but attendees can participate via conference line as needed.
29. Will there be a best and final offer phase?
Contract negotiations will take place November 19 through December 14.
30. Who are your target audiences?
The majority of our marketing is targeted to Denver families with 3- and/or 4-year olds, overall awareness campaigns’ target audiences also include the general public.
31. What are you hoping to achieve with this campaign? For example: generating more demand from parents for tuition assistance, measurably increasing the quality of preschool providers, building greater awareness about your services among parents, advancement of your national advocacy work, etc.
Depending on the campaign, the above examples have been goals of our work. Our 2018 Communications Plan contains our goals of this year.
32. How would DPP measure success? For example: more visits to your website, event attendance, media hits, advocacy wins.
All of the above examples we would consider to be successes.
33. What do you see as your greatest challenges in your communications, outreach and advocacy work?
The greatest challenge is each year needing to reach and inform a new group of eligible families. There are also many hard-to-reach families, which require creative ways to establish connections.
34. Do you have any upcoming events, report releases, etc. that you would want to leverage as a communications opportunity?
In early 2019 we will be promoting the Preschool Showcase, Preschool Forums and One Book 4 Colorado.
35. Are you open to consolidating some of the requirements and deliverables within specific projects based on the selected firm’s strategic direction in order to better utilize and maximize budgets?
Yes, we are open to this if the 2019 strategic direction necessitates it.
36. Is there any flexibility in shifting around budget among the five projects (as long as we do not exceed the overall $420,000 cap for year one)?
Yes, if a contractor is awarded all five projects there may be flexibility in the shifting of budgets between projects if strategic direction necessitates it.
37. Can we see a list of the existing event roster?
Here are the events that were proposed for the 3rd quarter of this year.
38. Do you have any additional background that you can share at this time, or that you will share with the selected firm?
DPP program evaluations can be found on our website. In addition, the DPP communications team sought a deeper understanding of the population we serve, results of which be found here. Other research will be shared with the selected firm as needed.
39. Under Project 1.1.2, “Provide innovative and creative approaches to DPP staff for consideration,” are you expecting the selected firm to be significantly involved in execution, or solely planning and strategy?
The firm awarded Project 1 would be involved in execution as well as planning and strategy.
40. Under Project 1.3.1, “Conduct wide-reaching media outreach to support DPP outreach activities and campaigns, locally, regionally, and nationally,” how much and what kind of national media outreach are you expecting the selected firm to provide? Is it a major priority when compared to local or regional outreach?
Local and regional outreach are a priority, however DPP places value on sharing its success at a national level.
41. Under Project V, are you expecting a work plan for each project to be included in our response?
We do not need a detailed plan included, but please show that you would have the capability to complete each project.
42. Are you open to changing the CMS the website is built on?
No, that will stay as is.
43. In terms of the cost portion of the proposal for website work, do we merely need to provide an hourly cost for team members or are you or are you expecting us to provide specific cost estimates for the objectives you outlined?
Offerors are encouraged to submit a budget that will provide the highest quality services with the lowest possible cost. Please propose a budget that outlines the cost to complete the objectives outlined in the RFP.
44. The 2017 Strategic Plan PDF references supporting materials. Are those materials available to review?
The information requested was not provided to the DPP Board of Directors or staff in any other form other than the summaries contained in the situational analysis. We believe this analysis is sufficient to respond to the RFP.