Integrated Marketing Communications

The City of Groton, in collaboration with Groton Utilities, is seeking professional services to assist in the implementation of recommendations identified in a 2019 Brand Workshop with City of Groton staff.

Brand Development RFP

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Download [1.66 MB]

2019 Brand Workshop Summary

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Download [3.75 MB]

2014 City of Groton Community and Economic Development Steering Committee Report

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2019 Plan of Conservation and Development

  1. Are you able to provide any budget guidance, such as maximum available?
    • I am not at liberty to share the budget amount. As noted in the weighting of the shortlist, the fee/hourly rate are a smaller factor of the overall selection process and the City of Groton expects to negotiate a final scope and fee with the selected firm. The scope and fee request is meant to be an initial benchmark to help The City of Groton assess the overall approach and value between respondents.
  2. How will answers be provided?
    • Responses to questions will be posted on the City’s Planning and Economic Development webpage Integrate Marketing Communications
  3. Do you anticipate extending the bid due date?
    • No
  4. What additional details are you willing to provide, if any, beyond what is stated in bid documents concerning how you will identify the winning bid?
    • Please refer to the evaluation criteria and selection process section. There are no additional details to provide at this time.
  5. Was this bid posted to the nationwide free bid notification website at www.MyGovWatch.com/free
    • No
  6. Other than your own website, where was this bid posted?
    • https://www.connecticutbids.us/
  7. Does the City of Groton have an existing relationship with a marketing frim?
    • In July 2019 the City of Groton hired Miranda Creative to host a Brand Workshop with staff to discuss and discover opportunities to enhance the City’s brand presence and ways to improve external communications. This resulted in the Strategic Marketing Executive Summary.
  8. Is there an existing relationship with an agency that will get strong consideration?
    • No, all responding frims will get the same evaluation and consideration.
  9. How would you prefer proposals be sent-provided? Email or printed copy?
    • Due to COVID-19 please provide an PDF email to patrickc@cityofgroton-ct.gov and send 2 hard copies to Ron Yuhas Finance Director 295 Meridian St. Groton CT 06340
  10. In addition to the existing research and studies, are you open to additional research, such as focus groups and surveys?
    • Absolutely!
  11. How will you measure a successful brand management relationship?
    • The relationship will be measured by the firms understanding of the project, partnership with the City of Groton’s communication team, overall approach, community engagement, and accomplishment of goals.
  12. Should any of the existing brand identity be preserved? Is the city open to the design of a new logo to enhance your image and placemaking?
    • The City of Groton is open to a new logo design, with the expectation that the brand manager will conduct research and community outreach to test for meaningful elements to incorporate.
  13. What is the brand perception of Groton today? What is the aspiration for the brand’s perception in the future?
    • The brand perception of Groton CT is broad and diverse. Home to 5 distinct neighborhoods/ nodes of economic activity, such as Mystic, Noank, and The City of Groton. Groton is known as the Submarine Capital of the World but I seldom hear this mentioned or advertised. The City of Groton’s aspirations is to discover and express it’s unique identity. Taking into consideration it’s almost 120 years of history and future growth.
  14. Are we correct in understanding that the lump sum fee would encompass and be inclusive of all costs and services related to developing and implementing a two-year brand management plan?
    • Yes
  15. What are the expectations in “strengthening the City of Groton and Groton Utilities digital presence and content”? Are you looking for web site (cityofgroton.com) redesign and rebuilt? Or recommendations for a refresh? Are you looking for website updates for grotonutilities.com as well?
    • The City of Groton and Groton Utilities are looking for recommendations for upgrades to design, content/messaging, and user interface on both the City of Groton and Groton Utilities websites.
  16. What type of user traffic do the websites receive? Does this traffic come via desktop or mobile/tablet devices?
    • Unsure
  17. What percentage of your community stakeholders are Spanish speaking?
    • ~20%
  18. Are you looking to grow your existing social media presence through branding and content, or are you also looking to utilize digital advertising through these channels?
    • The City would like to receive recommendations for branding, content, and modest investment is social media advertisements.
  19. Are social media services and digital advertising expected to be part of the brand management plan?
    • The Brand Manager is expected to evaluate the City’s various social media pages and provide recommendations/ training to the City’s Communications team on management. In addition, the brand manager will provide recommendations for modest investments in digital advertisement.
  20. How are your social media platforms managed now?
  21. Can you clarify the relationship between the City of Groton and Groton Utilities in regards to the required branding professional services within this RFP?
    • Groton Utilities is a department of the City of Groton that provides utility services in and beyond the City’s boundaries. The City of Groton and Groton Utilities are exploring ways to integrate messaging and leverage resources were appropriate. Groton Utilities, will continue with its existing brand logo.
  22. On a scope of 1-5 (5 being most aggressive), please rate your hunger to be pushed strategically. And creatively
    • 4
  23. Are you open to a different way to think about this project from a methodology standpoint?
    • Yes
  24. The goal outlined in the RFP is to attract new residents, investments and visitors. Please define how each will be measured. Buy whom and how often? Please be specific.
    • City of Groton staff welcome recommendations on the ideal metrics and measurements system to evaluate the impact of this investment. Staff is interested in measuring the brands digital reach, ease of engagement, and click though/ link activity to resources and services for residents, investors, and visitors.
  25. Why has the city decided to go through this initiative now?
    • This response is multifaceted but in a nutshell our timing is perfect here’s why:
    • In 2019 City of Groton staff began discussions on improving internal and external communications channels to better connect to and serve various audiences. The reliance on digital communication during COVID-19 has highlighted the need for City staff to evaluate and coordinate existing resources as well as identify areas of opportunity to ensure staff can achieve the reach and engagement necessary to provide services.
    • The City of Groton is a borough of the Town of Groton, with its own unique identity that still needs to be fully uncovered and expressed. City Staff would like to work with the brand manager to engage the community in identifying meaningful brand elements that will be incorporated into various commercial district design elements, programing, and outreach. For example, wayfinding signage.
    • In addition, the City of Groton is part of the Southeastern CT Economic Region and houses industry leaders in advanced manufacturing, maritime science, pharmaceutical, health, and education. As investors and entrepreneurs look to connect to existing networks and further establish the Blue Economy in the region, the City of Groton would like to do its part in branding and educating on our growing ecosystem, potential opportunities, and quality of life.
  26. One objective is to strengthen communication channels. Tell us more about this. Are they weak? How do we know?
    • The City’s communication channels currently lack uniformity, coordination, and efficiency. With roughly 8 different digital accounts managed but individual departments the City would like to explore options to  best utilize resources as well as receive recommendations to better engage with and educate stakeholders.
  27. Can you provide more information about your expectations in terms of creating a CRM database? Does an email database exist or are we starting from scratch? What type of database exists now (if any)? Would you be open to the selected agency subcontracting this part of the deliverables if necessary?
    • Two departments, Groton Utilities and Parks and Rec have existing CRM databases. The City is looking for recommendation to either build upon existing platforms or create a new platform that would provide each department the ability to access the database by audience type, interest, etc. The City is also seeking recommendations on an email capture campaign. If necessary, this could be subcontracted out, please provide fee/hourly rate for any subcontracted services.
  28. Is the city requesting 3 different brand standards guidelines to choose from? Why? Typically brand standards are done after the brand is approved that show how the brand is to be used. There is generally only one option.
    • My apologies for any confusion my use of the term brand standards may have caused. The City expects the Brand Manager to engage community stakeholders in identifying meaningful brand elements to incorporate into the logo and brand standards (font, design style, hashtag and evergreen tagline if appropriate). Identified elements would result in 3 variations of a City of Groton logo and associated brand standard that will be tested by the local community. The City is not requesting 3 different brand standard guidelines just one overarching standard.
  29. Define expectations on community testing for brand standards? And what are the desired results you are expecting (you will never get 100% buy in on community branding and this approach can set you up to fail). Are you open to other ideas
    • City staff understands it may not receive 100% buy in. However, we would like to do our best in collaborating with community stakeholders in identifying elements that speak to the history and future of the City but also builds community pride.
  30. Provide the number of flyers, templates and brochures (this impacts price).
    • Not sure I fully understand this question. However, The templates for flyers, brochures and power point presentation should be provided in a digital format that can be utilized and edited by different departments and community organizations.
  31. Define types of merchandise (this impacts price).
    • The City is welcome to suggestions, but is looking for quality reusable merchandise.
  32. Are you expecting a price for a photoshoot and the development of 3 videos without having the opportunity to discuss? If so, do you have scripts for the video shoot? (greatly impacts price). What specifically are we shooting? Do we need original music? Actors?
    • The City is expecting a general budget for the task of creating promotional videos highlighting quality of life, industry, and community stories. Brand Manager should also provide their approach and partners if needed to fulfill this task.
  33. Can you provide an example of a 2 year strategic plan to make sure we understand your expectations on this?
    • I do not have an example. However, the 2 Year Strategic Plan should outline the scope of work, objectives, and need.
  34. Are there sections of the website that you feel need to be expanded upon with new content?
    • The City is looking for recommendations on this.
  35. Are you looking for public relations and content marketing services as part of the brand management program?
    • If necessary, Yes
  36. Is the chosen agency also responsible for developing a unique brand identity for Groton Utilities, that is separate from the City of Groton brand?
    • No, Groton Utilities has a well-established brand identity.
  37. Do you have an incumbent agency? Will Miranda Creative be submitting a proposal for this project?
    • No, the City does not have an incumbent agency. Miranda Creative conducted the 2019 Brand Workshop and is welcomed to participate in the RFP if interested.
  38. Will submitted proposals be entered into the public record?
    • Yes
  39. What does your current brand management team look like?
    • The City of Groton’s brand management team consist of the City of Groton Economic Development Specialist, Groton Utilities Communications Manager and Mayors Mayor’s Office. The Communications Manager heads the City’s Communication Team, which consist of representatives from each City department.
  40. What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on the communities and businesses in the city of Groton?
    • The City of Groton is located in New London County, which has experienced relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases in comparison to other State counties. The impact of the pandemic on businesses is similar to most municipalities. Businesses are adhering to State orders on operation and capacity limits. This has been a learning curve for all and City staff remain proactive in educating the community, addressing concerns and connecting businesses to valuable resources.
  41. Are there any underlying challenges you are currently facing not stated in the RFP that you would like to see addressed through updated branding?
    • The City’s original discussions surrounding this initiative did not include an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 to our approach. The City’s Communications Team has done a great job of keeping digital context fresh and updated however I imagine there are lessons learned from the previous months of implementing social distancing requirements to address COVID-19 and the use communication channels to continue government functions.
  42. Who are the target audiences and community stakeholders you hope to engage with for this endeavor?
    • Existing and new residents, local businesses and organizations, investors, and visitors
  43. Will agencies outside of Connecticut with significant community-driven branding experience and expertise be given as much consideration in the selection process as local agencies?
    • Yes
  44. How many agencies do you anticipate will submit a proposal?
    • Unsure
  45. Your city seal has a banner with the inscription ‘Progressus et prudentie’ — progress and understanding. Can you tell us where that came from and why
    • Unsure
  46. Before we jump into these specific deliverables there is a discovery and strategic foundation that needs to predicate the development of these assets outlined in this RFP. Can we include this strategic phase to the scope of work in our proposal?
    • Yes
  47. Can you provide some history and background on the relationship between the city and the town?
    • The City of Groton is a borough of the Town of Groton incorporated in 1904. The best way the relationship has been explained to me is through the lens of fire districts. The City of Groton is a fire district, with the ability to provide with an independent governing structure, public utility, and serval departmental services. The City collaborates with the Town of Groton on management and fiscal responsibilities.
  48. What in your opinion makes the City of Groton unique and stand out from the Town of Groton and Groton’s other districts and neighborhoods?
    • The City of Groton’s positioning at the mouth of the Thames River, home to industry leaders and higher education networks, just to name a few. If you were to view Groton as a cluster of neighborhoods with specialization the City of Groton caters to industry  and activities associated with Thames River. The Mystic neighborhood is a well known for its tourism and leisure activities. Downtown Groton aka “Hamburger Hill” is more retail centric.

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