Request for Proposals: Disability Vaccine Access Campaign Expansion for South Carolina Disability Vaccine Access Network

November 5, 2021

Able South Carolina (Able SC) is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that empowers South Carolinians with disabilities to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives. Able SC challenges stereotypes, protects disability rights, and champions social reform. Able SC is a nationally recognized “center for independent living” (CIL) meaning the organization is a non-residential, community-based, not-for-profit organization that provides individual and systems advocacy to create options and choices for South Carolinians with disabilities to live independent lives. Able SC is required by the Rehabilitation Act to be directed and staffed by a majority of professionals with disabilities. The majority of our Board of Directors have disabilities and over 80% of our staff have disabilities. Our services promote self-sufficiency and independence for South Carolinians with disabilities. Our mission is to create greater access and opportunities for independence through empowering individuals with disabilities and promoting community inclusion.

The SC Disability Vaccine Access Network was created to educate individuals in the disability community about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, provide assistance to overcome barriers to getting vaccinated, and to help those who want to get vaccinated to get the shot. The SC Disability Vaccine Access Network via Able SC is looking to develop a campaign that will achieve this goal. 

Contract Award Ceiling: $120,000

Award Submissions & Questions: Proposals must be submitted by 5 pm EST on November 22, 2021, to Mary Alex Kopp, Director of Public Relations & Events at mkopp@able-sc.org. Questions can also be directed to Mary Alex Kopp. 

For consideration firm must meet the following qualifications:

  • Firm must have worked on a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  and CARES Act COVID-19 vaccine campaign for people with disabilities in the past. 
  • Firm must be a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and be a minority-owned business.
  • Firm must have previous experience leading disability messaging. 
  • Firm must have previous experience leading a campaign that meets all accessibility criteria including but not limited to American Sign Language interpretation, use of open and closed captioning, use of plain language,  use of proper appropriate disability terminology, use of affirming disability imagery, use of descriptive alternative text, use of accessible social media, and use of audio description. 
  • Firm must have experience with working with people with a variety of disabilities. 
  • Firm must ensure Section 508 compliance of website and digital content and work with disabled web testers to confirm accessibility. 
    • Should Able South Carolina determine a misrepresentation of these qualifications on the firm’s part, the contract will be considered null and void and terminated immediately.

Using awarded COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Initiative grant funds, the firm selected will expand a vaccine access campaign targeting people with disabilities, to support knowledge and awareness of COVID-19 vaccines while ensuring specific hesitancies are being addressed. These efforts must target people with disabilities, their family members, and personal caregivers.

Campaign activities must include the following:  

  • Campaign creative messaging and testing to ensure the campaign is effective.
  • Content creation via photo shoot. 
  • Creative design. 
  • Advertising including out of home, over the top and radio as well as creative. Advertising costs must be at least 60% of the budget for greater outreach.  
  • Social media content creation. 
  • Development of public relations materials. 
  • Expansion of a COVID-19 landing page. 
  • Partner toolkit training.
  • All activities are subject to accessibility expectations listed in the qualifications section. This is including but is not limited to procuring ASL interpretation, captioning, Spanish translation, etc. for persons requesting such accommodations during any photoshoot or message testing.

Expectations and needs for each project area are outlined below:

  1. Campaign Messaging and Testing:
    Messaging will serve as the basis for educating individuals and building trust around the campaign. Once the message is developed, it must be tested with the audience. Members of the target audience must be utilized to test the messaging for the campaign. Feedback must be solicited and revisions must be made based on feedback received.  
  2. Campaign Photography
    Professional photography will ensure that all imagery used on outreach materials and within advertising is high resolution and cohesive across all channels. It is important that people within the disability community are the face of the campaign to establish a sense of trust around getting vaccinated among the target audience.
  3. Website Landing Page
    Firm will work with Able SC to ensure that the campaign landing page is created and incorporates best practices for drawing traffic with SEO-friendly keywords, cohesive visuals, and all key information related to the campaign. 
  4. Public Relations Campaign Development
    Public relations work will serve to raise awareness of the campaign with target audiences and the public. 
  5. Partner Toolkit Training
    Firm will work on toolkit development and train individuals/organizations on best practices for sharing the materials in their community.  
  6. Social Media
    Firm will develop a strategy for monthly organic social media content with a focus on maximizing engagement and creating shareable content. Posts should reach those within the target audience for this campaign.  
  7. Advertising Creative
    Advertising creative will include radio ads and the design of outdoor pieces (such as a billboard or bus shelter signage). 
  8.  Advertising
    A traditional and digital advertising campaign is recommended to spread awareness of the campaign statewide.
  9. Services & Deliverables
    The following are the services and deliverables expected from each categorized expectation.
  • Develop, disseminate, and gather results of a survey to test the campaign messaging. 
  • Evaluate the survey looking for 75% agreement or higher. 
  • Modify the message and visuals if an agreement is less than 75%.
  • From the results of the survey develop the main message and visual look of the campaign.
  • Develop creative concept direction and photography shot list that is in line with Able SC’s direction. 
  • Manage photographer contracts, licensing, and fee negotiations. 
  • Write and collect usage rights contracts associated with the photoshoot.  
  • Organize up to 10 campaign champions within the disability community. 
  • Produce, direct, and project manage photoshoots.
  • Manage photographer payments.
  • Manage photoshoot schedule and coordinate photoshoot dates and logistical needs.  
  • Ensure proper permissions are in place, such as blanket release forms, vendor. permission,  etc.  
  • Work with Able SC to generate shot lists for the photographer. 
  • Manage talent for photoshoots.
  • Obtain model release forms.
  • Provide on-site creative direction at photoshoot.  
  • Review and file photos with Able SC.
  • Determine information architecture for the campaign website landing page. 
  • Gather information and copywrite the page. 
  • Design elements for the page. 
  • Interview Able SC to gather story points for press releases.  
  • Interview additional project partners to gather more story information or material to draft additional quotes for the press releases.  
  • Draft a one-page fact sheet for Able SC for the campaign.
  • Draft a one-page set of talking points for the campaign.
  • Draft press release.
  • Advise Able SC lead staff on the press distribution process. 
  • Prepare and host virtual training session(s) for Able SC partners. 
  • Develop social media strategy and content calendar, copywriting, and images. 
  • The social media calendar must be a 4-month content calendar with 32 posts (includes copy and images).
  • Provide ad copy, scriptwriting, radio production, and graphic design. 
  • Deliver radio spot.
  • Deliver ads such as billboards or bus shelter signage.
  • Duties for a traditional and digital advertising campaign to include research, strategy and calendar, advertising negotiation and contracts, advertising placement, and monitoring campaign performance.  
  • Must deliver advertising breakdown and calendar for prior approval, placement of Out of Home ad, placement of TV ad, and placement of radio ad.
  • Must Collect and analyze end-of-campaign analytics. 
  • Must create a report which includes campaign analytics for social media, website, digital and traditional advertising. 
  • The Deliverables may be adjusted to accommodate shifts in strategy, new requests, and other opportunities.
  1. Reporting
    The Firm will create a monthly report with activities including monthly metrics on media buys, earned media, and paid and organic social media. 

As part of your proposal, please address the following and follow the outline process below for  ease of evaluation:  

  • Provide a cover letter with the name, address, phone number, and email address of the firm and contact person with a narrative that presents the services that the firm would provide detailing the approach,  methodology, deliverables, and client meetings.
  • Firm shall include a written statement that they have not been suspended or disbarred from doing business with any federal agency or subrecipient of a federal award.
  • History of your firm, including present size, in-house organizational structure, and primary business industries served. 
  • Background on your firm to include your experience with comprehensive campaigns for non-profit Centers for Independent Living and how your firm meets the required qualifications. 
  • A description of the firm’s experience and ability to provide a solution for each item in the expectations list.
  • A description of how the firm measures success.
  • A list of any sub-consultants to be utilized as a part of the submitting firm’s team and their percentage of time devoted to the project from start to completion. Please include a brief description of the sub-consultant, its role, and capabilities.
  • Provide a timeline (with project plan and critical milestones) for the preparation and implementation of the tasks/activities proposed. 
  • Provide price estimates outlining specific activities, associated charges, and billing methods.
  • Provide creative samples of artwork and brand elements you would create for this project. 
  • Provide the Company Names, primary contact, addresses, and telephone numbers of the most relevant references for which your firm has provided services in the past four years. We are looking for references from agencies operated by people with disabilities.
  • Provide the project management approach. 

Please be sure to include the name and contact details of persons to be approached for clarifications of the proposal as needed.

Format & Proposal Detail: 

Written proposals should be limited to seven pages and may be submitted via Word or PDF. The proposal must be made accessible for people with disabilities who may utilize screen readers. Links to example projects and other examples of the firm’s portfolio of projects and clients will not count towards the page limit. 

Project Timeline: Given the urgency for launching COVID-19 campaign materials within the disability community, the timeline for the project is six months. Please see the details below. 

  • Proposals are due by 5 pm on November 22, 2021
  • Interviews with proposing firms will be held on November 24, 2021
  • Notification of selected proposals by November 29, 2021
  • All work within the proposal must be completed by April 29, 2022
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