Request for Proposals: Brand Analysis and Recommendations

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: BRAND ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

PROJECT OVERVIEW
WITF is seeking a consultant to conduct a brand analysis, utilize market research and propose a branding and marketing strategy that elevates the WITF brand while leveraging the awareness and equity of the PBS and NPR brands.

WITF BACKGROUND
WITF is a trusted provider of public media news and programming for approximately 2.3 million people in 19 counties of Central Pennsylvania, encouraging children and adults to Live Inspired®. A member station of PBS and NPR, WITF’s media services include public television (WITF TV and WITFK PBS KIDS 24/7), public radio (WITF 89.5 & 93.3), websites (including witf.org, TransformingHealth.org, stateimpact.npr.org/Pennsylvania, and ExplorePAhistory.com), and a production services division (Media Solutions).

MISSION & VISION
Mission: WITF inspires lifelong learning by connecting people and communities of Pennsylvania through trusted journalism, thoughtful discussion and educational experiences.

Vision: Be an essential part of the civic, educational and cultural fabric of Pennsylvania.

CURRENT SITUATION
Although WITF has been a locally-owned and publicly-supported media institution since 1963, our research shows that we still only have 84% brand awareness in our market.
WITF’s audience, products and services are diversified – with many sub-brands and areas of strategic importance. We struggle to have a cohesive look and sound that is singular to WITF, while simultaneously honoring the brand guidelines of NPR and PBS.

Key products and audiences:

  • WITF TV, PBS member station: Programming ranges from PBS KIDS programs targeting ages 2 – 8 and their caregivers, to British Comedies that target ages 65+;
    • WITF Original Productions include Transforming Health, WITF Central PA Spelling Bee, Teacher Impact Awards and various documentaries
  • WITFK PBS KIDS 24/7: 24/7 PBS KIDS Programming targets ages 2 – 8
  • WITF 89.5 & 93.3, NPR member station: Mostly journalism and programs, with some informative lifestyle programs on weekends. Key audiences are 40+, college-educated
    • WITF regional reporting featured in morning and afternoon drive times
    • WITF Original Production Smart Talk airs live weekdays 9am
  • Education: WITF goes beyond serving families with children ages 2 – 8 with PBS KIDS programming. We host fun, free in-person family educational events, give away free books, engage directly in classrooms, host teacher webinars, and connect vast digital resources. In response to COVID-19, WITF launched Learning at Home, which brings five hours of educational, standards-aligned television programs each weekday for preK – high school students while they may be learning remotely. Curate online extension activities for each program are available for teachers and families on our website. Target audiences include children 2 – 18, their caregivers, educators and administration.
  • Arts & Culture: WITF enriches the lives of our neighbors with original content like WITF Music, radio features and screening events. We support local artists by exhibiting six different collections each year in the Public Media Center and hosting an Art in the Atrium meet the artist event for each collection. We encourage bonding with fellow WITF fans abroad with the WITF Travel Club. Target audience typically 50+, with love and appreciation for the greater world.
  • Community Engagement: Pre-pandemic, WITF hosted more than 50 events each year; now not much less, most have gone virtual. Engagement events include community conversations and civil discussion around difficult topics, like Towards Racial Justice, opportunities to meet our journalists at News & Brews, seeing a live radio show at a Smart Talk Road Trip, preview screenings of a new MASTERPIECE drama or Ken Burns’ documentary. Attendees typically 40+, event determines more specific psychographics
  • witf.org & Social Media: home for trusted news and opportunities for lifelong learning

Anecdotally we can share that very often we encounter “huge fans” of PBS or NPR, but they still do not connect “WITF” to those platforms, even though that is how they watch or listen.

We are seeking a branding and marketing strategy that lifts up the WITF brand while leveraging the awareness and equity of PBS and NPR.

PROJECT SCOPE & DELIVERABLES
We are seeking a consultant to work with key WITF staff and board members to identify goals of additional research or focus groups, report gaps and weaknesses in brand perception and artfully propose strategic creative and messaging campaign.
Project goals:

  • Brand analysis report with recommendations for strategic priorities
  • Identify how to engage new audiences with shared psychographics of WITF audience but are not currently engaged with us
  • Creative brand ideas that put WITF at the forefront but honor PBS and NPR brand guidelines: a brand that aligns WITF to have the same look, feel and sound across platforms – whether at witf.org, in print, on social, radio or television.
  • To be known in the community as a diverse organization that connects our region to news and opportunities for lifelong learning.
  • A marketing strategy for: increasing brand awareness, increase audience on all platforms and driving donor engagement
  • Updated Brand Architecture and Brand Standards/Guidelines
  • Creative brand ideas for ads, marketing collateral, marketing booths, and signage

WITF ASSETS
WITF in-house staff include a digital team, graphic designers, video producers, and editors. We would use our in-house team to implement any design changes proposed.

PROPOSED TIMELINE
The below is approximate; consultant may feel free to offer an alternative, more detailed timeline.

  • May 18, 2021: Consultant introduced to WITF Board Strategic Planning Committee, describes outlook and process.
  • August 2021: Brand analysis report with recommendations for strategic priorities
  • January 2022: Plan implemented

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

  1. Firm information: Provide agency’s name, address, URL, and telephone.
  2. Key Staff: For each of below, provide name, title, and brief bio
    1. Individual who will act as consultant’s primary contact through RFP process
    2. Staff that will interact directly with WITF if awarded contract
  3. Include a brief description and history of your firm.
  4. Project approach
  5. Possible sub-contractors or vendors: Will your firm conduct all of the work proposed? If not, detail which aspects of the project will be completed by a different organization, and name which partner will most likely complete the work.
  6. Past Projects: Describe projects that your firm has completed that are similar in scale
  7. Schedule and timeline: Within your timeline, please confirm you can attend a meeting on May 18 from 2:30 – 4pm.
  8. Budget: Proposals must include the estimated budget for all work and list of anticipated expenses.
  9. Past-client references

SUBMISSION PROCESS:
Any questions may be directed to Sarah Sheehan, WITF Director of Marketing at sarah_sheehan@witf.org.

Submit proposals electronically to sarah_sheehan@witf.org. Use the subject line “Branding Proposal.” If the file size is greater than 10 MB, please utilize a free file transfer service.

SUBMISSION TIMELINE:

  • April 1, 2021: RFP posted
  • April 9: RFP questions submitted to Sarah Sheehan via email
  • April 14: RFP questions and responses shared to those registered through form below
  • April 28: RFP must be submitted via email
  • May 3: Top Candidates notified with request for interview
  • May 5 – 12: Meetings and follow-up with top candidate firms
  • May 13: Final Selection
  • May 18: Contracted firm attends and presents at Strategic Planning Meeting, 2:30 – 4pm

REGISTER FOR UPDATES:
Please fill out the contact form below if you are interested in submitting a proposal to WITF. Registrants below will be notified of any updates to this RFP or timeline.

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