Request for Proposals for Alameda Strategic Communications Plan

Statement of Purpose

The City of Alameda invites proposals from qualified consulting firms and consultants to create a Strategic Communications Plan that would advise the City on public communication strategies, outreach and engagement, communications best practices, and message templates.



The City communicates with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders and organizations about various City matters, including:

  • Disaster preparedness
  • City policy
  • Traffic, public safety, and other alerts
  • News and events
  • Key issues and areas of interest
  • Department programs, projects, campaigns, and news


Communications are done both at the department level and out of the City Manager’s Office. The City communicates daily using the following platforms:

  • City website
  • Press releases, news media outreach
  • Social media: Facebook, Nextdoor, Twitter, Instagram
  • Alert notifications: AC Alert (Everbridge)
  • Engagement tools: OpenGov, Surveymonkey, SeeClickFix
  • Email, department email newsletters
  • Department Annual reports
  • Recreation & Park Departments regular Activity Guide


The City of Alameda’s communication goals are to:

  • Communicate key City messages to residents, businesses, and other stakeholders and organizations
  • Ensure residents and businesses have access to emergency alerts
  • Ensure residents have access to up-to-date traffic information
  • Establish plans and procedures for communicating about emergency issues and disasters
  • Increase awareness of City projects and programs
  • Increase awareness of and engagement with City transportation projects
  • Increase overall civic engagement and participation
  • Broaden the reach of City communications
  • Establish trust with residents and businesses
  • Communicate with all audiences, including youth and seniors, and in multiple languages
  • Encourage City Departments to increase overall communications


Scope of Work

The City is looking for a highly qualified Consultant to work closely with the City’s Public Information Officer to create a Citywide Strategic Communications Plan. The Consultant can be part of a firm or a consultant and is expected to create a Strategic Communications Plan that provides:

  • Recommendations for maintaining and enhancing citywide communications
  • Establish Alameda audience profiles and methods to reach different audiences, including harder to reach Alamedans and ensures input is received by a broad cross section of the Alameda community
  • Direction on where to publish translated materials
  • Best practices for social media, alert messages, surveys
  • Extensive boilerplate language for press releases and emergency messaging
  • Guidance on establishing citywide newsletter
  • Guidance on establishing citywide annual report
  • Case studies in disaster preparedness and effective social media and other messaging from other municipalities
  • Creative ideas for planned social media posts and campaigns
  • Most effective way to establish a City presence on Instagram
  • How to be most effective with advertising, guidance on advertising outlets, best practices
  • How to make effective videos and when to use them
  • Advice on media relations, media training
  • Best practices for establishing a Citywide photo database and photo release policy
  • Information to share with City employees over an Intranet system
  • Budget and staffing to implement and maintain Communications Plan


Submittal Requirements

The City is requesting one hard copy and one PDF copy of the proposal, which must contain the following information:


  1. Letter of Interest and Approach (2-page maximum): Please include a letter expressing the Consultant’s interest in being considered for the project. As part of the letter, please describe your approach for establishing a Strategic Communications Plan for the City of Alameda.


  2. Strategic Advisor/Project Manager Experience (2-page maximum): Please include information about the specific relevant experience of the Consultant or team who will draft the Communications Plan and serve as the principal contact for the scope of work.


  3. Scope and Budget (2-page maximum): The City has $25,000 budgeted for this project. Based on the Proposed Scope of Work, please provide billing rates, budget, and schedule for the project.


  4. Comments/Questions on the City Standard Consultant Agreement: The City standard consultant agreement is attached for your information. If the Consultant has any questions/concerns related to any provisions of the standard form contract, they must be submitted in writing with your response to this Request for Proposals.


Submittal Instructions

Responses should be submitted by mail or in person by 2:00 PM on Thursday, March 7, 2019 to:


Sarah Henry

Public Information Officer

City of Alameda

2263 Santa Clara Avenue

Alameda, CA 94501


Submittals shall be clearly marked on the outside cover or envelope "Response to Request for Proposals: Communications Plan."


Selection Process

Based upon the qualifications of the submitted proposals, informational interviews will be conducted by the Public Information Officer. The selection team will then meet to review proposals, discuss interviews, and select a preferred Consultant. The City intends to complete the contract with the selected Consultant in a timely manner so that the Consultant can commence work in early 2019.


The final selection will be based upon the following criteria:


  1. The Consultant’s experience and results with similar projects and demonstrated expertise.
  2. The Consultant’s demonstrated understanding of the proposed scope and the approach to create a Communications Plan for the City.
  3. The Consultant’s proposed budget amount for this one-time project.
  4. The Consultant’s ability to meet the City’s standard contract requirements.
  5. Interview


The City will not discriminate against any interested firm or individual on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, disability or national origin in the contract award. The City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals at its discretion, including not awarding the contract to any firm.



Sarah Henry, Public Information Officer,, is available to answer questions and respond to requests for additional information. All questions must be submitted in writing.

Download a PDF of this RFP here(PDF, 83KB).