Request for proposals: Hennepin Avenue awareness campaign

Organization background

Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State and Pantages — and new event center at 900 Hennepin light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Project description and overview

Hennepin Theatre Trust (the Trust) is soliciting proposals from qualified respondents to enter into a contract, in accordance with the requirements contained in this request for proposal (RFP). The selected vendor will assist the Trust in the development of public awareness campaign that supports the reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue from Washington Ave. to 12th Street.

This campaign will support the goals of the project by:

  • Shifting attitudes and perspective of the reconstruction project from disruption and frustration to an anticipation for the revamped Hennepin Avenue
  • Developing strategies and content to reach the diverse population of the area
  • Providing information regarding the benefits of the reconstruction
  • Developing a plan to celebrate the last 100 years of the Hennepin Theatre District (Background: the four historic theatres were built between 1912 and 1921 and organization is planning celebration at conclusion of the construction project)

This RFP will provide funding for:

  • Strategy and concept development for the Hennepin reconstruction campaign
  • Written communications plan for the multi-year construction project that identifies target audiences, key messages and strategies
  • Development of a communications toolkit to share with stakeholders
  • Collateral development including but not limited to digital content for use in social media and websites, printed flyers, fact sheets and brochures
  • Outdoor media campaign including collateral for billboards, signage, posters, and banners
  • Outreach support to stakeholders that includes a social media campaign guide
  • Outline of potential videos to be produced for social media in later stages of campaign

Eligibility information

Respondents must have experience providing services similar to those described in the Statement of Work (SOW) listed below. Respondents must provide qualified key personnel and team members with experience in planning and implementing innovative and effective marketing, advertising, public education, and public relations strategies for public or private sector organizations. Respondents must demonstrate experience and proven success in the implementation of public awareness campaigns focusing on civic programs and/or projects. Respondents must be able to implement services with an anticipated start date of January 1, 2020. Hennepin Theatre Trust encourages female- and minority-owned firms to compete for this award.

Service requirements

The successful vendor must be able to perform functions including, but not limited to, creative concept development; production, planning, buying and placement of broadcast, print, digital and out-of-home advertising; and translation services. The successful vendor shall exhibit a thorough understanding of the demographics of the Hennepin Theatre District and demonstrate the ability to effectively reach and speak to the various markets as related to the demographics.

Statement of work

The respondent shall:

  • Designate a director or coordinator to manage the project
  • Submit a comprehensive campaign plan, including strategy, goals and objectives, target audiences, key messages, and overview of tactics
  • Submit a timeline for anticipated project activities, product completion and release dates, scheduled meetings and/or events, and documentation/reports
  • Submit a budget at the start of the project that accurately reflects the cost of each service and product that is part of the project
  • Complete work on schedule, except where approval for extensions have been requested and approved by HTT staff
  • Complete work within budget, except where approval for adjustments have been requested and approved by HTT staff
  • Design a variety of creative materials for print, radio, outdoor, television, internet, outreach, social media and other appropriate platforms. Vendor will be required to produce innovative, effective, out-of-the-box, and culturally appropriate materials for target audiences:
  • Develop and plan dissemination of products and materials as described in description and overview of the project.
  • Communicate regularly with Trust staff about the progress of the project and discuss in advance any changes that may be needed in the schedule or budget as the project progresses.
  • Develop methods to monitor, track and measure the campaign’s success.

Target audiences

Primary audiences:

  • Workers, visitors, students, and residents of downtown Minneapolis
  • Theatre patrons and general arts enthusiasts
  • Youth and adults experiencing homeless who receive services downtown

Secondary audiences:

  • Key downtown stakeholders such as neighboring business owners and community or social service organizations
  • Funders/potential funders of Hennepin Theatre Trust
  • Restaurant and hospitality partners of Hennepin Theatre Trust


  • Comprehensive campaign & communications plan, timeline, and budget covering the entire contract term outlining the work meant to accomplish the activities described or included in the Statement of Work section. These documents shall be due no later than 30 calendar days following the date of contract execution.
  • Products as described in the overview section, to include: a. One social media campaign guide and plan; b. Communications toolkit to be disseminated to area businesses and organizations; c. Up to 20 pieces of outdoor media creative (posters, billboard design, etc); d. Up to 10 pages of content (one-page flyers, brochures, print ads, etc.); e. Concept/plans for up to five one-two minute videos and four teaser videos
  • Progress reports as requested by HTT staff.
  • Final report including an Executive Summary, the expectations outlined in the Statement of Work, data and evaluation of campaign effectiveness, resource and/or product information, and a campaign sustainability and continuation or transition plan. This final document shall be due no later than 90 calendar days following the date of contract execution.

Contractor responsibilities

The Trust shall look solely to the Contractor(s) for compliance with all the requirements of this RFP and the resulting Contract(s). Contractor(s) shall be the sole point of Contract responsibility and shall not be relieved of non-compliance of any subcontractor. Failure to meet service requirements and/or specifications authorizes the Trust to procure services of this RFP elsewhere and charge any increased costs for the services, including the cost of re-soliciting, to the Contractor.

Submission requirements

Please include the following in your submission:

Agency overview:

  • Brief summary of your history, values and accomplishment
  • Description of services you provide and why you are uniquely qualified

Process and approach:

  • Description of how you would approach this project
  • Summary of how you typically work with clients (degree of collaboration, etc.)
  • How you maintain focus on outcomes instead of deliverables, prevent scope creep, etc.

Schedule A:

  • Proposed project schedule
  • List of assumptions
  • List of requirements for Hennepin Theatre Trust considered critical to the project’s success


  • Approximate cost for the work followed by a breakdown of those costs by deliverable
  • Any nonprofit discount or pro bono work
  • Outline of assumptions that go into the costs and describe any services not included in the cost estimate, but are regularly incurred on projects like this

Project team:

  • Brief bios and role descriptions of each team member. Include relevant experience.

Relevant experience:

  • Three short case studies about projects you have worked on similar to this one
  • Three client references
  • A list of any clients that may pose as a conflict of interest

Additional Information:

  • Any other information we should know that shows why you’re a good fit


The solicitation process for this RFP will proceed according to the schedule below. The Trust reserves the right to revise this schedule or any portion of this RFP by published addendum on the Trust’s website.

  1. Publication of RFP on the Trust’s website: November 12, 2019
  2. Last day to submit written questions regarding the RFP: November 25, 2019, 11 a.m. CT
  3. Proposal due date and time: December 2, 2019, 3 p.m. CT
  4. Post-proposal interviews or presentations, if required: December 9, 2019
  5. Expected award of contract December 16, 2019

Terms of contract

The Contract shall commence upon the execution of a contract by the Trust with the Awarded Contractor and extending through April 30, 2020, with option for renewal at the Trust’s sole discretion. The contract term may not be extended except by amendment signed by the parties.

To the extent the awarded contractor is not a City of Minneapolis agency, payment for services will be made by the Trust in a timely manner.

Additional services of the same general category that could have been encompassed in the award of this contract, and that are not already on the contract, may be added. A formal written request may be sent to awarded contractor(s) to provide a proposal on the additional services and contractor(s) shall submit proposals to the Trust as instructed.

All prices are subject to negotiation with a Best and Final Offer (BAFO). The Trust may accept or reject any or all proposals and may issue a separate RFP for the services after rejecting some or all of the proposals. The services covered under this provision shall conform to the terms, conditions, specifications and requirements as outlined in the request. Any resulting contract may be amended only upon the issuance of a written amendment showing the revision(s) prior to the services being provided as agreed, approved and signed by both parties.

The Trust will accept only written questions and requests for clarification email to the attention of the personnel below. Inquiries and comments must reference this RFP. Send direct written questions to:

Andrea Cournoyer, director of public relations and communications, Hennepin Theatre Trust, [email protected].

Questions submitted to the Trust will be answered within two business days after receipt. The Trust will post additional information, responses to written questions, RFP modifications, and addenda on the Trust’s website.

Download this RFP document:

Request for proposals (PDF)