Request for Services for COVID-19 Diverse Media Messaging - May 2020
Review Process Summary:
This Request for Services closed on June 7, 2020. MDH received nearly 100 complete applications. The applications were reviewed by a committee of 19 reviewers, including representatives from Minnesota’s cultural and ethnic councils, community leaders, and MDH staff. Proposals were scored based on the criteria listed in the Request for Services.
MDH and the review committee were sincerely impressed with the quality of proposals. However, the nearly $8 million requested by applicants greatly exceeded the $800,000 available. MDH regretfully was unable to award funding to many worthy organizations serving Minnesota communities.
To view a list of the 17 contractors selected for funding through this Request for Services, visit Round 3 COVID-19 Contractors (PDF). For more information on COVID-19 funding opportunities, visit the COVID-19 Contracts for Diverse Media Messaging and Community Outreach page.
On this page:
Response Requirements and Submission Instructions
Note for Responders to Earlier RFS
This request is issued under the State of Minnesota’s emergency procurement authority.
The Minnesota Department of Health (“State”) is issuing a request to vendors to propose a plan for media services to aid the State in getting culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, accurate, and timely messages related to COVID-19 to communities of color, American Indian communities, and LGBTQ communities in Minnesota. Media services may include formats such as online and social media, radio, television, and print. Vendors are encouraged to use methods that are adaptable to quickly changing information.
Vendors’ primary audience(s) must include one or more of the following populations: African American, African immigrant, American Indian, Asian American, Latinx, and LGBTQ Minnesotans. Vendors are encouraged to reach diverse communities within communities of color and American Indian communities (such as people of color and American Indians with disabilities and people of color and American Indians who are LGBTQ).
The State will make final selections of contractors based on a competitive review of proposals, while also ensuring that the final cohort of selected contractors covers a range of communication modalities and geographic areas and reaches the major racial, ethnic and cultural communities in Minnesota listed above. The State will prioritize media entities that are owned by people of color, American Indians, and/or LGBTQ individuals. The State will also prioritize vendors, communities, geographic areas, and communication methods that are not currently represented in its existing contracts with media vendors.
- Request for Services release: May 25, 2020
- Proposal deadline: Extended to June 7, 2020 at 11:59 pm
- Anticipated contract start date: July 1, 2020
- Anticipated contract end date: December 31, 2020
The goal of this project is that all who reside in Minnesota and the 11 Tribal Nations that share its geography – including residents from communities of color, American Indian residents, LGBTQ residents, and residents with limited English proficiency – have the opportunity to be fully informed with culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, accurate, and timely messages related to COVID-19.
This Request for Services is intended for media vendors.
The State has $800,000 available for multiple media contracts through this process. Given the funding available, the State seeks proposals in the categories below, dependent upon audience(s) reached, type of media, and depth and frequency of reach:
Awards less than $50,000
Proposals under $50,000 may reach a single cultural community and/or use less frequent communication methods (e.g., weekly or biweekly).
Awards of $50,000 to $150,000
Proposals between $50,000 and $150,000 may reach multiple communities and/or use multiple communication methods on a daily/frequent basis.
- Work with the State to finalize a communications plan for reaching target community with culturally relevant, accurate, and timely COVID-19 information and public health messages. Plan may include activities such as, but not limited to:
- Same-day turnaround for cultural adaption or translation of messages and promotion within target community
- Radio or television interviews with MDH staff, approved partners or community experts
- Paid advertising or other social media messaging to targeted demographics
- Participate in media briefings with the State to receive updated COVID-19 information and messages (frequency of briefings will depend on frequency of communication with audience and may range from daily to weekly).
- Adapt timely messages from the State to target audience and communication modality (online, social media, radio, television, and/or print). Adaptation may involve graphic design, revising language and/or images to be culturally relevant, etc. If adaptation requires translation, contractor is responsible for translation. (The State will make existing translated materials available to the contractor.)
- Work with State staff to get State approval of adapted messages as appropriate.
- Disseminate adapted messages through online, social media, radio, television, and/or print media.
- Prepare brief reports for the State that summarize the work performed, the number of messages adapted and disseminated, the estimated number reached for each, and the impact the work is having in the target community (frequency of reports will depend on frequency of communication with audience and may range from weekly to monthly).
Response Requirements and Submission Instructions
Step 1: Interested Responders should complete the Proposal Submission Form with the following information:
- Responder name and contact information;
- whether vendor is owned and operated by people of color, American Indians and/or LGBTQ individuals;
- communities reached, media formats to be used, and frequency of media messages;
- a brief description of the proposed plan for media services;
- a brief description of the vendor’s history, experience, and qualifications relevant to proposed plan;
- the total cost of the proposed services; and
- estimated number reached and estimated number of media messages per person.
Step 2: After submitting the form, Responders will receive an automated confirmation email. Responders should reply to that email and attach the following supplemental materials:
- Detailed communications work plan (Word format preferred; please limit to no more than 5 pages).
Vendors are strongly encouraged to use the State’s work plan template (Word). If a vendor uses a different format, the work plan must include the following:
- Overview of media formats to be used;
- Adaptation processes, if applicable;
- Timeline for each activity, including estimated turnaround time for message adaptation, translation, and publishing/promotion;
- Partners involved for each activity, if applicable;
- Number of media messages per media format; and
- Estimated audience reached per message.
- Breakdown of cost estimate (Excel format preferred)
Vendors are strongly encouraged to use the State’s budget template (Excel). If a vendor uses a different format, the budget must include the following:
- Cost per media format and per message (e.g. per ad, post, spot, etc.);
- Costs for adaptations, if applicable (e.g. staff time, subcontracts, etc.); and
- Costs for media production, if applicable; and
- Any other additional costs.
- 1-2 examples of previous work
- Please provide links to examples as much as possible.
- If content is not available to link to online, please limit file size to 2 MB.
- Do not send more than 2 examples of work.
If you do not receive an automated confirmation email within one hour of submitting your Proposal Submission Form (please check your junk/spam folder), you may email your supplemental materials (work plan, cost breakdown and examples of previous work) to health.covidmedia.MDH@state.mn.us. Please indicate in your email that you submitted the online form but did not receive a confirmation email.
Please note that in addition to your Proposal Submission Form, all of your supplemental materials must be received by 11:59 pm on June 7, 2020.
Note for Responders to Earlier Diverse Media Request for Services
If you submitted a proposal in response to an earlier MDH Diverse Media Request for Services but were not selected for funding, you may use components of your earlier proposal in your response to this Request for Services. Please note that some aspects of the application process have changed, so please pay careful attention to all requirements and complete the entire application process, including submitting a new Proposal Submission Form and your supplemental materials.
Please also note that this Diverse Media Request for Services is focused on media vendors. Community-based organizations with broader missions are encouraged to apply for the COVID-19 Community Engagement Request for Services.
Complete responses will be reviewed, using a 100-point scale, to assess the Responder’s ability to reach target communities with culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, accurate, and timely messages based on the following factors:
- Alignment with State needs to reach all communities of color, American Indian communities, and LGBTQ communities in Minnesota (20%);
- Proposed plan (30%);
- History, experience and qualifications (30%);
- Ownership/leadership and operation by people of color, American Indians, and/or LGBTQ individuals (10%); and
- Cost (10%).
Responders will be scored using the scoring criteria in the Diverse Media RFS Score Sheet (PDF). The review committee that will review and score proposals and make final funding decisions will be made up of community members, partners, and State staff who reflect the communities served by this RFS.
The review committee will review all complete responses (which include both the Proposal Submission Form and the supplemental materials) submitted on or before June 7, 2020 by 11:59 pm. After this deadline, if the State concludes it lacks proposals reaching one of its priority communities, the submission process will be reopened and submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until funds are used.
Please do not contact the State to inquire about status of Response.
Please note that the question and answer period has ended. Final questions and answers have been posted on the COVID-19 Diverse Media Request for Services FAQ page to ensure all applicants have access to the same information prior to the proposal submission deadline.
The State offered an informational webinar for prospective Responders on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 from 10-11 am.
In this webinar, State staff provided an overview of the goals, requirements, and process of the Request for Services and answered many questions. Please note that staff are not be able to help with the drafting of proposals or provide feedback on proposals.
A recording of the webinar is posted above. Questions asked during the webinar have been posted on the COVID-19 Diverse Media Request for Services FAQ page.
Attachments to this Request for Services
Responders should review the standard State P/T Contract template. This document sets forth the State’s standard terms, insurance requirements, and procurement laws or requirements which may apply in the event a Response results in a contract with the State.
This Request for Services does not obligate the State to enter into any contract with any Responder.
Submission of a response by a Responder does not obligate the State to evaluate the response.
The State is not obligated to engage in follow-up conversations with a Responder.