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Hunger Solutions New York Releases Request for Proposals for Marketing and Outreach Services for WIC

By February 22, 2023No Comments

Hunger Solutions New York is seeking proposals from marketing and communications agencies to plan, create and execute a statewide multi-media awareness and education campaign about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in New York State. We invite your agency to submit a proposal.

Individual questions about this RFP should be directed to Complete bid documents should be submitted to by 03/13/23 at 4:00 p.m.

Bid Timeline:

Bid Posted: 02/20/23
Question Submission: Ongoing through 03/13/23
Bid Submission: 03/13/23 – by 4:00 p.m.
Bid Review: 03/14/23 – 03/17/23
Vendor Interviews: 03/20/23 – 03/21/23
Bid Award: 03/31/23
Contract Start Date: 04/01/23

About Hunger Solutions New York

Hunger Solutions New York is a statewide non-profit dedicated to alleviating hunger for residents of New York State by expanding the availability of, access to, and use of government nutrition assistance programs. We promote: awareness of hunger in New York, availability of federally funded nutrition assistance programs, full participation in programs for all who are eligible, policies that contribute to ending hunger, and public awareness of the benefits of anti-hunger programs. Click here to find out more about Hunger Solutions New York.

Project Background

Hunger Solutions New York is working with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) under a five-year contract to conduct targeted outreach activities to increase enrollment and participation in WIC across the state. A federally funded public health and nutrition program, WIC provides healthy food, nutrition and health education, breastfeeding support, and service referrals to income-eligible women, infants, and children facing nutritional risk. Services are delivered through 89 local providers—hospitals, local health departments, and community-based organizations—around New York State. WIC currently serves 390,000 New Yorkers each month, which is only 50.4% of those who are eligible.

Protecting and improving health and nutrition during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood is urgently important. Research shows that WIC participation is associated with healthier births, improved birth weights, reduced risk of infant mortality, better infant-feeding practices, more nutritious diets, better access to primary and preventive health care, healthier neighborhood food environments, and improved cognitive development and academic achievement in childhood.

Factors influencing participation may include lack of awareness or understanding of WIC and barriers to participation. Food Research and Action Center’s 2019 report, “Making WIC Work Better,” identified the following barriers to WIC participation: misconceptions about eligibility, transportation to reach WIC clinics, negative clinic experiences, language and cultural barriers, loss of time away from work, dissatisfaction with the children’s food package, and difficulty redeeming benefits.

Hunger Solutions New York is currently conducting a needs assessment to identify communities with a high percentage of potentially eligible but unenrolled populations, including communities where the primary language is not English. We expect these findings to inform campaign strategies and tactics and will share with the media company. Development of campaign materials to target populations whose primary language is not English is required.

Increasing access to WIC is essential to improving nutrition during critical points in children’s development and reducing health disparities in New York State. To this end, Hunger Solutions New York is seeking a marketing and communications agency to develop and implement a county-by-county public education campaign to increase awareness and understanding of WIC, with the ultimate goal of increasing enrollment in the 89 WIC Local Agencies. The successful bidder will work with Hunger Solutions New York to ensure a cohesive branding style to that of materials already developed and/or to be developed by the organization.

This is a federally-funded subcontract and the awarded subcontract is subject to the terms of the New York State Master Contract; guidelines can be found here. In keeping with federal regulations, this bid is fully open and competitive. Additionally, Hunger Solutions New York will ensure that small businesses, minority and women business enterprises and labor surplus area firms are used when possible.

All counties except New York City (57 in total) will be addressed on a rolling basis in 6-9 month increments between 04/01/23 and 09/30/26. New York City will be addressed between 10/01/23 and 09/30/26. For the purpose of this request for proposals, Hunger Solutions New York is only looking for bidders to address the period of 04/01/23 through 09/30/23. The total budget for the campaign that is to run is $505,000.


Contract Details:
The total contract period will be from 04/01/23 through 09/30/26, but will be contracted in the following increments of time:

04/01/23 – 09/30/23 Contract Amount: $505,000
10/01/23 – 09/30/24 Contract Amount: TBD
10/01/24 – 09/30/25 Contract Amount: TBD
10/01/25 – 09/30/26 Contract Amount: TBD

The contract amounts for each annual period will be based on availability of funds through Hunger Solutions New York’s contract with NYSDOH. Contracts will be renegotiated each period between the media company and Hunger Solutions New York, and are subject to the approval of NYSDOH. It is the intent of Hunger Solutions New York to renegotiate contracts annually and to work with the same vendor for all contract periods to ensure cohesiveness of deliverables.

Outreach Media Audit with the Media Company:
Timeline: 04/01/23 through 09/30/23
WIC Local Agencies: Up to 7
The Media Company is to conduct an audit of the WIC Local Agency’s social media, website, and other outreach assets. Details about the WIC Local Agency’s social media/website permissions and restrictions will be collected and reviewed. The Media Company will provide a summary of findings, including recommendations for improvement and hands-on guidance when applicable. The work will be individualized based on each WIC Local Agency’s needs, opportunities, and limitations. The Media Company should expect to spend 4-6 hours per month with each WIC Local Agency to review audit recommendations and give guidance. This time estimate is non-inclusive of review of outreach assets.

Targeted WIC outreach conducted by the Media Company
Timeline: 04/01/23 through 09/30/23
Target Counties: Columbia, Greene, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Yates, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and Cattaraugus
Twelve selected counties will receive targeted paid media outreach that directs potentially eligible families to the Wanda chatbot for WIC information, screening, and referral. The Media Company will use available WIC enrollment data to drive needs-based paid outreach. The outreach messaging will complement the statewide media outreach running concurrently throughout the state of New York by Hunger Solutions New York. The Media Company will routinely share outreach analytics with the WIC Local Agency, Hunger Solutions New York and NYSDOH. Creative will rely heavily on materials that are already created, but will need to be amended to properly target county demographics.

Proposal Requirements:

Please identify each part and question number in your bid submission so responses are easily identified. Points will not be awarded if the answer cannot be identified.

PART 1 – Scope of Work Narrative (15 Points)

Please provide a high-level assessment of the following requirements of your proposal in narrative form. Discuss how you would have a different approach to urban, suburban and rural counties in each answer.

1. What is your plan to create and execute an effective public education campaign that increases understanding of WIC services and spurs engagement with the WIC program? (Target audiences include low-income, under-served populations with a focus on the pregnant and postpartum population, and parents or caregivers of children under age five.)
2. How do you plan to provide strategic direction to Hunger Solutions New York and NYSDOH that balances best practices for reaching the audience, within the budget, and guides the approach for content creation and development, and appropriate communications channels?
3. What is your comprehensive campaign plan to identify strategies to reach target audiences, broad messaging, and communications channels?
4. What broad range of traditional and new media strategies have you identified to provide education, awareness and understanding of the WIC program and its benefits? (Please note: Content creation may include, but isn’t limited to, print materials, traditional advertisements, digital advertisements, social media content, video production.)
5. How do you plan to perform ongoing monitoring to assess campaign effectiveness? Please describe how you will evaluate campaign metrics and adjust as needed.

PART 2 – Demonstrated Ability (35 Points)

Please provide the following to show the Agency’s ability to complete the work.

1. Provide Agency name, year of incorporation, background information, number of employees, and name and email address for a contact person.
2. Identify staff who would be assigned to this project and provide titles, resumes, and briefly describe the roles and involvement each person would play in the project.
3. Describe marketing and communications services you offer as an agency.
4. Identify primary markets served.
5. Describe your experience working with non-profits and state agencies and/or government funded programs.
6. Provide successful examples of your work reaching an under-served or hard-to-reach audience.
7. Please address your ability to work collaboratively with the researchers conducting the needs assessment, to maximize opportunities to conduct focus groups on effective messaging and ad placement strategies.
8. Identify any areas of unique expertise that are applicable to this campaign.
9. Share three creative examples from prior work to help explain your approach and demonstrate your success.

PART 3 – Project Breakdown (35 Points)

Because this work will take place on a county-by-county basis touching all 62 counties in New York State prior to September 30, 2026, Hunger Solutions New York would like to get an idea of how you would approach the uniqueness of different parts of the state. Please provide three sample month-by-month timeline breakdowns of targeted campaign activities for the period 04/01/23 through 09/30/23. This sample timeline should look at activities through the lens of an urban, suburban and rural county and should include:

Sample A – Urban County:
1. Development and creation time utilized.
2. Media strategy utilized.
3. Content utilized (print, social media, video, etc.)
4. Desired outcomes of strategy and content. (How has this increased WIC engagement among the target audiences?)
5. Metrics used to measure outcomes of strategy.
6. Secondary or tertiary metrics that may be used if outcomes are not being met.
7. Strategic direction and/or collaboration provided to Hunger Solutions New York and NYSDOH (If any).

Sample B – Suburban County:
1. Development and creation time utilized.
2. Media strategy utilized.
3. Content utilized (print, social media, video, etc.)
4. Desired outcomes of strategy and content. (How has this increased WIC engagement among the target audiences?)
5. Metrics used to measure outcomes of strategy.
6. Secondary or tertiary metrics that may be used if outcomes are not being met.
7. Strategic direction and/or collaboration provided to Hunger Solutions New York and NYSDOH (If any).

Sample C – Rural County:
1. Development and creation time utilized.
2. Media strategy utilized.
3. Content utilized (print, social media, video, etc.)
4. Desired outcomes of strategy and content. (How has this increased WIC engagement among the target audiences?)
5. Metrics used to measure outcomes of strategy.
6. Secondary or tertiary metrics that may be used if outcomes are not being met.
7. Strategic direction and/or collaboration provided to Hunger Solutions New York and NYSDOH (If any).

PART 4 – Budget (15 Points)

Due to price fluctuations and to get the best rate for each strategy, services will be determined on an expenditure basis between Hunger Solutions New York and the media company and will be subject to the approval of the New York State Department of Health. Hunger Solutions New York expects that every 6- to 9-month cycle will have a different budget and different needs. Because of this we are looking for expected price trends for each type of media or advertising that may be utilized. Prior to negotiating a contract, Hunger Solutions New York will work with the media company on a budget for that cycle.

The media spend allocation and pricing is subject to change dependent on campaign needs, but the overall product margins for the media should be fixed for the entirety of this contract. Costs should include all personnel, operating and overhead costs associated with each deliverable.

Please Provide Fully Loaded Product Margins for:
1. Celebrity Endorsers
2. Billboards
3. Bus Wraps
4. Radio Ads
5. Broadcast or Cable Television Ads
6. Print Ads
7. Social Media Ads:
a. Facebook
b. Instagram
c. TikTok
d. Snapchat
8. YouTube Video Ads
9. Behavior Pre-roll video ads
10. OTT/CTV Video Ads
11. Standard Digital Display
12. Hyper Local Mobile Display Ads
13. Targeted Email
14. Hourly Rate for Media Audit Review
15. Hourly Rate for Media Consulting Local Agency Meetings

Scoring, Interviews and Bid Selection

Hunger Solutions New York will use a pre-determined Rubric to score each bidder on the categories as they are weighted above. Interviews will be conducted with the top three to five bidders (or any bidder that Hunger Solutions New York deems to be appropriate for this project) in alignment with bid timeline above. A successful vendor will be selected following review of all parts of the bidding process in addition to determining the ability of the vendor to cohesively and effectively work with Hunger Solutions New York. Hunger Solutions New York reserves the right to select the bidder they feel appropriate, regardless of overall bid score.