To all of you who have spent too much time coping with requests for proposals (RFPs) in vying for PR work, Todd Defren, a principal in SHIFT Communications, is on your side. The veteran new media strategist has launched an intended dialogue to consider how RFPs might be streamlined by something like "a 10 question RFP template that should reasonably satisfy any marketer looking to hire an agency," Todd's RFP reform proposal is presented on his PR Squared blog.
For him, the question is: "How do agencies make marketers look smart while dramatically reducing the tedious and often redundant work of today's RFP?"
"I personally don't think technology is the answer," Todd continues. "Maybe in 10 years it will be, but for now most execs want to touch and feel the hard copy document. They want to pour over stacks of proposals and mark up the pages with notes and scores and questions.
"No, I think we're still dealing with a better, more useful set of questions that can quickly establish credentials and reveal differences between the competing firms' skills, expertise and philosophies. A set of questions that can be broadly applied to almost any agency by almost any sized company (publicly traded companies are more challenging, obviously, given the degree of governance involved)."
Todd notes that progress is being made in developing a social media RFP template, "but I don't think they've necessarily made short work of the process." His RFP reimagining project, "Die, RFP, Die, Die, Die!," is only a day old and already has drawn 14 thoughtful responses. Consider joining in this effort to reclaim time for creativity!
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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