Strong social media initiatives, award-winning campaigns, and long-term partnerships all start with strong RFPs. However, they can only produce proposals of the same quality as the initial request. If a request for proposals is poor, the proposals received from digital marketing firms will also be of low quality. It is possible to create a successful social media RFP that is both easy and enjoyable. Build a proposal that will produce the best vendors for the company’s interests by simply following a few guiding principles.
What is an RFP?
RFP is an acronym for “Request for Proposal”. A great social media RFP describes a particular project or need that a company needs to fix, while also inviting companies, management platforms, and other vendors to submit innovative ideas or solutions for consideration. Before committing to a major partnership or long-term arrangement, an organization should use an RFP to screen proposals and vendors. Luckily, there are many request for proposal (RFP) templates, but it is still important to understand what should be included in an RFP.
What to Include in an RFP
Although every RFP is different, the most effective ones that generate strong proposals include these common elements.
- Introduction – This should be a summary of the entire RFP.
- Company profile – This is to provide a background about the company. It may include things like a mission statement, core values, or even target audience.
- Social media ecosystem – This provides potential vendors with an idea of how the company uses social media, like what platforms are used and a summary of the strategies.
- Project purpose and description – This is an outline of the goals sought by this particular project.
- Challenges – Outlining potential roadblocks at the outset allows the company and a potential vendor to work together to solve them.
- Key questions – Including questions in an RFP ensures that proposals provide adequate solutions to the challenges the business faces.
- Bidder qualifications – Ask the vendor about specific qualifications that would be important to the specific project.
- Proposal guidelines – Be upfront about what is expected from the proposal. Include the submission deadline, formatting requirements, and how much detail is expected.
- Project timelines – Be sure to indicate proposal and project deadlines, including specific milestones.
- Proposal evaluation – The company should be as transparent as possible when it comes to the criteria each proposal will be assessed by.
Including each of these sections will enable clear communication of expectations of potential vendors, and in turn, they will be able to send strong proposals including all of the information the company will need.
Differences between RFP, RFQ, and RFI
While an RFP is a request for proposals and outlines the background, project, and specific requirements, RFIs and RFQs are less detailed. An RFI (Request for Information) is issued to learn more about the capabilities and solutions that various vendors can provide. Meanwhile, the aim of an RFQ (Request for Quote) is to receive a price estimation for specific services. All three have their own specific function.
By understanding the purpose of RFPs and following the best practices for their creation as outlined in this article. companies will be able to find a potential vendor that is the best fit for them. Being upfront with all the necessary information, allows vendors have the tools to submit a proposal that will provide innovative and high-quality solutions to a business’s most daunting challenges.