Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Issues Marketing RFP
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (“MLSC”) is issuing this Request for Proposals for Brand Messaging refresh and Website Design Services (“RFP”) to solicit responses from firms interested in providing brand messaging and website design services (“Design Services”) to better inform industry and academic stakeholders, the general public and targeted recruitment companies about the benefits of doing business in the state, MLSC programs and initiatives, and the MLSC’s impact on the economy and on patient care, as more fully set forth in this RFP.
The MLSC is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (the “Commonwealth”), established by Chapter 23I of the Massachusetts General Laws, as amended, to promote the life sciences within the Commonwealth. The Center is a body politic and corporate. Exercise of the powers conferred by Chapter 23I is considered to be the performance of an essential governmental function. The purpose of the Center is to promote the life sciences within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (the “Commonwealth”). This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions growing life sciences research, development and commercialization, workforce development, as well as building ties among sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. In June, 2008, the Life Sciences Act enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature was signed into law. The Commonwealth committed to investing $1 billion to create jobs, drive innovation and promote biomedical breakthroughs that improve people’s lives. The Center is the steward of the $1 billion and uses three statutory funding vehicles to achieve the Commonwealth’s mission: The Life Sciences Investment Fund (the “Investment Fund”), the Capital Program and the Life Sciences Tax Incentive Program. In June 2018, Governor Baker signed legislation to provide continued investment in the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth to invest in education, research and development and workforce development.
The Life Sciences Investment Fund is to be used in making appropriations, allocations, grants or loans to leverage development and investments in life sciences in Massachusetts. The Capital Program is for not-for-profit organizations to construct or upgrade buildings, procure equipment and other infrastructure that supports growth in the life sciences sector.
Scope of Work:
Brand Strategy/ Message Development:
- Assess and define current brand positioning and messaging strategy. Elevate the brand story and position the organization to achieve a new level of success aligned with our mission, business goals and objectives by increasing brand visibility. Update the brand messaging and design elements of the Center.
- Review, evaluate and recommend new messaging for the Center’s overall brand identity, web site, and marketing materials focused on the Center’s industry programs, academic and workforce development programs, capital investments and business development efforts, the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem, and the MLSC’s impact, both on the Massachusetts economy and on patient care.
- Develop options for a new tag line for the Center, to accompany the existing agency logo, potentially replacing “Investing in the State of Innovation”. New tagline should emphasize Center’s reach across the state and impact on patient health through investment.
- Design new collateral to effectively convey the scope of MLSC programs for different life sciences stakeholder communities, including an overview or business development piece.
- Create MLSC-branded templates consistent with new messaging.
- Develop content for an infographic series and infographic template highlighting key data points and success metrics for the MLSC.
- Select stock photography or incorporate our own custom photography to enhance our marketing collateral
- Develop and publish a website that accurately and dynamically presents the mission, benefits, and accomplishment of the Center and showcases Massachusetts as the best location for life sciences companies.
- Provide a user-friendly online presence for the Center that is easy to navigate.
- Improve lead generation from the website (including identifying who has been on the website when possible).
- Improve SEO ranking for defined keywords.
- Provide a content rich capable site that is easy to self-modify and that will promote the Center’s thought leadership.
Development, Navigation, and Graphic Design:
- Update the overall look, feel and message of the MLSC website and add desired functionality. Use information design best practices to design site layouts, including hypertext structure and content organization and navigation tools: buttons, menu bars, icons, etc. Desired additional MLSC website functionality and features include but are not limited to the following:
- A submission form for “Events” listings to be easily updated on the website. Current process involves manual entry to events section and should be simplified.
- An interactive element detailing the MLSC’s investment activity, such as mapping of programmatic investments, Internship Challenge host companies, etc.
- A section for life sciences asset downloads that intuitively documents resources available to companies within the state for the growth and development of their organizations.
- Create an integrated blog in the same design language as main website for CEO’s personal thoughts on the life sciences.
- Perform use and security testing for site with representatives of the intended user group and technical team, to ensure the site meets necessary compliance and MLSC standards.
Graphical Look and Feel:
- This website upgrade will incorporate updated branding. MLSC is seeking a partnership with a branding/website vendor capable of delivering graphics with a more competitive look and feel. MLSC will provide relevant logos.
Content Management /Maintenance:
- MLSC must be able to update text as well as graphics throughout the website. Specify graphical update capability including file types required as well as if there are limitations on placement within a page. Identify if navigational elements are covered such as allowing the ability to add new navigation tabs or sub-tabs. CMS should be compatible with the latest Microsoft OS and IE. Also identify CMS training offered and security for access. Develop a website that can be easily maintained and updated by staff. Develop website maintenance documentation sufficient for MLSC to support website. Set up the website so future expansion of functionality and applications can be incorporated.
- MLSC would prefer the ability to work with a development website that “mirrors” the live site. A CMS-enabled dev site allows the ability to make change and then circulate for review prior to going to a live site. Please state if the dev site can automatically populate the live site or if a manual copy and paste is required.
- The entire site must be Google Analytics-enabled. A vendor may also offer an alternative analytics solution as an option. Review and advise on current monitoring and evaluation controls (i.e. analytics) to measure from where traffic is coming; interaction and sharing activity; and if those visiting the social site are also visiting the website. Recommend any necessary changes.
- Provide a description of Search Engine Optimization services needed. Define functions such as number of keywords to be used, link building, tags and other efforts comprising the SEO offer. Register and set up search criteria on major search engines. Advise on search engine optimization options and implementation.
- Assess the MLSC’s current hosting environment. MLSC is seeking a 24X7 hosting environment that includes a service-level agreement of 99 percent uptime, with backup/restore options. MLSC currently has hosting resources through Amazon. Recommend appropriate hosting options.
Identify Website Visitors:
- MLSC seeks the ability to identify who is visiting the website (beyond Google Analytics) for lead generation and competitive intelligence. Please provide information and relevant pricing to accomplish these tasks.
- Content Management must enable updates to News section for Press Releases, Announcements, and Media Clips. There should be a section on the home page that is covered by the content management so that MLSC can easily add links to these new sections.
Edelman PR and Ketchum PR have relevant experience.