Public Media Strategic Advisor

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Open to all applicants.


May 29, 2020

Request for Proposals

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is seeking the services of a strategic advisor (“Consultant”) to provide advice to the organization, and through it to other public media organizations and partners, as part of CPB’s effort to support new opportunities and meet emerging needs of education, workforce, and civil society as impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Consultant would support and inform public media’s ongoing response to the education gaps, workforce challenges, and tensions that are being experienced in communities across America. Public media resources have helped communities with their immediate response to school closures and other disruptions. The Consultant would advise on strategies to inform public media’s near and long-term goals, including its emphasis on reaching underserved communities, including rural, low-income and minority communities.

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Proposals135.62 KB

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Does CPB have a budget in mind (even if provided in a range)? In addition to fee, do you have a paid media budget in mind?

To ensure competitive pricing, CPB will not disclose the amount budgeted for this project. There is not a paid media budget for this work.

What are your most pressing day to day business challenges?

Our most pressing day to day challenge is providing leadership to the public media system to assist them as they work to meet the educational challenges facing their communities caused by COVID-19.

Is creative development part of this engagement?

Creative development is not expected to be part of this engagement.

You note that there are both local and national needs. Is one more critical than the other? Are you able to share your priority markets at this time?

Local and national needs are equally critical. Therefore, a public media system wide approach is crucial.

Are you currently doing any outreach to engage students, families and communities hit hardest by COVID-19? If so, are you able to share what that outreach entails.

National public media organizations and public media stations across the country are working extensively with communities to reach out to educators, families and students affected by COVID-19. Information on public media's COVID-19 resources and outreach may be found here - More specific information will be provided to the selected Consultant.

What are your KPIs/goals/measures of success for this initiative?

As this work develops, CPB with input from Consultant, will develop goals and measures of success.

What type of paid media efforts have you executed in the past? Have they been successful?

Paid media efforts are not common with CPB.

What leaders in the education/workforce/economic sectors are you most interested in connecting with and why?

CPB is looking for Consultant to identify and recommend new alliances and partnerships.

Is there one main client team the selected agency will work with? Or will this change based on projects and needs? Is there any additional detail youcould provide on how CPB regularly communicates/organizes with grantee organizations (e.g. cadence, style, liaisons, etc.)

Consultant will work mainly with CPB's Education & Children's Content department. CPB liaises directly with grantees via bi-weekly telephone calls, webinars, etc.

Does CPB have any national sponsorships or commitments in national efforts planned to date.


To date, what has been CPB's greatest challenge in collecting and sharing information across channels?

CPB has not experienced challenges in these areas.

Is there any CPB-owned research and/or data available to add dimension to/track the specific gaps, challenges and tensions outlined in the RFP? If not available, is any planned or does CPB rely exclusively on available/pending secondary data collection and studies?

CPB periodically commissions research into specific areas, such as the current education landscape across public media and landscape research on youth media practices, identifying opportunities for public media organizations to support youth media creation, communication, civic participation and learning, and others. Relevant reports will be shared with the selected Consultant. In addition, we track and rely on research from organizations including The Pew Research Center, Ciommon Sense Media, Strada and others. Accordingly, Consultant should be conversant in the latest research, policy changes and trends in education, workforce development, community service and other fields that are relevant to public media.

Can you provide more detail on the type of leaders and stakeholders you're targeting (national, local, federal, civil society, corporate)?

All of the above, including national associations and organizations.

Can you provide more detail on the emerging local and national issues/recommendations you're focusing on?

Public media’s efforts to address issues facing communities as a result of COVID-19, and the resultant impact on the education system affecting families, students and educators.

Can you further explain how you would like the Consultant to act as an expert spokesperson? Would they serve as an internal and/or external spokesperson?

Consultant may be asked to present to CPB's executive staff, to CPB's board of directors, to external stakeholders and at public media conferences.

How much of the specified work are you looking for the Consultant to execute? Can you clarify whether this RFP is strictly counsel/advice?

This work is predominately counsel/advice, but may also involve assisting CPB with document review and creation and designing presentations.

Can you confirm that staff members assigned to this project need to total 40 hours of work per month all together?


Have you given any thought to the budget for this potential assignment? If unknown, can you share a range or ballpark estimate of available resources so we know what's available to activate against?

To ensure competitive pricing, CPB will not disclose the amount budgeted for this project.

Would it be possible to get a little more context on the needs related to the RFP, perhaps over the phone ?

Our goal with any RFP is to ensure that applicants are treated fairly and equally which is why we choose not to hold conference calls with individual applicants to discuss their questions or any aspects of the RFP. These types of calls can leave the impression, if not the fact, of giving an applicant an unfair advantage over other applicants. Accordingly, we ask that all applicants submit their questions in writing.

Would CPB be willing to consider a Time and Materials contract approach?

No, as the fixed fee arrangement has worked well in the past.

Under V. Selection Criteria, "A. Quality of the Consultant's approach to perform the tasks described in Section III, including..." are there words missing after "including"?

Yes - our apologies - this section should read in full: "Quality of the Consultant's approach to perform the tasks described in Section III, including ability to provide CPB with strategic counsel, communications support, partnership advice and planning in response to the impact of COVID-19: (20%).

Is it permissible to include a standard disclaimer/restriction statement on each page?

To avoid misunderstandings, we ask that Offerors specifically identify this information.

Does CPB envision travel solely to their headquarters in Washington D.C., or is travel envisioned to stations or events outside of the Washington, D.C. metro area? If travel outside of the Washington, D.C. are is anticipated, will the travel be reimbursable?

When travel is once again permitted, we do envision minimal travel to stations or other events outside of the Washington, D.C. metro area (2-3 trips per year). Travel costs will be reimbursed according to CPB's travel policies.

What percentage of the anticipated work would involve the creation of new materials as compared to reviewing and analyzing materials?

This activity will vary, but we anticipate that approximately 15% of work will involve the creation of new materials.

Is there a limit regarding the total number of pages in the technical response? Additionally, are there specifications regarding the font size and type?

While there is no stated limit, we would prefer if the technical proposal is no more than 10 pages. There is no specification regarding font size and type.