Request for Proposal: Communications & Public Relations Professional

The Plug is issuing this Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit proposals for a term contract for a qualified firm according to the specifications, terms, and conditions stated in this RFP for communications and public relations services to assist the media partnership with WURD Radio, in reaching its next tier of growth and development in the city of Philadelphia.

1.1 Background

The Plug humanizes Black people’s engagement in technology-related markets and industries one investigative narrative at a time. Our work moves beyond popular deficit narratives to show the substantive ways that Black people are affected by and engaged with the innovation economy, including analyses of modern technologies, how and by whom they are developed, and the structures and cultures of related ecosystems.


Launched in 2016 as the first daily tech newsletter, The Plug curated the top news of Black founders and innovators. Today, we investigate and report on Black tech trends, stories, and breaking news, and we do it with the rigor and analysis you won’t find elsewhere.

We believe in the power of data and diversity to bring the startup and tech community full-scale. We believe in quality journalism and reporting to bring underserved and under-covered entrepreneurs and their companies to the forefront of tech’s evolution. Every weekday we help our readers connect to important tech stories that cover ground beyond the usual cast of characters. We open our coverage and analysis in and beyond Silicon Valley to track the hustlers making moves across the world. Our newsletter seeks to set a standard for the expansion and depth of diverse and inclusive entrepreneurship, startup environments, and technological progress.


To learn more about The Plug and its founder, and to read our most recent articles and data sets, please visit us at

2.1 Scope of Work
The Plug is issuing this Request for Proposal (RFP) and will be the administrative lead organization for this RFP. The purpose of this RFP is to engage the services of a bold and persuasive communicator to create creative content, deliver The PLUG’s communications objectives, and help us to tell The Plug’s Philadelphia (in cooperation with WURD Radio) launch story.

2.2 Timeline This RFP engagement will last an estimated  75 days, ideally starting during the first 10 business days of August. Successful engagement during the RFP period can result in a longer-term extension with the consultant.

Together with the Founder/CEO, and in consultation with the data fellow, the communication consultant will deliver the following objectives and deliverables:

3.1. Objectives

  • Finalize and implement The Plug’s Philadelphia launch communications strategy and identify new and creative ways to enhance the visibility and outreach of The Plug/WURD’s work; beyond the two brand’s own media machines;
  • Build awareness of The Plug’s Philadelphia launch work with national audiences;
  • Creation of, and delivery of, media relations and digital communication products that reach and engage local and national online audiences.


3.2. Communication Deliverables

Create and implement a comprehensive media and public relations strategy in launching editorial content, executing the following:

  • Develop positioning for the new messaging for each target audience, refined by in-region testing;
  • Relationship building and meetings with media, executive speaking opportunities, and thought-leadership positioning;
  • Develop and maintain a targeted media list;
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with reporters, editors, and bookers at key media publications, outlets, programs, etc;
  • Proactively pursue positive stories and respond to inquiries – targeting all forms of media: broadcast, digital, podcasts, print, etc. as appropriate for each opportunity;
  • Develop media kits, as needed;
  • Draft news releases, messaging documents, talking points, FAQs, media Q&As, etc;
  • Coordinate approved communications flow with The Plug’s Founder/CEO.


While you can’t guarantee a major market piece, this should be your ‘north star,’ guiding your work product.


3.3 Administrative Deliverables

  • Provide written weekly campaign-specific reports to show status and/or results as compared to goals; 
  • Weekly check-ins with CEO to review work, pivot if necessary;
  • Project debrief (what worked, what didn’t, what we can change).


4.1. Experience

The communication consultant should have proven experience or knowledge in the following areas:

  • Communications campaigns and strategy development;
  • Deep relationships in media, existing local (Philadelphia) and national contacts; 
  • Editorial writing, copywriting, and messaging;
  • Digital and social media strategy and execution;
  • Cultural intelligence; 
  • Data-driven with the ability to synthesize technical information in non-technical terms;
  • Experience working in an agency or startup utilizing ‘sprints’ to complete work.

5.1 Instructions for Responding This section addresses the process for responding to this solicitation. Applicants are encouraged to review this before completing their responses.

5.2 Contact RFP inquiries will not be accepted via any digital plaftorm/email.

5.3. Budget Applicants are required to provide The Plug with a project-based proposal (not hourly). The final budget amount will be approved by The Plug at the execution of the consultant contract.

5.4. Format for proposal The proposal will be accepted via Submittable. The proposal needs to include the following:

  • CV/Resume highlighting recent and relevant experience;
  • Pitch deck (10 slides or fewer) explaining how the scope of work will be addressed including a budget, including marketing communications achievements over the last three years;
  • Provide a link to your LinkedIn profile of digital portfolio of your creative content demonstrating the breadth and depth of your experience and skills;
  • Answers to the following questions:
  • How many years of professional experience do you have?
    • 5 or fewer
    • 5-10 years
    • 10-15 years
    • 15+ years
  • Do have existing national & Philadelphia media contacts?
  • Do you understand that as a respondent to this RFP that you are affirming that you are prepared to work independently to complete the necessary work?  
  • Thoughtful answers to the following prompts:
    • Please share an example of a recent campaign that you believe showcases a positive narrative of Black or Brown innovation;
    • In brief, explain your professional process during the first 10 business days of a consulting engagement;
  • The names of 2 client references.


6.1 Deadline Completed proposals should be submitted to The Plug via Submittable before 5pm PST on July 24, 2020. Proposals may be rejected if minimum requirements are not met.

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