Alliance Requests Bids for Messaging Campaign on Teen Pregnancy in Holyoke and Springfield

The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy (the Alliance) is requesting bids for the creation of a messaging campaign for our Youth First initiative in Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts. The purpose of the messaging campaign is to change the behavior and/or attitudes and beliefs around teen pregnancy and adolescent sexual behavior in these communities among 13-19 year olds. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the teen birth rate by 10% between 2010 and 2015 by increasing use of condoms and contraception by sexually active youth, decreasing incidence of intercourse among youth, and increasing the percentage of youth delaying initiation of sexual intercourse.

Teen pregnancy does not happen in a vacuum, and it is imperative that any messaging campaign be culturally sensitive and take into consideration the community context—the cultures, traditions, challenges, history, and hopes for the future that young people experience growing up in Holyoke and Springfield.

Background

The mission of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy is to advocate statewide and mobilize communities to prevent teen pregnancy, to increase opportunities for youth and young parents, and to empower young people to make healthy decisions about relationships, sex, parenting and life. Youth First is a multi-component, community-wide effort to reduce teen pregnancy and birth rates in Springfield and Holyoke funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Youth First vision is that all young people in Springfield and Holyoke have:

  • Access to quality health education and healthcare that supports their ability to make informed decisions about relationships, sexual health, and their lives;o
  • Consistent community messaging that empowers them to have a hopeful perception of their futures; andS
  • Support in being community leaders, role models, and advocates.

Both Springfield and Holyoke have teen birth rates that are as much as three to five times the state average. The Latino and African American communities in these cities experience the highest prevalence of teen pregnancy. To reduce teen pregnancy and meet project goals, we are implementing activities to achieve the following:

  • Increased reach of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs;c
  • Increased access to youth friendly reproductive health clinic services;
  • Increased stakeholder commitment to teen pregnancy prevention;
  • Effective practices for community mobilization and sustainability; and
  • Effective practices for working with diverse populations.

In 2011, the project conducted a first-year needs and resources assessment of the community, including stakeholder interviews, youth focus group discussion and questionnaires, community perception surveys, and program implementation and clinical partner assessment tools. In 2012, we will initiate a messaging campaign that resonates with teens, as well as other community members, encourages healthy sexual decision making and behavior, and changes attitudes/beliefs around teen pregnancy in these communities.

Scope of Work

The Alliance seeks a consulting company to conduct in-depth research around attitudes/beliefs of teens and members of the community on teen pregnancy. Building on the data we have already collected on the community, prevalent risk/protective factors, and local resources, the consultant will help identify additional dynamics that lead to teen pregnancy. The consultant will work closely with the Alliance’s Social Marketing Team (individuals who work with youth in the community and Alliance staff). The consultant will synthesize the data and lead the Team through the development of a message and development of a messaging campaign strategy, including recommending effective methods and media channels to use to reach the target audience.

We envision the components of the campaign to fall into two phases: Phase 1, including research, message development, and strategic planning; and Phase 2 (RFP to be issued in the summer of 2012), including creative development, media outreach, paid advertising, and evaluation of the messaging campaign.

Components of Work

Preliminary research and data analysis

Meeting with community-based Social Marketing Team

Development of message

Testing of message

Development of communications strategy for rollout of message in community

 

Level of Funding

We anticipate dedicating $50,000-$100,000 to this phase of the messaging campaign.

 

Target Population

We have chosen to target 13-19 year olds. We expect research to be focused on teens in this range, however, we aim to change the behavior of the 13-16 year olds whose birth rates will be measured in 2015.

Timeline

May 2012: Contract with Consultant and meet with Social Marketing Team

June-July 2012: Research, data analysis, develop report on findings

August 2012: Develop and test message

September 2012: Develop messaging campaign strategy/distribution plan for message  

Alliance Role

The Alliance will work closely with the Consultant, provide existing needs assessment data results to Consultant, and coordinate meetings and collaboration between the Consultant and the Youth First Social Marketing Team to determine the message and messaging strategy.

Consultant Role

The Consultant will be responsible for all aspects of the research, including determining individuals to survey, developing instruments, and implementing data collection methods. The Consultant will prepare a written report and presentation to the Alliance on findings from the research phase and recommendations for message development. The Consultant will work closely with the Alliance to develop the message and messaging strategy for the community.

Submission of Bids

Bids should include:

1.      Brief description of contractor tasks or approaches to the scope of work;

2.      Timeframe for the project;

3.      Brief description of contractor capability to perform the tasks outlined in the scope of work;

4.      Estimated costs (please include all costs including estimated travel); and

5.      Expected outcomes.

Bids will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. on May 10, 2012. Bids may be submitted via email or hard copy to the address below. Questions may be submitted to Erica Fletcher (contact information below). Please note that the Alliance anticipates making a selection by May 18.

Erica A. Fletcher

Prevention Director

Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy

105 Chauncy Street, 8th Floor

Boston, MA 02111

617.482.9122 x132

fletcher@massteenpregnancy.org