NHTSA to hear pitches for lucrative support account

WASHINGTON: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking integrated commutations support for a variety of projects. The contract is expected to have a multi-million-dollar budget.

WASHINGTON: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking integrated commutations support for a variety of projects.

The contract is expected to have a multi-million-dollar budget, though an exact figure has yet to be determined, according to search documents. The winning firm will be required to provide PR, marketing, and advertising support.

The scope of the account will cover national seatbelt and impaired driving campaigns. In addition, the government agency is seeking support for strategic communications initiatives on the topics of child passenger safety, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles, school buses, distracted driving, older drivers, and several other initiatives, according to the RFP.

“To meet its mission of decreasing fatalities and injuries on our nation's roadways, NHTSA must continue to develop culturally appropriate messaging and materials,” the federal agency said in the RFP. “While highly visible enforcement activity continues to be the anchor for the national communications program, other integrated communications activity must continue throughout the year to keep the message fresh and in front of the American public.”

This RFP was originally posted under a pre-solicitation notice last year. NHTSA had planned to use a "cascading" approach to contractor selection where small businesses would be considered for the contract first. In the event no small business was selected, a larger agency would be considered, according to search documents.

Now the federal agency has decided to make this opportunity available only to small businesses, according to the documents. No explanation was given as to why there was a 13-month gap before a final solicitation was posted.

The deadline to reply to the RFP is March 5, and the federal agency expects to award the account by April. The contract will be a two-year base agreement, with three option years.

In 2009, the NHTSA awarded Edelman a $13.8 million PR contract to build on the federal agency's vehicle safety programs.

An NHTSA representative did not immediately return request for comment.

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