An IMF spokesperson speaking on background declined to provide an estimated value for the communications work, though industry sources estimated the value of the contract as probably in the “seven figures.”
The selected agency would aid IMF's external relations team, which works on development and dissemination of “core messages” for the IMF. According to IMF's 2007 communications strategy, which IMF referred potential bidders to, messaging generally reaches the media and the public through various means, including increasingly in blogs and other online venues.
“The [IMF] is exploring how we can use private sector communications expertise to supplement our own staff work, particularly for regional outreach,” the IMF spokesperson said, via email. “[External relations] staff are all based in Washington, and expertise available to us closer to the ground will help us communicate with our 185 country members.”
The RFP states that one firm could bid for all of the work but that the IMF expects to award the work to two or three agencies specializing in the various regions where communications work will be required, including Asia, Europe and Africa, and Latin America.
Responses to the RFP are due June 23, with possible meetings between bidders and IMF senior management to occur mid-July. The IMF spokesperson said it expects to hire a firm or team of firms this summer.