PRWeek: How do you help firms bid for these contracts?
Molly Gimmel: The first step is to get them on the [US General Services Administration] GSA schedule. Government agencies that want those types of services usually view the competition through the GSA schedule because it saves them time and money and makes it a lot easier for them to award a contract. When a [government] agency has a requirement and they put out an RFP, we help them prepare their proposal to bid on that contract or task order.
PRWeek: What are some of the reasons why PR or public affairs agencies choose to get involved with GSA contracts?
Gimmel: Well, the government is a good customer to have. They're not going Chapter 11. They pay their bills. In the commercial world, that's not always a given. The government does a lot of interesting stuff. They do innovative campaigns and interesting messaging. It's not just the Army's “Be all you can be” commercials. There's information going out about school lunch programs. There's information about the federal government hiring or [federal] agencies recruiting.
PRWeek: Given the economic situation, have you seen an increase in interest from firms?
PRWeek: Do you find that firms that use a subcontractor is pretty common when working with these types of federal contracts?
Gimmel: Teaming is very common in the federal space. A lot of [government] agencies put out requirement that are pretty broad in scope and some firms may have a very specific expertise so they can't cover the entire scope.
PRWeek: Are you involved at all in the subcontractor process?
Gimmel: We have some clients that we help them with contractual stuff so we help them put subcontractor agreements into place. We have other clients who come to us and say, “We need a sub for this piece of it. Do you know anybody?” We try to match them up.
PRWeek: Have there been any changes in the contracts or in the work since the new Administration came in?
Gimmel: The only real change is the pricing structures. They're doing away with cost-plus type contracts and going more toward fixed-price, which is lower risk for the government. But, in terms of the type of work? No, I haven't seen any changes.