CDC looks for support for healthy dating, cancer efforts

WASHINGTON: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking agency support for ongoing healthy dating and gynecological cancer initiatives.

WASHINGTON: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking agency support for ongoing healthy dating and gynecological cancer initiatives.  

The federal agency is planning to expand the “Dating Matters” initiative, which promotes healthy relationships among young adults. The CDC is searching for a firm to implement a teen dating violence communications effort called “i2i – What R U looking for?” that will target consumers ages 11 to 14, according to an RFP.

At its start, the program will focus on Chicago, Baltimore, Alameda County, CA; and Broward County, FL. The initiative will include youth brand ambassadors, a Facebook page, and a text messaging program.

The effort will focus on these four communities until 2016. If evidence shows the initiative is effective in promoting healthy relationships and reducing dating violence, it may be expanded to other communities, said Gail Hayes, senior press officer at the CDC.

The winning firm will develop and support infrastructure for the i2i brand ambassador program, which will include older teens ages 15 to 18 speaking to the younger i2i target group about dating violence. The older teens will get the message out through word of mouth, events, and digital media components.

The agency will also ensure that each participating community has an i2i Facebook page to engage the target audience, as well as a text messaging program that will periodically contact teens who have opted in.

The winning firm will also be tasked with creating social and health marketing documents.

The contract is worth up to $1.5 million, and responses to the RFP are due June 4. The CDC currently works with Ogilvy PR on Dating Matters. When Ogilvy announced that it won the Dating Matters work last year, the agency said it was on a one-year contact. 

The CDC is also seeking a firm to evaluate part of the long-running “Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts about Gynecologic Cancer” campaign, which is also managed by Ogilvy.

The program relies on community partners to disseminate materials that the CDC believes are critical for its success. However, the agency wants to know more about the effort's internal and external communications infrastructures.

“CDC continues to evaluate campaign messaging and materials, but to date has not compiled promising practices information related to dissemination of the campaign materials to target audiences,” the RFP said.

The winning firm will be required to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure the target audiences use the materials in a timely manner, according to the RFP.  

The CDC feels that the campaign “has been effective in reaching millions of women with messages that can potentially save lives by educating them about the symptoms that can lead to earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes,” said Anita Blankenship, health communications specialist at the CDC.  

The contract is worth up to $1 million. Responses to the RFP are due June 8.

The CDC is also reviewing submissions for agency partners for national HIV/AIDS prevention and Autism campaigns. 

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