In a major effort to improve its communications with sportsmen and women and the general public, Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department is contracting with a bunch of firms, both in and out-of state. This ambitious project is led by Emily McCabe in the Information and Education Division of DIF&W.
Earlier this year, the agency contracted with national expert Mark Duda and Responsive Management, a company that has worked in all 50 states, to survey the public and create recommendations to improve the agency’s communications and marketing. One of Duda’s top recommendations was to create a marketing position and a communications position at DIF&W. Partly because it is very difficult in the LePage Administration to create new positions, the agency apparently decided the best way to achieve some of Duda’s recommendations was to reach out to professionals for help.
So far, they have contracted with just four firms. More will be added to the list, and all will be available to help with projects as they are developed. The department has extended the time period to November 3 for companies to respond to the RFP, which can be found on the agency’s website. They are hoping to hear from more Maine firms.
The focus initially is on educating the public about the agency’s work. But the marketing side of the equation is not yet in play.
Rep. Bob Duchesne submitted legislation in the last session, at my request, to create a Marketing Position at DIF&W, but the agency opposed it and it failed. I am hoping that once this communications project is up and running, that we can revisit the possibility of the agency working with the outdoor industry on marketing. They could really use the help.
Here are the vendors selected by DIF&W so far.
Rinck Advertising of Auburn has been retained “to create, plan, and manage advertising efforts.” Rinck is a full service marketing agency specializing in the strategic integration of market research and listening, advertising, digital, promotion and public relations. The scope of services include developing advertising campaigns and creating ads for TV, radio, print, and online ads, plus email and mobile marketing.
Erica Johnson Design of Portland has been hired for graphic design services. She is a creative director, art director, and graphic designer with 16 years of experience building brands. She will produce content for DIF&W’s website, informational brochures and publications, law and rule books, marketing emails and social media.
Allegheny Image Factory of Pennsylvania has been retained for videographer services. They have a sister company in New Hampshire called Fortland Productions which will actually be doing this work with DIF&W. They “provide clients with strong creative and production services spanning the spectrum of television, web, radio, and print,” according to their website. DIF&W noted that it “has a need to produce a variety of educational videos or Public Service Announcements for public consumption, typically through social media, but occasionally of broadcast quality. These projects would include working with Department staff to script or outline the video, filming or capturing video and producing the video. Much of the work of the Department staff is conducted in the field and outdoors. Contractors will need to be comfortable and capable of working a variety of outdoor environments,” noted DIF&W in the RFP it issued for this service.
DG Media Arts, Inc, located in Wayne, was also hired to help with videos. On their website, the company reports that it can offer a wide variety of media solutions for small business or personal needs. “We can build affordable websites to help people discover who you are, where you are located and what you do! We can design everything you need to brand your business and website. We can also offer video production and editing services. Everything from filming to a simple edit to a family video, DG can do it,” they report.