I Was Wrong. Canadian Council of PR Firms is Doing RFPs right

A couple of days ago, I took the Canadian Council of PR Firms (CCPRF) to task for asking media monitoring agencies to submit an RFP to help teach the members about good media monitoring and what they can expect to pay.

I said, finger pointed to the heavens, “It sounds like the CCPRF is just information gathering. There’s no chance of winning a project. There’s no definite work that’s going to come out of it. It’s just hours of work that doesn’t really educate, answer questions, or teach people about what that particular company does.

Boy, am I an idiot.

Joseph Thornley, president of the CCPRF, very calmly and kindly responded with why I was a big idiot, without ever saying so. He left a comment on the blog, saying:

My post may have left you with the wrong impression. I’m talking about why we’re asking for proposals. But we are asking for proposals and we are planning to issue contracts at the end of the process. You can download the actual RFP from the link in the first paragraph of my post. (Link added — Erik)

So it sounds like the CCPRF is actually going to issue contracts, which is great. This isn’t just an educational effort. It’s an honest-to-God RFP that’s going to result in a nice contract for someone.

So rather than just bury a mea culpa in the comments, I wanted to write this post so I can correct the record and make sure that the corrected version gets some Google love.

Thanks for taking the time to educate me, Joseph.

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    About Erik Deckers

    Erik Deckers is the President of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing and social media marketing agency in Indianapolis, IN. He co-authored three social media books, including No Bullshit Social Media with Jason Falls (2011, Que Biz-Tech), and Branding Yourself with Kyle Lacy (2nd ed., 2012; Que Biz-Tech), and The Owned Media Doctrine (2013, Archway Publishing). Erik has written a weekly newspaper humor column for 10 papers around Indiana since 1995. He was also the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, FL.


    1. BusinessIntellPro says:

      Erik, did you ACTUALLY read the “RFP”? If I am interpreting this correctly, there is no guaranteed revenue of any kind, not time commitment or any real awarded value. It would appear that the CCPRF will endorse or suggest to members that company X is the best solution, but as Erik mentions each firm has a specific need from each of their clients. To try and group a ‘solution’ to cover all is ridiculous and suggests these business solutions are nothing but a mere commodity. The ‘awarded’ media-monitoring firm would have to engage in the same Sales-cycle as they would have by targeting the PR firm to begin with. Even if a Monitoring firm ‘looses’ the RFP nothing is stopping the Agency from working with a ‘loosing’ bidder. In effect this is a wasted effort on all sides. It would appear the CCPRF is just trying to form a buying group and nothing more. In my opinion save your CCPRF fees/dues and engage the experts in the world of Business Intelligence and scope out a solution for your specific firm and your target market. I don’t mean to be harsh and I do see what the CCPRF is trying to do, I just think there should have been a few steps before this RFP. The scope is not clear at all and perhaps a more detailed approach would have garnered a better use of time and delivered a specific solution and not an over abundance of pricing plans and options. There is a ton of value in a media monitoring firm working with these agency’s so I will be interested in seeing who replied, who didn’t and who ‘wins’!

    2. Hi Erik,
      No Mea Culpa necessary. You raised an issue that we have all seen happen too often – the RFP as research exercise. I think the act of raising it is a positive thing because it gives us an opportunity to clarify the process and shape realistic expecations.

      Beyond that, the fact is that you were actually paying attention. And that has real value. :-)
      .-= Joseph Thornley´s last blog ..Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms issues Media Monitoring RFP =-.