Proposal Outline

Background

The Visual Studio social team is looking for a communications partner to augment, design, create, and support their social media marketing efforts, particularly for small, nimble campaigns. This proposal outlines our understanding of the request, Carpool's related experience, and proposal breakdowns. 

Requirements

  • Design and production of creative assets.
  • Image manipulation of creative assets specifically optimized for each social channel (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn), respecting the benefits, limitations, and requirements of each of those platforms.
  • Content that is well thought out with the developer audience in mind – Microsoft may provide direction and voice but Carpool will write the vast majority of the headlines, taglines, highlights, and posts.
  • Promo and Ad development and management with regards to each platform, possibly managing initial ad $ outlay. 
  • Timely turnaround to adjustment requests of all sizes.
  • Opinion, concepts, corrections, ideas, new directions. If the messaging appears to be dwelling in the past and Carpool sees a new trend, we’ll bring it to Microsoft for discussion.
  • An agency that can act independently in all aspects: technically, creatively, managerial, and support.
  • Provide reporting 1-2 weeks after campaigns.
  • Video strategy - deepen the YouTube presence and improve the level of engagement.

 

Positioning/Unique Offering

Communications Chain Management - We are communication chain management specialists. We map, track, and improve how information flows through an organization to customers and back again. (link to Services page)

Agile communications agency - The Carpool Ecosystem includes resources from a variety of backgrounds, and is small and nimble enough to react to both market trends and changes in campaign requirements.

Delivery leadership - Strategy, account, and project management that tracks the vision of the client against the strategy design and delivery schedule of the approved implementation plan.

 

Experience/Case Studies

Our experience spans the breadth of communications — starting with internal engagement and how employee interactions influence the brand, message, positioning and offering given to customers. How that information is consumed by customers and then shared with other customers. Finally closing the loop with the how employees learn, tweak and influence the offering based on what they learn.

Related Social Campaigns

InspireED - Yale/Facebook

Carpool was hired to help establish and launch a social community experience for Yale and Facebook. The community focused on helping teens and educators across the United States spark conversation about social and emotional learning (SEL) and greater wellbeing. Our efforts included influencer identification, coaching, and engagement, platform management, social engagement strategy (media plan, posting schedule/cadence, and reaction), community management, campaign asset management, data collection and analysis, reporting and proposed strategy. Once the community was up and running and a clear phase two strategy was formulated the social management was handed back to Facebook.  

https://inspired.fb.com and the teen Facebook group

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Pacific Area Self-Reliance

Carpool developed a campaign that focused on real people doing real things to improve their lives. The intent of the social campaign was to motivate the audience by showing relatable examples and using different channels to tell the story. The social aspect of the campaign included platform management (specifically Facebook and YouTube) and cross pollination of multiple videos and related posts to drive traffic over an extended period of time without paid amplification. We managed the media plan, schedule and subsequent deeper social engagement generated by the campaign. The interest and success of campaign has sparked phase two and related executions and social engagements. 

 

Facebook Research Community Management (Academics)

When the Facebook Research team needed to rebrand and establish a stronger presence with their audience, Carpool was asked to rethink their digital presence, which included the social engagement strategy. Our approach was to better understand the audience and the associated value proposition. This lead to a campaign that included content development (plus related messaging framework and taxonomy), community management, delivery strategy and cadence, data collection and analysis, reporting and proposed strategy.

Facebook Research Community Experience

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Learning and Readiness at Microsoft Ready

Carpool was asked to help elevate messaging for Learning and Readiness at this years’ Microsoft Ready. Main deliverables included a comprehensive BOM with materials tailored to specific audiences, related messaging (copy for email newsletters then versioning appropriate for Yammer including necessary CTAs and hashtags based on a hashtag taxonomy that we created). This campaign included research into the best Yammer groups to promote messaging, the tone that would resonate with these audiences, and specific individuals/champions within those groups that we could partner with to help spread that message (share/like/comment).  All of these materials were then organized in an Out of the Box SharePoint experience that we tailored to best match the needs of the users. 

Other examples of Social Communications:

  • Xbox: Reached 60% of an engineering audience in three months in previously unused channels.

  • Real Foundations: Worked with this real estate consultancy to deepen the engagement on their social channels, making member activity better aligned with business strategy. 

  • Intel: Deep analysis, including qualitative employee and partner interviews and a quantitative survey of 6000 partners, to arrive at creative recommendations.
  • Learning & Readiness: Design & execution of a detailed and integrated social communications plan to reach all Microsoft Ready employees.
 

Creative Production

Delivery

  • Microsoft Procurement - Designed and supported an information management and reporting process and related change management strategy that saved hundred of thousands of dollars in man hours and reallocated resources. 
  • US M&O - Designed and delivered a formal communications relationship that has lasted for over four years. The relationship included developing strategy, execution plans, content management, and growth management.  
  • Microsoft Operations - Designed and implemented a SharePoint portal to enhance content discover-ability and provide an easy authoring experience to bring more focus on messaging from the Leadership team. This initial engagement resulted in a research project that dug into how org communications were being received and ultimately led to a more robust (but less time consuming) strategy. 
 

Carpool People

Carpool Ecosystem

The ecosystem gives us flexibility and allows us to draw from a team of experienced communications professionals. Specifically for the social work with Visual Studio our extended experience pulls from work done with Neutrogena, Safeco, and others with people who specialize in SEM/SEO, campaign development, design, and creative production. We also have a portfolio of trusted communications partners we can also work with if the strategy dictates unique skill sets. These connections allow us to bend and flex based on the needs of our clients and the work we need to do for them. 

$40k Social Campaign Example engagement

This is an outline for a standard, sub-$40,000 Visual Studio social campaign. The information outlined below covers the a list of deliverables that will be addressed in the execution of a social campaign. The costs outlined are estimates only and would change depending on the requirements and expectations of the stakeholder.

An engagement will be kicked off by Carpool once the email request is received.

Background review, kick-off, and strategy development - $3,000

  • Review information provided in the request form
  • Kick-off call with stakeholder(s)
    • Review requirements and confirm we have everything we need
  • Research stakeholder needs, wants, and expectations
  • Develop strategy guideline for the campaign
    • Platform identification and 
  • Audience action objectives
  • High-level compete review
  • Primary call to action
  • Destination experience confirmation 

Creative design and content strategy - $6,500

  • Design/brand guidelines
  • Asset specs
  • Creative asset creation
  • Content development - messaging framework, headlines, (including character counts), metadata 
  • Asset management
  • URL management - including analytics tracking

Media plan and management - $8,500

  • Advertising placement strategy and logistics
  • Tracking URLs management
  • Asset/content/spec/url/tracking matrix
  • Posting schedule and execution tool setup
  • Platform spend percentages/budgets
  • Research and confirm channel/platform requirements and logistics
  • Destination URL confirmation

Media spend - $18,000

  • Manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, search engine marketing buys
  • Ensure ads are working and functioning as designed
  • Manage spend and track progress on each social platform

Tracking and reporting - $4,000

  • Collect and analyze reporting data
  • Reporting into the system and provide report
  • Final stakeholder report for campaign review 

Delivery leadership - Included

  • Detailed understanding of the business objectives and associated campaign strategy
  • Project management
  • Deliverables management - asset and content management
  • Schedule creation and management
  • Stakeholder expectations management - status check-ins

Engagement Total: $40,000


Engagement Request Guidelines Site

Build a simple SharePoint experience that provides an internal communications center for the marketing team, but also makes broadly available news and metrics about the latest campaigns. The design will include a section dedicated to asking questions as well as Q&A/FAQs

We will also set up and support a Microsoft Teams environment to manage ongoing conversations. We will also include strategies to link Teams with SharePoint technically as the relationship between formal and informal and communication flow. 

Proposed engagement flow

  • Promote the new site via active communication channels
  • Reaction to desired calls to action from stakeholders
  • Fill out engagement/campaign information input form
    • Receive approvals from stakeholders
  • Review request and set up meeting
  • Kick-off meeting - review requirements and establish expectations
  • Generate creative ideas and get approval
    • Post ideas in progress to broader internal developer audiences to test messaging
  • Receive relevant copy details from stakeholders
  • Build creative and communications/content plan and get approval
  • Execute communications plan
  • Measure, report, and adjust based on campaign results
  • Produce a report that includes strategic/creative suggestions
    • Report and results posted to internal comms channels
    • Contribute results to all up campaigns tracking database

Dollars Breakdown

The cost of the initial engagement to set up the environment (SharePoint, Teams, relevant intake forms and flows) will be $10,000.

Timing

The approximate time needed to complete the environment work outlined above will be two weeks.

(NOTE: Once proposal is approved, more details will be provided)


Carpool Onboarding

Discovery and Research:

  • Two working sessions to cover*: what has been done in the past- what worked well, what didn’t work well
  • Audience review and understanding - site engagement statistics and success
  • What tools are being used (publishing tools, reporting tools)
  • Team training - are there already set expectations that we need to address/attend to
  • Review of post campaign recaps and reporting expectations
  • Education into branding guidelines and likes/don’t likes from a visual standpoint
  • Defining of roles and expectations and setting of cadence and structure between the delivery leader and the client

(* from Carpool we will have three representatives attend each meeting)

Suggestions (in the form of documentation from Carpool):

  • Process flow
  • Templated post-campaign reporting and recap 
  • Optimization of tone and approach
  • Tools suggestions (if we identify any gaps)
  • Basic branding guidelines

Dollars Breakdown

The cost of the initial engagement to set up the environment (SharePoint, Teams, relevant intake forms and flows) will be $5,000.

Timing

The approximate time needed to complete the environment work outlined above will be two+ weeks.

(NOTE: Once proposal is approved, more details will be provided)


Other Engagement Ideas

Based on the conversations we have had thus far, we can think of a few ideas we can discuss on and possibly implement.

    Operations and Logistics

    • Vision, content, and implementation for the engagement strategy and flow

    Internal Communications Basecamp

    • Teams strategy (including best practices and engagement plan)
    • Campaign engagement hub
    • Reporting and feedback loops with stakeholders 

    Channel Analysis and Mapping

    • How are each of the platforms and associated handles working?
    • Interviews and surveys to gather effectiveness and relative importance metrics
    • Create a channel flow map that highlights what each channel means to different audiences
    • Influencer mapping - who are the loud voices people are listening to and should they be a communications channel?
    • What are stakeholders expectations and how do they think their ideas/vision can be realized?

    Post-Campaign Debrief

    • Templated learnings deck
    • Analysis
    • Suggestions for what comes next

    Video Strategy

    Build a channel that establishes consistency and functions as a foundation of information for the Visual Studio dev community.