3 Agencies to Pitch $4.3M Health Connector Campaign Account

The state Insurance Department has selected thee finalists to make presentations Wednesday for a $4.3 million outreach and education contract tied to the coming health insurance exchange.

The three advertising, marketing and public relations agencies making a final pitch for the project are Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, Stone Ward and Mangan Holcomb Partners. Each agency is based in Little Rock.

The Insurance Department posted its 27-page request for proposals (PDF) on March 1, with an April 1 submission deadline. The department is scheduled to announce the campaign's agency of record on April 22.

The one-year contract, which has an option for up to six one-year extensions, will be part of the Arkansas Health Connector program. The AHC is the name of the department’s overall effort "to connect consumers, providers, issuers and businesses" with the resources to help them get insurance under exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.

The Insurance Department envisions a "robust, organized, systematic, statewide outreach campaign to reach uninsured Arkansans with meaningful, understandable and helpful information regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace through media saturation."

The RFP describes contract dollars going to an effort that could include consumer research, public relations, media planning and placement, advertising, direct mail and social media.

Presentations for contract are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Insurance Department in Little Rock. Each agency will have 60 minutes to present to its plan and answer questions from a group of five committee members who will evaluate the proposals.

Wednesday's presentations make up 15 percent of the overall score the department will award each agency. The agency's technical proposal -- a document outlining details of the proposed campaign -- will account for 65 percent. The agency's cost proposal -- details about media and placement, personnel, travel, operational and other costs -- will account for 20 percent.

Members of the Insurance Department's evaluation committee for the RFP are: 

  • Alice Jones, the department's communications manager
  • Marquita Little, the state Department of Human Services' director of policy and planning
  • Terri Clark, communications specialist for the Insurance Department's Health Benefits Exchange Partnership
  • Lyndsay Bradshaw, communications specialist for Delta Dental of Arkansas Inc.
  • Heather Haywood, public information manager, for the Insurance Department's Health Benefits Exchange Partnership

CJRW's clients include the state Department of Parks & Tourism, the state Department of Health, the Arkansas State Police, Oaklawn Racing & Gaming and Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale.

Stone Ward's clients include the state Department of Higher Education, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas State University, Baptist Health and Deltic Timber Corp. of El Dorado.

Mangan Holcomb Partners' clients include the state Department of Arkansas Heritage, St. Vincent Health System, LeBonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock.

You can see the full RFP at ArkansasBusiness.com/AHCcampaign (PDF).