FloridaMakes Invitation to Negotiate for Integrated Marketing and Communications Services



FloridaMakes issues this Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) to elicit responses from full-service marketing and public relations firms capable of contracting with FloridaMakes to provide strategic, comprehensive marketing, communications, advertising, outreach and public relations services. 

The contractual relationship(s) will facilitate increased public awareness of FloridaMakes and the FloridaMakes network’s services and resources, enhanced public and stakeholder education and strong collaboration among strategic partners. In accordance with this organization’s guidelines that call for periodic evaluation of external contractor services, FloridaMakes seeks to establish this contract with the possibility of two annual renewals. The contract period will be determined by FloridaMakes. In the event FloridaMakes determines the outreach capabilities of more than one contractor are in the best interest of the organization, FloridaMakes reserves the right to contract with more than one respondent. 

As part of its strategic plan, FloridaMakesvision is to be the recognized leader for strengthening and advancing Florida’s manufacturing economy. The mission of the organization is to improve the productivity and technological performance of Florida’s manufacturing sector so that by 2030, Florida produces more output per manufacturing worker (productivity) than any other state in the nation and is viewed as the “factory floor” for U.S. manufacturing. 

The approved contractor(s) will provide communications outreach services to assist with the development of a marketing and communications plan to support the implementation of the FloridaMakesstrategic plan and deliver on-demand services. This may include but is not limited to branding, graphic design, media relations, advertising outreach, media buying, media production, web/interactive, annual and special report development and publication, social media management, printing, copywriting, collateral development, development of talking points and presentation materials as well as ad hoc outreach and events plans and strategic communications planning and development, and other creative services as needed. Such services would be provided to FloridaMakes; at FloridaMakes direction, through managed programs of work, throughout the state. 



FloridaMakes is a statewide, industry-led, public-private partnership operated by an alliance of Florida's regional manufacturers associations with the sole mission of strengthening and advancing Florida’s economy by improving the competitiveness, productivity and technological performance of its manufacturing sector, with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized firms. It accomplishes this by providing services focused on three principle value streams: technology adoption, talent development, and business growth. FloridaMakes is the official representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network in the state of Florida, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. 


Through this ITN, FloridaMakes will select and negotiate a contract with a marketing and public relations firm within the following parameters: 

1. Experience. Firms must have been in business under their existing names and/or business structure for no less than five years from the date of issuance of this ITN. Respondents must be integrated communications firms with significant experience in all phases of digital and traditional advertising, public relations, earned, owned (including social) and paid media management, graphic and web design, video production, public affairs, events and marketing services to a statewide market. Firms should also have experience with Salesforce integration for the purpose of data analytics and reporting. That experience will be demonstrated by listing recent/current projects the firm has managed and results achieved. 

2. Capacity. Responding firms should be Florida-based firms with the ability to attend in-person meetings at the FloridaMakes’s Orlando offices on a regular and as-needed basis. Firms must have significant in-house capacity and be able to create and execute strategic, integrated statewide outreach campaigns; communications tools and tactics on an as-needed basis; and comprehensive, complete project management for FloridaMakes. Subcontractors required for specific projects must be disclosed to the contract manager in advance. 

The firm also must be able to provide on-the-ground technical assistance, expertise, and support for FloridaMakes and partner-related meetings and events held throughout the state. The firm’s capacity will be demonstrated by listing the education and work experience of the firm’s staff and describing in-house capabilities. A high priority is placed on customer service. While every effort is made to ensure work product is managed within typical business hours, responding firms must be able to provide communications support as needed after hours and on weekends if special circumstances or deadlines warrant 

3. Noteworthy Accomplishments & Awards. As a partial measure of the firm’s quality of performance, it would be appropriate to highlight instances where the firm and/or individuals within the firm (who are still employed by the firm) have been recognized for exemplary achievement. 


Firms interested in submitting a response to this Invitation to Negotiation must electronically submit the following documents: 

1. Firm Questionnaire – Respondents will provide information about the firm that addresses the preferences listed above. This information will be provided by completing this form:  

2. Examples of Work Product – Respondents will provide examples of work that best illustrate the capabilities and talents of the firm and its individual members. This work product may include examples of advertising created for digital, print, radio and other outlets, videos, printed collateral such as informational and promotional brochures and reports, media kit materials and outreach materials that illustrate strategy-to-campaign execution on behalf of clients. 

The work product should have been produced within the last two years. Each product that a respondent chooses to submit should reflect the work of staff members who developed the product and are still with the firm. 

3. PresentationsFloridaMakes may request a personal presentation by one or more of the responding firms, which would allow an opportunity to provide more examples of work product. 


Potential respondents are reminded that this is not a bid nor a Request for Proposals and, therefore, FloridaMakes is not seeking actual proposals, pricing plans or contract offers. FloridaMakes will review the responses and evaluate proposals based on which responses FloridaMakes deems to be the most suitable and qualified. FloridaMakes retains the sole authority for developing and applying the criteria it will use to evaluate proposals. Responding firms should be prepared to provide, upon request, at least three references from clients with whom the firm has worked within the past 12 months. 

FloridaMakes may choose to request that one or more of the responding firms make a face-to-face presentation to an individual or individuals reviewing responses. If needed, every effort will be made to schedule the presentation(s) at a time and on a date satisfactory to the respondent. Presentations, if necessary, will be scheduled in Orlando at the FloridaMakes headquarters. FloridaMakes, at its sole discretion, may determine that a personal presentation(s) is not necessary. Tentatively, FloridaMakes plans to schedule presentations, if necessary, the week of September 4, 2023.  

NOTE: When FloridaMakes decides which firm it deems to be the most suitable and qualified for this project, it will notify all respondents of that decision. FloridaMakes will then set up a meeting with the company it selects and commence negotiations relative to specific 1) scope of services, 2) timetables for implementation and 3) costs. If negotiations are unsuccessful, FloridaMakes retains the right to initiate contract negotiations with the next most suitable firm and continue that process until it successfully negotiates a contract. FloridaMakes retains the sole authority to make its selection based on what it determines to be its best interest. FloridaMakes, at its sole discretion, may reject any and all responses as not meeting the needs of this project. FloridaMakes anticipates that a selection decision will be made by no later than September 30, 2023. 


The contract(s) resulting from this ITN will be a two-party contract between FloridaMakes and the selected firm(s) to begin on or around October 15, 2023, dependent upon approved funding for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Any subcontractors the firm may use from time to time throughout the contract will not be a party to the firm’s contract with FloridaMakes and should be identified when the outside assistance is needed.  

The contract(s) will establish pricing to be used for various aspects of the services provided by the contractor. The contract period will be determined by FloridaMakes. As noted above, it is anticipated that there is an opportunity for contractual agreements for a period of up to three years including renewals. The actual length of the contract and any possible renewal options will be terms to be negotiated by the parties. 


Firms should direct inquiries regarding this ITN via the following link:   

No phone calls, please. 


  • Release of Invitation to Negotiate: August 15, 2023 

  • Technical questions/inquiries to FloridaMakes: August 15 – 31, 2023 

  • Invitation to Negotiate Responses due by: September 5, 2023 

  • Evaluation team conducts review of responses by: September 15, 2023 

  • Presentation/Interview completed: September 18 - 22

  • FloridaMakes selects contractor by: September 30, 2023