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Media Monitoring RFP Best Practices & Downloadable Template

Choosing the most appropriate media intelligence vendor for your company is crucial. But let’s be honest, Request for Proposals (RFPs) aren’t the easiest of processes if you’ve never had guidance on how to create one. To make life a little simpler, I’ve put together a few tips to help you craft a media monitoring RFP and find a vendor and solution that best fulfils all your needs.

Request for Information vs Request for Proposal vs Request for Quotation

'Request for Information' and 'Request for Proposal' are commonly used interchangeably, which isn’t quite correct, but easy to put right. Before we walk through media monitoring RFP best practice, we thought it would be best to explain what exactly we mean by an RFP, and how this differs from a Request for Information document:

A Request for Information (RFI) is a document sent out to vendors in order to shed light on specific questions, collect information or provide clarification on a service or product. On the contrary, a Request for Proposal (RFP) has the goal of prompting bids from potential vendors, while a Request for Quotation (RFQ) seeks price quotes and is sometimes includes in the RFP.

Due to the nature of each document’s goals, media monitoring RFIs are often sent first as they provide a good stepping stone towards evaluating the capabilities of vendors. Unlike an RFI, the media monitoring RFP goes a step further and offers additional details, possibly asking vendors to propose solutions to particular needs, such as global media tracking. That’s not to say that all three documents won’t have some form of overlap, in fact, they most likely will since companies often use RFI insights to draft their RFPs and decide on which vendors to send the RFP’s to.

Request for Information tips

Since strong RFI documents highly benefit RFPs, we’ve included some tips on creating media monitoring RFIs below.

  • Explain why you’re sending an RFI – what challenges are you trying to solve using media intelligence?
  • State the product requirements that suppliers need to meet in order to make the next stage of the process, for example, they must offer account management support in Asia
  • Shed light on what is expected from vendors in terms of pricing, onboarding methods, account management, etc.
  • Include rules on how suppliers should respond to the RFI
  • Detail the process that you will follow for reviewing RFI responses
  • Explain how you will be distributing RFPs
  • Include a confidentiality clause for suppliers

Creating a media monitoring RFP

To help you get it right the first time, We've collated and blended the best parts of the most successful media monitoring RFPs we’ve seen and created a downloadable template to guide you. Download this using the form on the right-hand side!

Let’s explore each section of the template in more detail. Ask yourselves the answers to the questions and write your responses (in full sentences) in the downloadable media monitoring FTP template.

1. Introduction – Background information on your company

What year was your company established and by whom? What’s your mission statement? Where is your company’s HQ? How many people work for your company? How many people work in your department? What are the names and titles of the department leads that the vendor will be working with? How many offices do you have around the world and where? What products and/ or services does your company offer? What’s your unique selling point that set you apart from competitors? Which of your competitors is doing a good job? Who is your target audience? How many clients do you have and where in the world are they? Who are your key stakeholders?

2. Current situation

Are there any key challenges your business is currently facing? Are there any key challenges your department is facing that are restricting you / making it difficult to achieve your goals? What are your companies business goals for the year ahead? What are your department's goals for the year ahead? What are your departments KPIs? What metrics do you use to measure KPIs? What other tools do you use to measure KPIs? What current marketing/ comms and/or PR initiatives do you have in place? What’s working? What needs to be improved?

3. Project Goals and Scope of Services

What project do you need completing? What are you trying to achieve? What SMART objectives do you expect to accomplish? What tasks and criteria are involved? What does success look like to you?

4. Evaluation criteria

What mandatory functions and features should the media monitoring tool provide? How should the onboarding process be run? If you need the support of vendor account managers, what should their role include?

5. Additional proposal content/ bidder qualifications

What attachments are you expecting to receive along with the proposal? Do you require details on the size/ geographic expansion of the vendor? Do you require examples of past work and the results? Do you require references from similar companies within your industry? Do you want to see who will be working on your project (name/ title)? Do you want to know of all the resources they will be dedicated to the project?

6. Possible challenges

Are there any roadblocks, such as resources, that might prevent certain vendors from successfully completing the project?

7. Budget

What is your budget?

8. Project deadline

When do you want to start the project by? Is there a date when the project is expected to end or is it ongoing for the foreseeable future?

9. Proposal deadline

Until which date can vendors ask questions about your project? When is the deadline for potential vendors to submit their response to the RFP by?

10. Submitting the proposal

How would you like the RFP structured? How should vendors submit their RFPs – by mail, delivered in person, etc?

It’s worth keeping in mind that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to media monitoring RFPs. We’d advise you to tailor the RFP template to best articulate your company’s needs. If you’d like to explore RFP best practice for your company in particular, drop us an email on enterprise@meltwater.com!

PS. Don't forget to download your RFP media monitoring template using the form on the right-hand side.

Download the template