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2023 SDTA Social Agency RFP

Download PDF version of the 2023 SDTA Social Agency RFP

Issued By:

San Diego Tourism Authority
750 B Street, Suite 1500
San Diego, CA 92101

Key Dates (*may be subject to change)

RFP Released 27 Apr. 2023
RFP Questions Submitted if Needed 5 May 2023
Proposals Due 12 May 2023
Vendor Finalist Selection 17 May 2023
Vendor Finalist Oral Interviews if Needed (can be virtual or in-person) 22-25 May 2023
Contract Awarded Jun. 2023


The purpose of this request is to seek a Social Media Management Agency to support the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) social media efforts across its owned/organic channels and accounts.


The SDTA’s social media presence began in 2008 and today boasts more than one million followers across 7 platforms. The owned/organic social media is run internally by a 6-person digital marketing team, which also oversees the SDTA’s website and email marketing. In FY23 the digital marketing team recorded more than 15 million engagements on social media channels alone. The SDTA’s social media presence began marketing “sponsored content” opportunities to its membership in 2022 and generates approximately $50K annually from this activity.
Adjacent to the owned/organic social media program of work, the SDTA’s Brand Management department executes several paid brand advertising programs across social channels throughout the year, as part of larger integrated advertising campaigns. The SDTA works with The Shipyard as our agency of record on these campaigns.


We seek a social media agency to provide community management of the SDTA’s owned social media accounts and activities. This includes monitoring, engaging, publishing and reporting across social and digital platforms. This agency support empowers our internal marketing team to focus on strategy and creative development in the digital space.

The agency also supports the Digital Marketing team with social amplification, social media trainings, and thought leadership, including revenue-generating ideas and opportunities.

The SDTA's owned social media program of work spans across three distinct audiences: 1) Leisure travelers; 2) MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions); 3) SDTA Members and local stakeholders.

Current structure & third party vendors

  • The SDTA is currently active on the following channels:
    • Instagram - 18 posts (image, carousel, reel) per month
    • Instagram Stories – 3 per week (approximately 21 slides)
    • TikTok – 3-5 posts per week
    • Facebook – 2-3 posts per week
    • Twitter – 1-2 posts per week
    • YouTube – Videos posted as needed
    • YouTube Shorts – 3-5 posts per week
    • LinkedIn – 3-5 posts per week
    • Pinterest – 3-4 posts per month
  • Sprout Social is the SDTA's social media scheduling, publishing and reporting software. It allows the Digital Marketing team to execute most of its social media program of work for TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The DM team also uses the tagging functionality for pillars, regions, campaigns and members to then be reported on as needed.
  • Sprout Social Premium Analytics provides additional reporting and insight functionality and allows the Research department accesses the analytics and tags via an API for direct import into the database for Tableau.
  • SDTA’s Advertising Agency of record is The Shipyard, which is responsible for brand development and advertising, including on social media platforms.
  • We also work with several 3rd party software as a service (SAAS) providers including:
    • Google Analytics 4 o WooBox is a sweepstakes, form and landing page SAAS platform. The DM team uses WooBox to run sweepstakes and contests.
    • Tack is a San Diego based user generated content rights management system SAAS. The DM team uses the system to request, organize and utilize user generated content (image and video) from Instagram. In addition to its core functionality used by the team, Tack tracks and records user approvals so the SDTA knows it has the legal rights to publish UGC on its digital channels. The Social Media agreement #SDYes can be found here.
    • Crowdriff is a digital asset management SAAS. It currently stores the SDTA's digital photography and video assets.
    • Localhood is a SAAS offered by Crowdriff and administered by Visit California that allows DMOs to publish Google AMP stories optimized for SEO and search. The digital marketing team publishes evergreen stories based on content already developed for other story platforms.

The selected Social Media Agency will be required to work within the brand guidelines set forth by our Agency of Record as well as collaborate with departments within the SDTA and other third party providers as needed to deliver the overall interactive experience.

Scope of Work

Agency Requirements

Community Management

  • Work with SDTA digital marketing team to define needs and structure of community management program. Propose content and process improvements to maximize user experience and engagement.

B2C Initiatives

  • Community Management of core social media channels
    • Responding and engaging with users
    • Moderating or filtering out any inappropriate comments to ensure a positive community environment.
  • Organic Content Amplification
    • Because of the decline of organic reach on all social media platforms, the SDTA has established a budget to boost/promote content on select social channels to its current followers and to reach potential new followers.
    • Ensure that the organic amplification audiences compliment rather than interfere with audiences targeted by the brand agency as part of the paid campaigns.
    • Optimize budgets and audiences to maximize results and goals
  • Content publishing, including capturing and editing of video, photos and captions for:  
    • Instagram Stories
    • Instagram Reels
    • TikTok
    • YouTube Shorts
  • Strategy + Process
    • Regular status meetings
    • Provide advice and consultation on strategic initiatives, best practices, and current trends in digital and social media.
  • Reporting
    • Monthly, quarterly and as-requested reporting with an emphasis on Intent to Travel metrics, community management and key seasonal promotions.

B2B Initiatives

  • B2B Social Media Strategy
    • Revisit and update the SDTA’s strategy regarding “social selling” and our approach to B2B engagement on social media.
  • Internal training for B2B social media execution
  • Video Production for B2B social media assets

Background on the San Diego Tourism Authority

The San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) is San Diego’s umbrella destination marketing organization, charged with driving visitor demand and monitoring the health of the tourism industry. SDTA develops sales and marketing programs that promote San Diego as a preferred leisure and meetings destination. In collaboration with San Diego’s tourism industry partners, SDTA serves as the collective voice of the destination and aims to keep San Diego top-of-mind.

Incorporated in 1954, SDTA is a private nonprofit 501c6 corporation that is governed by a 19-member board of directors composed of industry and non-industry representatives.  Funding comes from the City of San Diego Tourism Marketing District, City of Coronado Tourism Improvement District and private source revenues (membership dues, advertising and events).

Investment by SDTA in sales and marketing of San Diego brand has resulted in San Diego becoming one of the nation’s top travel destinations.


Leading San Diego to be the most desirable destination.


To drive visitor demand to economically benefit the San Diego Region.

Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Statement

In San Diego, all are welcome and differences are celebrated. The San Diego Tourism Authority is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility to promote unique San Diego experiences and elevate voices in the community that speak to travelers from around the world. We aim to be a thought leader in our industry, city, and community.

Proposal Requirements

In a maximum of 10 pages, please provide the following information:

Company Background

Please include the following items:

  • A letter of interest;
  • A description of your company’s primary services;
  • The year in which your company was formed;
  • The address from which the primary work on the contract would be performed;
  • Numbers of total employees and contractors; and
  • A current and past client list.

Conflict of Interest

  • Please list all tourism-related clients for whom you have acted during the past 12 months. Please include a brief description of the type of activity and services you provide.

Company Management & Staff

Please include the following items:

  • The contract manager for this scope of work; and
  • The individuals who will be conducting the day-to-day work.

For all individuals assigned to this account, please provide:

  • Current resumes/biographies demonstrating qualifications related to this RFP; and
  • Length of time with your company

Case Studies

  • Showcase studies (minimum of three) with demonstrated results relevant to San Diego Tourism Authority (scale, industry, and/or similarity).


  • Please describe your familiarity with San Diego and experience working with Destination Marketing Organizations.

General project questions

  • Please describe your process for content production and community management, including how you establish goals, select partners and approach targeting given the estimated budget.
  • Please describe your approach to client service, including your process for handling one-off requests, your average response time, and escalation process. Comment on the process used when beginning a relationship with a new client.
  • Please describe your approach to reporting and how you work with custom reporting requirements.
  • Please describe your access to industry-based research.
  • Please provide an overview of your capabilities to provide additional creative/digital marketing support if needed.


The current budget for this project is $100K+.

  • Please provide an overview of your fee structure for services.
  • Demonstrate financial viability for maintaining a budget of this size.
  • Please provide method of billing for work.

Proposal Evaluation

The SDTA Review Committee will evaluate the written proposals first. The criteria for the scoring of the proposals is included as Attachment A. The committee may at any time during the evaluation process seek clarification from Proposers regarding any information contained within their proposal. Final scores for each Proposer will reflect a consensus of the evaluation committee. Any attempt by an agency to contact a member of the evaluation committee outside the RFP process, to gain knowledge or an advantage may result in disqualification of Proposer.

The Review Committee may choose to do oral interviews (via in-person or virtual) if needed. Should oral interviews be deemed necessary, the SDTA will provide at least 7 working days notice before scheduling the meetings.

Please note: Upon completing the selection process under this RFP, San Diego Tourism Authority will notify the winning Proposer and all other Proposers who were not selected. San Diego Tourism Authority’s deliberations are confidential. Accordingly, while we understand that non-selected proposers may wish to ascertain reasons for their non-selection, San Diego Tourism Authority cannot respond to any subsequent questions and/or requests for information as to why a company was not selected.

Reserved Rights

All proposals submitted shall become the property of San Diego Tourism Authority and shall not be returned to the Proposer. San Diego Tourism Authority also reserves the right to:

  • Reject any and all bids;
  • Cancel this RFP;
  • Revise the amount of funds available under this RFP;
  • Amend this RFP as needed; and
  • Not select a vendor and award a contract from this RFP

Submission Instructions

Preferred Delivery: Electronic (PDF); however, if hard copies are sent, please include three copies.

Deliver to:, or if sending by mail:
Attention: Erin Chambers-Smith
San Diego Tourism Authority
750 B Street, Suite 1500
San Diego, CA 92101

NOTE: If an extension to the response deadline is needed, please send an email to the contact above with a brief statement on why the extension is needed.

All inquiries regarding this RFP should be directed via email to:


Attachment A




Proposals will be reviewed, evaluated and scored by an evaluation committee based on the criteria below to the degree of responsiveness present in the written proposal submitted.

  Proposal Criteria Max Score Score
1 Overall Experience of Firm
Our evaluation will include an assessment of such items as the history of your company, your experience as it relates to the requirements within this RFP, evidence of past performance, and related items.
2 Scope of Work
Our evaluation will include an assessment of the quality of proposed strategies, creativity, detail of plan, and related items.
3 Familiarity with San Diego Brand and Product
Our evaluation will include our assessment of your understanding of our organization and how you integrated this knowledge into your proposal, cultural fit, and related items.
4 Qualifications of Team
Our evaluation will include an assessment of the qualifications, experience, and creativity of your managerial team, staff, and subcontractors, and related items.
5 Capabilities
Our evaluation will include an assessment of your past performance related to this RFP.
6 Cost Effectiveness
The maximum services provided in relation to the service fee charged and the value of the overall project. The budget is reasonable and appropriate.


Attachment B




Presentations will be reviewed, evaluated and scored by an evaluation committee based on the criteria below to the degree of responsiveness presented.

  Presentation Criteria Max Score Score
1 Quality and completeness of answers regarding the proposed work plan. Professionalism and staff expertise, creativity and ratio of personnel assigned to the account. 30  
2 Market knowledge and industry relationships. 10  
3 Our evaluation will include our assessment of your understanding of our organization and how you integrated this knowledge into your proposal, cultural fit, and related items. 15  
4 Quality of proposed strategies, tactics and work samples. 30  
5 ROI, budget recommendations and cost effectiveness. 15  





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