Request for Proposal:
Redefining the Road Magazine Design & Production

Proposal Call Date: Nov. 18, 2019

Proposal Close Date: Dec. 9, 2019

Primary Contact:
Brian Everett, ABC, Senior Partner
MindShare Strategies, Inc.
9382 Oak Ave.
Waconia, MN 55387
952-442-8850 x201

Note: Send digital and/or hard-copy proposals to the Primary Contact as indicated above.

Summary of Opportunity
MindShare Strategies is a full-service association management company (AMC) that has been successfully serving associations in the commercial freight transportation industry since 1997. The firm also is a full-service marketing agency that exclusively serves this industry, and is in a unique position to continue to successfully grow its business in this market.

Three years ago, MindShare began publishing the “Redefining the Road” magazine, the official magazine of the Women In Trucking Association. MindShare is seeking an outsourced independent contractor or design firm (herein called “partner”) to provide design, production, and print coordination services of this magazine. This magazine is financially funded in its entirety by advertising sales – and has experienced significant growth since MindShare was named its official publisher three years ago.

MindShare also has significantly enhanced the content quality by strategically aligning editorial with the specific needs of WIT’s membership and the magazine’s readership. As a result, the magazine has generated significant positive feedback via readership studies and research, and it has earned the Compass Award for three consecutive years by the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association. MindShare has instituted a continuous improvement process to enhance the editorial quality and overall readership and advertiser experience.

Please review our information provided below and submit prior to the listed close date. Contact the individual listed above if you require additional information in developing your proposal. Only formal proposals will be considered. We will review all proposals within three weeks of the close date and will make a final decision at that time. We look forward to reviewing your submission.

The Opportunity: Redefining the Road (RTR) Magazine
Women In Trucking’s official magazine Redefining the Road (RTR) is an award-winning publication distributed in print to Women In Trucking members and available in digital format. Between its print and digital editions, along with pass-along readership, RTR reaches more than 16,000 readers who are expressly interested in gender issues in transportation. The demographic of readers are professional drivers, white-collar professionals and business leaders of companies in the transportation industry (including trucking companies, third-party logistics companies, original equipment manufacturers), or small business owners who are female.

Click here to view Online Library of Previous Editions

Printed three times a year, this 4-color magazine includes a focus on:

  • Emerging trends & business issues impacting transportation, logistics, & supply chain operations
  • The importance of gender diversity in the workplace and the need for more women drivers
  • Best practices in encouraging the employment of women in the trucking industry
  • Promoting the accomplishments of female business leaders and drivers
  • Minimizing obstacles faced by women working in the industry

Recognizing Achievements through Women In Trucking’s Top Lists
In 2018, MindShare began to incorporate a “Top Lists” component to its strategy to generate more advertising sales. WIT members and RTR readers now have the opportunity to nominate an outstanding individual or their company for Women In Trucking’s Top Lists, each of which is highlighted in a special edition of RTR:

  1. Top Women To Watch in Transportation (Edition 1)
  2. Top Woman-Owned Business in Transportation (Edition 2)
  3. Top Companies For Women To Work For in Transportation (Edition 3)

Scope of Work for RTR Design, Production and Print Coordination
MindShare seeks a design and production independent contractor or design firm (“Partner”) who will provide the following services for all three editions in 2020, with the intention of establishing a longer-term relationship if the quality of relationship established is satisfactory.

The selected Partner will work closely with the Publisher, the Managing Editor, and the Advertising Sales Executive. The scope of work between MindShare and Partner includes:

Editorial Pre-Planning. The Managing Editor will work closely with the Partner to initially plan each edition (based upon editorial content plan, page allocation per article, graphics/visual goals, etc.). To date, issues range between 44 and 52 pages. Partner will be provided with copy for all editorial – and each article will have a prescribed word count that has been calculated into its space allocation. The Partner will be provided with some art direction and/or guidance on visuals needed (whether it be stock photos, custom photography provided by MindShare and/or WIT, infographic ideas, etc.) The Partner will have access to MindShare’s iStock and Shutterstock accounts for additional source of images).

Layout and Production. MindShare will provide InDesign files that have type style sheets and master page templates in place. During the design and layout process, Partner will put in a placeholder note in any missing ad space as they wait for files. They’ll then collect all supporting art in a Links folder as they work on the edition. (Note: InDesign has issues with their packaging feature and doesn’t collect easily, so this saves time when finalizing for preparing to print). Partner to make sure all photos/art are set for CMYK. Managing Editor and Partner will work closely to ultimately develop a rough layout that can be reviewed by MindShare staff. At that point, changes from MindShare will be provided to ultimately create a final proof for review by the Women In Trucking staff. After these two primary proofs are reviewed and approved, the Partner will be ready to prepare files for the printer – and once finished, will include a low-resolution PDF file to place on the website. In 2020, our goal is to make editorial content more digestible to the reader in easy-to-understand graphics (including infographic style approach), so make sure to include modest custom design work for 2-3 of these graphics per edition.

Ad Management and Creation
MindShare sells the advertising and will provide a Master Advertising Tracker in Excel for each edition at the beginning of the project. The Partner then will work closely with the Managing Editor to position each advertisement where it strategically makes sense according to surrounding content. Partner will be provided with PDF files for most of the ad creative. Partner also will design 2-3 fractional ad templates that align with the “Top List” featured in each edition and will do production of these ads (format typically is a background pattern and only type changes are made to each ad).

Print Management. Partner will work directly with MindShare’s printer to ensure they have proper print files and will review the proof prior to going to press. Publisher will coordinate mailing phase for each edition.

Note: The time budgeted for MindShare’s staff designer for each edition has averaged over the last two years 60-80 hours per edition, dependent upon number of pages and complexity of layouts for each edition.

See below for the tentative 2020 production design/production schedule. Partner would need to be readily available during this time.

  ED 1 ED 2 ED 3
Layout and production begins Feb 3 June 15 Sept. 28
Rough layout #1 (w/ copy) to Managing Ed Feb. 7 June 19 Oct. 2
Rough layout #2 (w/ ad placeholders) to Managing Ed Feb. 14 June 26 Oct. 9
Proof ready for MindShare team review Feb. 20 July 6 Oct. 15
Edits due from MindShare team Feb. 26 July 9 Oct. 19
Proof to WIT for review Mar. 2 July 13 Oct. 21
WIT’s final edits due to MindShare March 5 July 17 Oct. 26
Final proof review: Confirmation only March 9 July 21 Oct. 28
MSS submits files to printer (2 business) March 10 July 23 Oct. 30
Printer to provide proof March 12 July 27 Nov. 3

What Your Proposal Should Include

  • Provide an overview of the proposed solution, that will include designer and/or production artist(s) who will be performing the work, hardware and software work will be done in, and any other relevant information.
  • Brief explanation of previous related experience.
  • Minimum of three (3) work samples in digital format that demonstrate design and production skills, and ability to fulfill role by involved personnel in accordance to RFP requirements.
  • Price proposal for design, production and print coordination (Note: MindShare will be responsible for all hard expenses related to the design and production of the magazine, including printing, mail preparation and postage. This RFP only involves design, production and print coordination).
  • If you have a standard set of terms and conditions, please submit them with your proposal. All terms and conditions will be subject to negotiation.
  • Proposal must be inclusive for all three (3) editions in 2020. It is the intent of MindShare to develop a long-term, ongoing relationship with the Partner in this role beyond 2020.

Request for Proposal Timeline

Request for Proposal Issuance                                Nov. 19, 2019

Proposal Close Date                                                   Dec. 9, 2019

Notification to Finalist(s)                                          Dec. 16, 2019

Final Decision Issued                                                 Dec. 23, 2019

Contract Finalized                                                      Dec. 30, 2019

Establish/Formalize Process for Edition 1              January 2020