Request for Proposals - Next Avenue Business Planning Consultant

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Next Avenue Business Planning Consultant
June 2022

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TPT—Twin Cities PBS—is seeking a consultant to support the transformation of Next Avenue from an online information, news, and insight resource to a multi-platform, multi-media business unit of TPT. Next Avenue recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of service to the growing audience segment of adults 50+ who are looking for information, enrichment, and connections that help them live creative, healthy, and meaningful lives.

The consultant will work with TPT leadership and Next Avenue staff to create specific, actionable, and measurable business objectives for Next Avenue as a multi-media enterprise. TPT expects that such a plan will take advantage of its full range of audiovisual production and distribution capacities and will enlist collaborators in content production and distribution that can expand and amplify Next Avenue’s content, impact, and reach.

The deliverable is a business plan for the next 3-5 years that details how investments in content, partnerships, and business development can significantly expand Next Avenue’s audiences while delivering $3-5 million in gross revenue to TPT. This plan will build on Next Avenue’s decade of success in gaining 100,000+ newsletter subscribers, a web audience of more than 500,000 unique visitors per month, and more than 200,000 social media followers. Next Avenue has developed collaborations with organizations such as Forbes, MarketWatch, and the Stanford Center for Longevity for content development and distribution.

The consultant also will participate fully as an active member of the Next Avenue team throughout the business plan development process, attending weekly meetings, engaging in editorial planning and development, collaborating with revenue leaders, and identifying and helping to remove barriers to Next Avenue’s success both internally and externally.

Deliverables

The consultant is responsible for the following:

  • Participate in Next Avenue weekly team meetings and other activities to contribute to and help to shape Next Avenue’s work during the consultancy;
  • Provide written weekly updates for TPT’s President/CEO and Chief Content Officer (CCO) with relevant information about the week’s progress, detailing any updates on business plan progress, and identifying obstacles to success;
  • Develop a detailed three-to-five-year business plan that identifies key opportunities for expanding Next Avenue’s public service through collaborations and new content development and distribution channels
    • Review and update a recently completed market analysis for Next Avenue
    • Identification of potential collaborators for multiplatform print, audio, and video programming
    • Identification of opportunities to interface and connect with TPT, PBS and other nonprofit and commercial media and content sources that link subject matter, stories, and people relevant to the Next Avenue audiences
    • Identification of prospects for content licensing and distribution, for applications such as corporate and nonprofit organizations’ social media channels, publications, and websites, including ideal candidates for such arrangements, cost, and revenue assumptions
    • Examination of key competitors targeting similar audiences, key differentiators (strengths and weaknesses) between competitors and Next Avenue products, and determination of which may be candidates for “coopetition” and collaboration for mutual benefit
    • Recommendation for content strategy for Next Avenue that has the highest potential to increase revenue, reach and relevance
    • Marketing plan, including recommended marketing and sales channels
    • Development of an operational and management structure, including staffing model for Next Avenue, to support the business plan
    • Long term development and risk analysis
    • Ongoing discussion of the plan with key senior leaders at TPT while the plan is in process and before finalization
    • A multi-year income and expense financial plan, including revenue streams, expenses, assumptions, and financial milestones that demonstrate how a combination of the factors above will yield revenue growth for Next Avenue and TPT

Fee structure

TPT anticipates a monthly retainer structure of $10,000 per month beginning with a 6-month term.

How to submit a proposal

TPT has engaged the services of Sarah Lutman at 8 Bridges Workshop to answer questions, vet incoming proposals, and support the selection of finalists. Finalists will be interviewed by a team of TPT staff. TPT’s CEO, Sylvia Strobel, will make the final decision on the selected consultant.

Interested consultants, either individuals or firms, should submit their qualifications via email by June 22nd at 5:00 PM Central Time. Proposals may be sent to Sarah Lutman ([email protected]). Inquiries about proposal requirements will be promptly addressed.

In your proposal, please provide a current bio and identify past or current projects demonstrating the success of comparable work, along with relevant URLs for work samples. Finalists will be asked to provide references.

About TPT

TPT uses television, interactive media, and community engagement to advance education, culture, and citizenship. TPT tells stories that matter.

Established 64 years ago, TPT now operates as a public service media organization that harnesses a range of media tools to serve citizens in new ways — with multiple broadcast channels, online teaching resources, educational outreach and community engagement activities reaching more than 2 million people each month. Over its history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmy® Awards.

TPT recently announced a bold strategic roadmap for 2030 that envisions a vibrant, leadership institution that is an active participant in community life.

About Next Avenue

Next Avenue is a 10-year-old program of TPT and is public media’s first national journalism service for the 50+ population.

Next Avenue’s most recent impact report cited the following accomplishments between September 2021 and May 2022:

  • Reach of four million unique users (projected to be 6-7 million by end of fiscal year)
  • Reached an additional 4.5 million people on social platforms
  • Partnered with Forbes.com and PBS.org, among others, to share content and reach more people
  • Published 513 stories; including 7 that garnered more than 30,000 page views each
  • Worked with 21 new writers, adding racial diversity to Next Avenue’s voices and expanding the geographic base where writers live and work
  • Expanded coverage of LGBTQ+ elders, as well as “solo agers,” particularly men who are aging alone
  • Surveyed audiences and learned that 89 percent report having taken an action based on Next Avenue content and 44 percent said that if Next Avenue ended, they would “lose a source of news that they can’t find anywhere else”
  • Increased membership revenue to 124 percent of goal
  • Received grants from multiple private sector grantmaking organizations
  • Won Gold, Bronze, Merit from the National Mature Media Awards for three stories and the overall website

Our Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA)

Twin Cities PBS (TPT) is committed to advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) across all levels of our organization. To do this, we are working to increase our representational diversity, create welcoming and inclusive environments for our staff and community members, ensure our content and programming is accessible, and include the voices and experiences of Black communities, Indigenous communities, communities of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, disabled communities, and other historically marginalized groups in all that we do. We are committed to allocating the time, resources, and effort necessary to create a more equitable future for our organization.

Go to TPT Vision and Guiding Principles for more information.

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