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Tips on Writing your Work Request

Level of Detail

The more detail you can include in your Work Request Form—on your target audience, project goals, background research or related past campaigns—the more targeted a response you can expect to receive from responding contractors. If you have metrics from previous efforts or anecdotal feedback on tactics that have or haven’t worked the past, it will help contractors prepare a stronger and more specific proposal if you share that kind of information up front. 

It is also helpful to keep in mind that the agency proposal (or completed Work Request/ Project Scope Form) referenced in your Statement of Work Agreement serves as the official record of your project and is used to document your and your contractor’s understanding of project expectations – so again, it is good to be as detailed as possible. However, if you expect that there may be some adjustments made to how the overall budget is allocated or which specific tactics will be used over the course of the project, it is also acceptable to keep the project scope more general, and use an attached marketing plan to document the finer details.  

For example, if your project includes research that will be done early on that may inform later stages of the project, or if you want the ability to make adjustments along the way based on initial performance metrics, you may be better off documenting the finer details in a marketing plan that is attached to the project scope, and leaving your project scope rather broad (limited to overall budget, core deliverables and timeline/deadline).  

Example 1: A work request might specify a total budget of $40,000. The marketing plan might further specify that $25,000 is allocated to development of an annual report and $15,000 is allocated to social media support. Upon further discussion, the contractor and State entity may decide that $35,000 should go toward printed materials (an annual report and a brochure) and only $5,000 toward social media. 

Example 2: A media buy might specify a total budget of $50,000. The marketing plan might further specify that $35,000 is allocated to television and $15,000 is allocated to radio. Upon further discussion, the media buyer and State entity may decide that $40,000 should go toward TV and $10,000 toward radio. 

This strategy will help you avoid having to make lots of changes to your project scope over the course of your project. Since the project scope documents are also used by your business office to double-check invoices before paying them, even relatively minor discrepancies could cause delays in payment processing. 

Providing Budget Guidelines

The Work Request Form provides several fields for you to use in specifying your budget or budget range for your project. It’s important to give contractors at least an approximate budget at the outset, so you can define realistic expectations for deliverables within that budget. 

It can also be very useful to offer a budget range rather than just one maximum budget figure. A budget range can stimulate discussion about “good/better/best” scenarios, and you may well find out, through those discussions, that some deliverables under the “best case” scenario do not justify the additional cost to obtain them.  

When you are inviting multiple marketing firms to respond to your Work Request, a budget range can also help you make comparisons among the proposals you receive, and can help you decide which proposal offers the best value. The Work Request Form offers you the ability to request separate proposals for different budget amounts. This field is optional, but can be very helpful.