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State Contracting Requirements

This is intended as a helpful starting point and quick reference guide to state contracting requirements for marketing projects. We suggest that you follow the links for more detail, and check in with us and with your department’s business manager, before you embark on your project.


Request for Proposals (RFP) and contract required. Unless you are using a Master Contract (more on that below), projects of this size require a full RFP process and a formal contract. Please consult Bulletin 3.5 for more details.

Need help writing your RFP? The CMO’s office can review and advise as you write your RFP so you receive meaningful proposals and results. Please use us as a resource. We can also serve on your selection committee if you would like us to help score your proposals. If you decide to craft your own RFP, we would still like to receive a copy for our records.

Prequalification required. The CMO’s office maintains a list of prequalified marketing vendors who have been deemed professionally competent to perform marketing work in various service categories. Vendors who wish to become prequalified for marketing contracts may submit an application at any time. Your RFP should make note that prequalification is required for all marketing-related contracts and direct vendors to contact the CMO’s office to complete the prequalification process.

CMO signature required on contract. Bulletin 3.5 requires the CMO to sign off on any marketing contract that equals or exceeds $25,000 (executed outside of the Master Contracts). If you are working under a tight timeline for contract approval, it’s helpful to contact us before circulating your contract, to give us a general description of your project and any supporting documents that provide more context about the work. This way, we can ask any questions that come to mind before the contract hits our desk.

Provide the CMO’s office with work samples. Finally, the CMO’s office would like to receive copies of all finished project(s) under these large contracts, preferably in one of these file formats:

  • Videos or TV spots: WMV or Quicktime
  • Radio spots: MP3
  • Printed pieces (brochures, ads, reports): PDF or JPG
  • Online: Website URL(s)
  • Media buys: Media plans in Excel or PDF
  • Social media work: Please discuss possible “deliverables” with the CMO’s office

Your cooperation in delivering this information to the CMO’s office will help us build a library of state marketing work — which will become a valuable resource for everyone throughout state government. You can send them to us directly, or ask your vendor or contractor to send copies to the CMO’s office.


RFP not required. For smaller projects that are less than $25,000, you are not required to go through a full RFP process, but a minimum of three (3) competitive bids or quotes must be solicited.

Use a prequalified vendor. You are required to select a vendor from our list of prequalified marketing vendors. This group of companies and consultants has been ‘vetted’ by the CMO’s office and deemed qualified to perform marketing work in various service categories. Review the vendor list and select several to provide you with an estimate who are qualified in the category you need (e.g. videography) and whose work samples and location are a good fit for your project.

Write up a Marketing Work Request. Use this Marketing Firm Work Request Form to describe your project needs.

Send your draft Work Request to the CMO. Before you reach out to vendors, it’s a good idea to email us a copy of that Work Request Form. We’ll do a quick review and let you know if we have any suggestions that might improve your outcome.

Circulate Work Request to selected vendors. Reach out to 3 or more vendors from the Prequalified Marketing Vendors List with your Work Request and an invitation to respond with a price and a proposal. This outreach can be done directly via email rather than posting the Work Request on the state bid board.

Execute a contract. Once you’ve selected a vendor, you will need to execute a contract for your project, unless you have selected a Master Contractor (see below). Check with your department’s business manager or contracting specialist as to your agency’s contracting policies and for general help preparing and routing that contract document.

CMO signature not required on contract. For projects less than $25,000, the CMO is NOT required to sign off on your contract.


For marketing projects of any size, you have the option of using one of the Marketing Master Contracts retained by the CMO’s office. This option can be particularly helpful for projects that will go over that $25,000 mark, because the master contract system expedites the selection and contracting process.