How to Create a Top-Notch Magazine Request for Proposal

Content Strategy

When you're shopping for the best custom publishing partner for your magazine, a request for proposal (or RFP) can be a quick and effective way to compare bids without sacrificing valuable time. It allows firms and individuals to come to you with a plan of action for your project so that you don't have to hunt around online for someone that may or may not be a good fit. With an RFP, bidders respond by outlining why they would be a good candidate and what strategies they would implement to give you the results you're looking for, so you know right away if they have what it takes to get the job done right.

Drafting an effective, detailed RFP is crucial to finding the right candidate for the task. In this article you will find everything you need to know so that you can create a successful RFP.

1. Introduce Your Project

What is your magazine about? How long should it be? Where will it be distributed, and to approximately how many people? These are all questions you need to answer in the project overview, which should come immediately after your company introduction. This portion will essentially give your prospective candidate the basic details of the job, from the magazine dimensions to its contents and everything in-between.

2. State Your Goal

In the next section of your RFP, you need to let the candidate know your business objective. If you're hoping to gain a wider audience or see more sales, this is the time to state it. Your candidate needs this information in order to know how to tailor their writing and design to fit your end goal.

3. Give an Audience Overview

Now you need to introduce your bidders to your target audience. Be thorough -- give the age range of your readers, their demographics and what they stand to gain from your magazine. The more data you give, the better proposals you will receive.

4. Detail Your Timeline

Every project has a deadline, so it is critical that your applicants know when you expect to see a finished product and when you intend to disburse the material. If the candidates will not be able to provide you with the results you need in the time frame required, they should know ahead of time so they do not bother wasting their time or yours.

5. Give the Budget

Obviously, anyone submitting a proposal will want to know how much they can spend on materials. Giving the price range within which you are hoping to stay will be important information for your bidders. You may not be able to give an exact figure, but a ballpark number or a prospective range will work for the purpose of an RFP.

6. Define the Selection Criteria

Most RFP examples will include selection criteria, meaning that you tell the bidders how you will be measuring each proposal and the basis on which you will be making your final decision.

A successful request for proposal should include all of these components if you hope to see a wide range of competent bidders. With all of these aspects intact, your RFP should be clear, comprehensive and give you the best proposals to create an impressive, top-quality periodical.

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