Most RFP responses contain a lot of promises that start “We will…”
We will create a visually appealing website…
We will write new content…
We will create and test new functionality…
We will make sure the new site is compliant with ADA…
We will audit the site for security issues…
But to quote a once-famous Native American, “What do you mean ‘we’, kemo sabe?”
If that reference is puzzling, ask someone over the age of 50.
What assurance do you have that all the work promised in the RFP response will be performed by the company whose name is on the first page? Is that explicitly stated in the response?
If it’s not, that may indicate the company is going to outsource some of its “we will” responsibilities to other individuals or companies.
Now, we can’t say this is automatically a terrible thing. It doesn’t mean your site will be put together by 11 year-olds in a Honduras sweatshop. But there’s a basic question of honesty here, and it’s one that municipalities should consider in their decision-making.
The company you choose for your website project will have responsibilities related to its functionality and security – two particularly vital characteristics at a time when public sector sites are targeted for ransomware attacks. Will you trust these tasks to qualified IT personnel, or people whose names do not appear on the company’s staff page? The qualifications and track record proudly extolled in their presentation may not extend to the freelancers they bring in to their projects.
Ask the question, as this is not information that will be provided voluntarily.
You may also detect a clue in how companies approach projects in who shows up to deliver its presentation.
At 360Civic, we typically bring several team members to these meetings, so prospective clients can meet them, ask questions and discuss any concerns. We want our clients to know exactly who will be sending them designs and content for review, fortifying their site against security breaches, providing project management and making sure all of its copy and photos and links are ADA compliant.
With freelancers and outsourced agencies, something else is lost as well – the experience of working closely together over a long period of time; an integrated environment in which developers work with designers and writers in close proximity throughout a project. A shorthand communication develops over years of collaboration, resulting in the type of efficiency that is only possible through teamwork. At 360Civic we believe that is one of our greatest strengths.
Trust is easier to achieve when you can get to know the people with whom you’ll be working. Choose a company that encourages those connections.
The best public sector websites usually have the best reporting, which drives continual improvement of the online experience of your visitors and your internal personnel. 360Civic delivers real-time reporting custom designed to each client’s needs. It is included in every website we deliver at no additional cost. Find out more