Who's In -- and Who's Out -- in the TwitteRFP

current-tv.jpg

Last week Current.tv launched the first-ever TwitteRFP. That is, it's on the hunt for agencies. And instead of soliciting RFPs the old-fashioned way, it was all, "Post that ish on Twitter."

What's cool about this method is it put both large and small agencies on an equal playing field: that incessant stream-of-consciousness noisebox where we blow 3-4 of our good working hours per day.

What's bad? The #TwitteRFP hashtag wasn't just used to turn in actual work; our streams were flooded for DAYS with:

o Tragic puns on the word "current."

o Random ass-kissing and elbow-rubbing with @jkretch the RFP gatekeeper.

o Unnecessary philosophizing (let's just say "game-changer" was used more than once, and that's more-than-one too many times).

o Gratuitous intra-agency back-patting.

Basically it was agency Survivor -- except without the hungry people, and all the rage was passive-aggressive. (Nothing wrong with a little passion, but times like this we lament that Twitter lacks an insta-video feature for confessionals, impromptu love scenes and haterade-spewing.)

Scroll down to see the (not very) shortlist -- as well as agencies that didn't make the cut. We also linked to the proposals (when we could find them).

If this is the future of agency RFPs, I'm gonna grit my teeth every time ass-kissing season starts. But it's fun to click the tinyURLs and look at the work. And how often do you see people dive into an RFP like kids on a broken pinata?

Current's In-Crowd.

Some proposals couldn't be found; if you can find them, linky linky please and we'll update the list.


The Shamed and Shafted.

These guys didn't make the cut. But here are their labours of love.


(Sorry @ehans. They needed more wethinks.)

Closing thoughts:

o Verdict's still out on the merits of attention-whoring. Two agencies shouted loud from Minneapolis; one made it.

o A few agencies didn't seem to have any entry visible. (*shakes head in mock disgust*)

o Transparent? Riiiiight. A lot of guys yanked their proposals right off the 'net after appearing on the shortlist. Way to "get" social media.

o Give peace and quiet a chance: Oil companies have fewer lobbyists. Say your piece and move on.

o A brand spankin' new microsite isn't actually a social media experience, actually.

o At least half the entrants weren't active on Twitter in general until the RFP. The other half now have twice as many updates directed to @jkretch as before the RFP was announced. Which pretty much makes him the equivalent of @oprah in our little corner of the world.

o Lotsa big fish in the wading pool.

o We got a fake @jkretch. Score!

o Getting chummy with the Gatekeeper? Not cool. If you wanna get on the ride, keep your hands, feet and lips inside.

For a more concise take on the #TwitteRFP madness -- and an awesome potshot of how it managed to spill over into the (nonplussed) offline world -- mosey on over to AdFreak.

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Comments



Comments

great write up, thank you!

Posted by: miket on May 1, 2009 5:12 AM

Angela, as usual, what an awesome post. You cut right to the heart of the matter and captured the situation perfectly. Conceptually, I liked the idea of the twitter RFP, but it clearly became a mechanism for agencies to generate PR for themselves. Wasn't one of the first rules of social media, something along the lines of "it's about them, not you." Me thinks several agencies could have listened to that advice.

Posted by: Adam Kmiec on May 1, 2009 9:04 AM

In the future, I'd like to see blind RFPs where all agencies submit sans NAME/LOGO and the client picks the best response.

Posted by: Adam Kmiec on May 1, 2009 9:12 AM

Come on now, that post was a bit of a joke and part of a larger context -- or, dare I say, conversation. And aren't conversations a big part of social media?

You also missed our actual response:

http://twitter.com/stephenriley/status/1608155108

But props on calling out the back-patting and excess philosophizing. :)

Posted by: @stephenriley on May 1, 2009 10:12 AM

Come on now, that post was a bit of a joke and part of a larger context -- or, dare I say, conversation. And aren't conversations a big part of social media?

You also missed our actual response:

http://twitter.com/stephenriley/status/1608155108

But props on calling out the back-patting and excess philosophizing. :)

Posted by: @stephenriley on May 1, 2009 10:13 AM

Here's the whole thing from Brunner:
http://www.smarterfaster.com/?p=405

We were short, sweet, and steady. And all the links are still live.

Posted by: Ernie Mosteller on May 1, 2009 10:15 AM

Even though we didn't make the cut, I really enjoyed being a part of the the type3 submission. I wish the best of luck to those moving on and look forward to what comes next.

Posted by: @adamwohl on May 1, 2009 11:26 AM

In retrospect, as a participant, I have to say that I think it would suck to have to go through the RFP process this way on a regular basis. In order to stay in the game you have to spend inordinate amounts of time following the Twitter stream (more than the pathetic amount I already spend!). This would make the already onerous RFP process twice as grueling since this was just the process to GET the RFP. I think using the word proposal in your post is a bit misleading. These were sort of like RFQ's to make the cut to get the RFP. Other than that, I think your comments are right on. Lots of agencies jumped in that really don't understand Twitter or being social means - that was obvious. Well, I think we learn from each of these social experiments. Thanks for the post.

Posted by: Indra Gardiner on May 1, 2009 12:01 PM

Great summary of the whole she-bang. But uh...I was pretty startled to see my tweet listed, to say the least. It was definitely not a pitch (see the lack of @jkretch) but more of a personal comment about portfolio spec work as I tweeted about the TwitteRFP. *cough*studentwork*cough*

Thanks for noticing, regardless. Maybe one of the lucky final shops standing will be interested in the services of a junior writer who's already put in a ton of time thinking about Current. Hey, a guy can wish...

Posted by: ehans on May 1, 2009 1:54 PM

Great Post. The beauty of social media is being able to call people out like this. Thanks for being so open.

Posted by: Greg on May 1, 2009 1:55 PM

Here's ATTIK's. A crafty haiku.

Many agencies
Even more hyperbole
ATTIK will bring beer

www.ATTIK.com

Posted by: Oliver Ralph on May 1, 2009 2:01 PM

Here's ATTIK's link

http://twitter.com/ralphie10/status/1634811674

Posted by: Oliver Ralph on May 1, 2009 2:26 PM

All links updated. Thanks for the love guys and for keeping me straight. =P

Posted by: Angela on May 1, 2009 2:38 PM

We didn't make it as well, thought it was awesome that we had the opportunity to openly compete on such a large scale against national agencies for a great brand. Proud of our creative team for being nimble,scrappy and risky. Great post and coverage on the #TwitteRFP. Good luck to all the other agencies.

Posted by: @peakseven on May 1, 2009 2:47 PM

Great write-up, your comments are very trueóglad someone had the guts to put them on paper (er, uh, screen that is).

Sad that the link to Bailey Gardiner's RFP is wrong. The correct link is: http://www.dontdrinkthekoolaidblog.com/12-second-video-and-why-weíre-pitching-current-tv/

Thanks!

Posted by: kj on May 1, 2009 6:39 PM

Nicely done. Shrewd, cutting, balanced enough for this context. (Needing to be brief, fast and funny too) I'll save more detailed praise for another post to avoid appearance of indirect whoring. But I'm a fan. Also: would be great if someone would track down a consultant or two and find out what they thought.

Posted by: Scott Karambis on May 1, 2009 10:02 PM

Perhaps it was the quantity of tweets, but I thought the overall list of agencies vying for the biz was much longer.

Happy to be on the list.

Posted by: sugarsays on May 2, 2009 12:43 PM

We didn't even present a proposal and we got a pretty good shot at the shortlist. Because we were persistent, single-minded in our positioning and engaging in our delivery. Exactly what you want from a communications partner. And Jordan Kretch recognized that. We wouldn't even get a sniff in a traditional RFP, far less one south of the border. But we were on the frontline on this one and neck 'n neck with the biggest and the brightest. Kudos to Kretch for the first democratic RFP ever. And kudos to Angela and the Adrantians for picking up on it. Renews my faith in the industry.

love craig

Posted by: craig Redmond on May 2, 2009 2:14 PM

We didn't even present a proposal and we got a pretty good shot at the shortlist. Because we were persistent, single-minded in our positioning and engaging in our delivery. Exactly what you want from a communications partner. And Jordan Kretch recognized that. We wouldn't even get a sniff in a traditional RFP, far less one south of the border. But we were on the frontline on this one and neck 'n neck with the biggest and the brightest. Kudos to Kretch for the first democratic RFP ever. And kudos to Angela and the Adrantians for picking up on it. Renews my faith in the industry.

love craig

Posted by: craig Redmond on May 2, 2009 2:14 PM

We didn't even present a proposal and we got a pretty good shot at the shortlist. Because we were persistent, single-minded in our positioning and engaging in our delivery. Exactly what you want from a communications partner. And Jordan Kretch recognized that. We wouldn't even get a sniff in a traditional RFP, far less one south of the border. But we were on the frontline on this one and neck 'n neck with the biggest and the brightest. Kudos to Kretch for the first democratic RFP ever. And kudos to Angela and the Adrantians for picking up on it. Renews my faith in the industry.

love craig

Posted by: craig Redmond on May 2, 2009 2:16 PM

The blog is great, but allow me to rant a bit about the comments and other blogs:
This whole thing reminds me of a reality dating show Ė everyone is so busy competing for the chick that they forget about the chick. Stop bragging and brownnosing- donít u have an RFP to work on? And whatís up with all the super nice agencies that didnít make it congratulating and wishing luck to the agencies that made it? Be pissed a bit, itís natural and real to feel pissed that u didnít make it.

Proudly Jealous and pissed (a.k.a Hybrid)

p.s - I'm really nice usually.

Posted by: Limor on May 2, 2009 3:12 PM

The blog is great, but allow me to rant a bit about the comments and other blogs:
This whole thing reminds me of a reality dating show Ė everyone is so busy competing for the chick that they forget about the chick. Stop bragging and brownnosing- donít u have an RFP to work on? And whatís up with all the super nice agencies that didnít make it congratulating and wishing luck to the agencies that made it? Be pissed a bit, itís natural and real to feel pissed that u didnít make it.

Proudly Jealous and pissed (a.k.a Hybrid)

p.s - I'm really nice usually.

Posted by: Limor on May 2, 2009 3:13 PM

sorry, just read what I wrote and it sounds really negative. There is a lot of great talent on this page and I wish great luck to everybody. Meant to be funny...believe it or not.

Posted by: limor on May 2, 2009 4:33 PM

This is actually the Wexley proposal: http://twitter.com/Wexley/status/1609943117

Posted by: wexley on May 2, 2009 11:29 PM

This is actually the Wexley proposal: http://twitter.com/Wexley/status/1609943117

Posted by: wexley on May 2, 2009 11:31 PM







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