Request for Proposals: Creative Media Production

Sean Malone

A Personal Note from Sean W. Malone

Hello, 

For those who don’t know my story, after completing a masters degree in music composition for film and multimedia from New York University, I began a career in entertainment and media working in New York and Los Angeles.

But as a lifelong libertarian who believes that the key to a free society is fostering a culture that values liberty, I wanted to do more with my experience and skills to advance classical liberal ideas. And for the last 7 years, I have been diligently and intentionally trying to improve the creative landscape within the liberty-advancing community.

I’d like to think that in that time I’ve lead by example, producing high quality creative, entertaining, and hopefully emotionally-moving content in the form of award-winning films, comedy videos, live events & educational videos, photography, podcasts, and even original music on behalf of myself and many of the top organizations in our network such as FEE, the Institute for Justice, Reason, and the Charles Koch Institute.

I’ve been fortunate to take part in a huge shift over the last few years, as more individuals & organizations have worked to improve their video and creative media production capabilities. But much more still needs to be done to raise the quality standards and effectiveness of the content and messaging in our movement if we wish to make significant contributions to the culture at large.

That’s why when I first learned about what FEE planned to do over the next 3 years, I immediately knew that it was a thrilling project that I needed to be a part of.

Our goal is ambitious.

FEE aims to not only change the culture, but change the way everyone in our network thinks about creative media and messaging to young people largely unfamiliar with free-market ideas.

We will do this by producing as much brand new, diverse, and engaging content as we can targeted towards young people who will be introduced to our ideas for the first time. We will then use the latest analytic tools to carefully track and test whether or not our content is actually effective at reaching our audiences where they are (figuratively and literally). As we learn more about what different audience segments actually enjoy consuming over the next few years, the type of content and messaging we produce will evolve and change, and we will share the results of our work with everyone in our network who is interested in getting better at reaching and inspiring the next generation.

But we need your help.  

While FEE will be producing a lot of content in-house, we’re also excited to announce that we will be commissioning new projects and partnering with other organizations to produce the kinds of creative media we need to explore the full range of aesthetic styles, different creative media, messages and platforms we must test in order to learn as much as we can about what’s working and what isn’t. We’re actively seeking talented and creative video producers, editors, graphic designers, writers, musicians, podcasting and acting talent, and other artists from all over the country looking to promote a free society.  

There has never been a more important time to get this right, so if you or someone you know has what it takes, the document below contains more details about exactly what we’re looking for and the criteria we’ll use to decide which projects to fund and/or distribute.

Pitch me something good!

~ Sean W. Malone
Director of Media, FEE

 

  1. Summary & Background

Founded in 1946, the Foundation for Economic Education is America's oldest non-profit educational institution with the goal of bringing about a world in which the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society are familiar and credible to the rising generation. We intend to expand the appeal of classical liberal philosophy to new audiences between the ages of 14-26 throughout the united states through the creation of compelling creative media content distributed on our website, social media, and through a network of partnerships throughout the liberty-advancing network.   

  1. Description of Project

FEE has recently secured a 3-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to study the effectiveness of media & messaging at advancing freedom as a life philosophy to the younger audience.

There are two parts to successfully executing this exciting project.

First, FEE is building a premium analytics system called Youth Engagement & Audience Research (“YEAR”) in order to categorize, track, and learn from every piece of creative media released by FEE on www.FEE.org and our various social networks. Secondly, FEE will need to produce and distribute a large quantity and diverse range of top-quality creative media content.

Some of this content will be produced through our own in-house creative media capability, but we are pleased to request proposals from individuals and agencies interested in working with FEE to produce video, graphic design, audio/music, and other creative media projects that fit with our brand, vision, and mission.

All accepted projects will be distributed on our website (approx. 1 million views per month), our Facebook page (92,000+ likes), on YouTube (14,000 subscribers), and our other social media platforms, using both organic and paid marketing strategies. We will track the effectiveness of each product by promoting it to different audiences, observing and recording audience engagement, and by A/B testing both the content itself and the messaging surrounding the content we release.

  1. Proposal Guidelines

Each proposal should contain the following information: 

  • A detailed description of the creative media project that you or your organization would like to produce; why it fits with FEE's brand and vision; and an argument for why it is likely to be effective at reaching one of our target demographic segments with the ideas of a free society
  • If applicable, a script treatment and/or visual mock-up that effectively depicts the tone and creative vision of your project
  • An estimated budget and timeline for the project
  • A portfolio or samples of previous work
  1. Proposal Evaluation Criteria

FEE will evaluate each project proposal on the basis of several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Originality and creativity
  • Quality of previous production work
  • Fit with FEE's brand and vision
  • Fit with FEE's overall creative media strategy
  • Perceived ability to reach our target demographic based on our on-going YEAR research
  • Cost & timeline
  • Compliance with 501(c)3 non-profit rules

FEE’s Brand & Vision

FEE is specifically interested in funding and producing projects which fit into one of the following three broadly thematic categories.

  1. “Liberty as a Lifestyle”
    Stories that show people engaging in voluntary interaction, creating new cultures and communities without needing the state to impose their values on others, and sometimes even against existing state-restrictions.
  2. “Everyday Economics”
    Stories that show the principles of economics from our perspective as they are applied every day in the real world - focusing especially on the ways in which the made world is a better place when people are free to trade with each other.
  3. “The Fight for Freedom”
    An exploration of the on-going struggle for liberty in the US and around the world, sharing the stories of individuals who are affected by laws and rules that most people never hear about with an emphasis on optimism and hope for victory.

FEE values freedom, opportunity, justice, individual responsibility, self-cultivation, and human dignity. Our brand’s tone should be understood to be optimistic, empowering, dynamic, morally principled, credible, and collaborative. Our aesthetic style is modern, clean, bold, creative, and fun.  

As long as project proposals fit within these parameters and is geared toward a younger audience, FEE is open to producing creative content in any format, any style, and any medium. The more creative and engaging, the better!  

Start here by filling out the form below.

 

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