Bob Carey (chair), Tom Kennedy, Chuck Gathard, Mindy Hutchinson, Jim Straight

The NPPA web committee has been active this past year refining our RFP (see appendix) for vendors interested in bidding for the NPPA website revitalization. With the RFP, we delineated the two different areas of the website – public (partially funded by ACA funds) and member specific (funded by the NPPA). Along with the request, we asked the bidders to also propose branding possibilities to enhance our presence as an organization vital to visual journalism.

As was stated last year, to succeed, an NPPA web revitalization must hold in tension at least two goals. First, it must strongly reinforce what the NPPA has always offered — often poorly understood by members and completely foreign to visitors. Second, it must offer a few things that are entirely new. If we succeed in these goals, the result will not necessarily be success, but rather relevance.

Executive Director Mindy Hutchinson conferenced in the spring with committee chair Bob Carey and the about revisiting the possibility of allowing Journey Group to be a bidder. Hutchinson discussed the situation with the auditors who stated that it was not a conflict of interest so long as the bid was not considerably more than other bids from vendors. The Board in the 2011 summer meeting conference call authorized Journey Group to be involved in the bidding process. Ron Londen left the committee to remove any appearance of conflict of interest. Chuck Gathard was named as a replacement.

The Web Committee examined the vendors who had been suggested and began circulating the RFP. The companies were given a deadline to submit the RFP and a timetable of when we expected to determine the vendor chosen for the project. We had two vendors that originally had been not considered and allowed them to submit bids. The committee met several times by telephone and email discussing the bids. Two vendors were identified as the best fit and further questions were given to the vendors to help fill in areas that were unclear in the committees’ minds. NPPA staff members also dialoged with the two vendors and the committee was provided with that information. Gathard developed a rubric for the decision process and each committee member was asked to evaluate the vendors from that rubric.

With the addition of the added questions for the final two vendors and travel schedule of the committee members, the original decision date was backed up about three weeks. The committee met by conference call on November 17 and a final decision was made on the vendor – Journey Group. Discussion among the members was that a couple more concessions needed to be given by the vendor for final approval. Carey called the vendor and negotiated those concessions.

On December 2, Journey Group hosted a Discovery Day involving Hutchinson (in person), Carey, Winslow and several other stakeholders. The web revitalization is currently underway and completion of the first phase (public and rebranding) is scheduled for Fall 2012.

Respectfully submitted,
Dr. Bob Carey, Web Committee Chair & Past President

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