Here is a great video on spec work and RFPs from Zulu Alpha Kilo.  It’s been a long time since we have responded or sought out an RFP.  Luckily for me the RFP headed south early in my career.

The first time I had to shake my head was when a well-known courier company held a highly anticipated call for agencies. After a long process, they shortlisted three firms.  In the end none were chosen, with the company saying they weren’t on strategy.  Needless to say it caused quite a stir in the industry and for me was likely the beginning of the end.  I couldn’t and still can’t get over how much work all those agencies must have sacrificed for that pitch.

My other RFP head shaker was a proposal I submitted for a federal government assignment to run a program.  I duly followed the RFP and submitted it, only to find out later that we weren’t selected.  A year later here it comes again – this time I decided to call the contact name on the proposal and found out that we were the only agency that had responded but weren’t selected based on the criteria.  While it’s possible we may not have qualified there is little doubt in my mind that the RFP went to a firm that was pretty much pre-selected.  Yes, my first clue should have been “government RFP” but live and learn.

RFPs are a hangover from another generation. My suggestion: two Advil and a nice credential document instead.