Term: Response

Usually just another word used interchangeably with proposal, bid, and submission.

In the proposal, should be used in preference to those terms when the RFP refers to the requested proposal as a “Response/response.”

Standing Out: Standing Different

Every CoVID-19 commercial is exactly the same.

That, at least, is the claim, and the video splicing in this compilation makes it seem credible.

I agree that the sappy themes are sometimes overdone in these ads. I also agree with those who are pushing back against what they see as criticism of the whole creative industry for going with the zeitgeist. Of course there are big similarities in these ads: Everyone is communicating about the same thing to folks who have similar concerns.

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Term: Response Period

The time from the RFP being issued to when the proposal is due.

In government contracting, usually stipulated as the number of days that amount to one of the more-or-less standard response periods: four, six, eight, or twelve weeks.

In capital procurements requiring a major design effort (think trains, ships, airplanes, information technology systems, big buildings, highways), can be a year or more.

Over-Modified, Under-Specified

A mysterious stranger
joins forces with a notorious desperado
to protect a beautiful widow
from a ruthless assassin working for . . .
the railroad.

Yes, this was an actual movie description on a to-remain-unnamed streaming service. I understand the breathless tone when you’re going for the click, but too much proposal writing is also of this sort: loud with extraneous modifiers, yet silent where it should speak.

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Mendeleyev and Me

Seth Godin almost always has a perspective worth reading, but I’ve been startled to discover how many of his posts directly apply to my world: proposal management. Today’s was no exception.

Fill in the blanks looks at the amazing development of the periodic table. In laying it out, Mendeleyev had a small problem. Building on the work of earlier scientists, he thought he could see the pattern in the properties of the elements, but he didn’t have an element to fill every slot in his framework. So he laid it out in what he believed was the right way, and left blanks where, well, there ought to be an element, dagnab it.


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