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Use of Social Media

Solicitation Number: 1127679
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Food and Drug Administration
Location: Office of Acquisitions and Grants Services - Rockville
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Sources Sought
Added: Feb 25, 2014 2:39 pm
Food and Drug Administration
Source Sought Notice
Use of Social Media to Inform and Evaluate FDA Risk Communications
Anticipated Contract Type: Labor-Hour

Notice to Small Businesses
The purpose of this Sources Sought Notice is to seek declarations of technical capabilities and various information, data, and materials from qualified small business concerns [8(a), Woman-owned Small Businesses (WOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), Small Businesses, and Service-Disabled Veteran-owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB)]. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to provide maximum practicable opportunities in its acquisitions to small business.
This Sources Sought Notice is for information, planning and market research purposes only and shall not be construed as either a solicitation or obligation on the part of the FDA or its Centers. The purpose of this Source Sought is to help the FDA understand the market and technical solutions capable of providing the full range of services described below. FDA will use this market research information to assess the market's capability to successfully meet the FDA's risk communication requirement.
The proposed North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code is 541512. The information obtained from respondents will be used to determine the best acquisition strategy for this procurement. FDA welcomes responses from all interested parties. FDA does not intend to make a selection decision or award a contract on the basis of responses, nor otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or FDA's use of such information. Acknowledgment of receipt of responses will not be made, nor will respondents be notified of the outcome of the FDA's review of the information received. Additionally, the FDA does not intend to hold discussions concerning this Sources Sought Notice with any interested parties. However, FDA reserves the right to contact vendors if additional information is required.

Project Description

FDA is responsible for communicating about the risks and benefits inherent in all the products it regulates. The rise of social media on the Internet, including especially user-generated content such as blogs, forums, message boards, wikis and podcasts, has created new opportunities to interface with the public with respect to emerging hazard situations involving FDA-regulated products. The increasing presence of social media promises new capabilities to monitor the effectiveness of FDA's ongoing risk communication efforts. FDA is in need of both historical and "real-time" monitoring and analyses of a representative sample of social media web sites.

The objective of this requirement is to provide FDA with the resources needed to use social media to inform and evaluate FDA risk communications. Specifically, the objective is to provide FDA with:
• Analyses of social media that provide baselines on consumer sentiment prior to FDA communication and that depict changes in social media buzz following FDA communications;
• In-house capability for social media monitoring; and
• Surveillance through social media listening for early detection of adverse events and food-borne illness.
The scope of work includes social media buzz reports, a social media dashboard, and quarterly surveillance reports related to specific product classes.

Independently and not as an agent of the Government, the Contractor shall furnish the necessary personnel, materials, services, facilities, and otherwise do all things necessary for or incident to the performing of the work as described above and below.

The contractor shall provide FDA, as needed, with the capability for 24/7 access to a self-service social media listening and monitoring tool that provides a dashboard with automatically updated reports. The dashboard tool shall enable FDA to create its own reports at any time using near real-time or historical social media data. The dashboard tool shall provide FDA with the ability to run its own queries and refine its key wording to target topics of interest. The dashboard tool shall provide FDA with advanced analytics to produce its own automated measures of buzz volume, trend data, threshold alerts, topic and sentiment analysis, top sources of buzz, and visual graphics.

The contractor shall also provide FDA with standard support to train FDA staff, and make recommendations as needed on how to best leverage the tool's capabilities.

The contractor shall provide, as needed, quarterly reports on specific FDA-regulated product classes that identify trends in online consumer conversations about adverse events and/or food-borne illness. The reports shall provide a benchmark for specific products against other products in the same class. The contractor shall harvest, clean, and identify relevant social media messages, and then analyze the content for word frequencies comparing the current time period to historical frequencies to identify trend changes over time. The output would identify new trends, gradual/moderate trends, spike trends, and downward trends. The reports shall be delivered in the form of PowerPoint presentations.

 General Instructions

Responses to the Sources Sought Notice should not exceed 5 pages in length. Responses should be submitted via email to Sonia Nance at, by no later than 3:00 PM, Eastern Time, on March 7, 2014.

A complete response to the Sources Sought Notice should include answers to all of the questions below. Please note that a respondent's failure to provide a complete response to a question will be interpreted to mean that it does not understand the question and does not demonstrate the capability to provide the services required. Responses should demonstrate capability, not merely affirm the respondent's capability (e.g., the response must go beyond the statement that, "XYZ company can provide social media services.").


1. This requirement is for remote access to the social media monitoring. In "Question and Answer" format, please provide the following information for questions "a" thru "g" :

a. Can you harness social media data to provide real-time analyses of online consumer messages related to specific FDA-regulated products (drugs, devices, biologics, food, and tobacco)? To what extent does your social media database include niche sources of messaging (e.g., access to member-only forums), especially as they relate to food and health. Can you provide information about relevant verticals or audience segments that you monitor?

b. Do you have the ability to analyze archived social media data? If so, how far back in time can you look for relevant consumer discussions?

c. Can you deliver customized summary reports (15-20 slides in 2 weeks or less) that address FDA research questions with information about social media buzz volume over time, top sources of buzz, most popular forums of online discussion, most-cited news stories, major themes of discussion, sentiment analysis, word clouds and/or message maps, and a sample of verbatim consumer comments?

d. Can you deliver quarterly surveillance reports on specific product classes to identify new trends, gradual/moderate trends, spike trends, and downward trends?

e. Can you provide a dedicated team of analysts with experience in characterizing online healthcare discussions? How equipped are you to handle simultaneous requests for reports on different topics of interest?

f. Can you provide a dedicated team of analysts with experience in characterizing online healthcare discussions? How equipped are you to handle simultaneous requests for reports on different topics of interest?

g. Can you provide 24/7 access to a self-service social media listening and monitoring tool that provides a dashboard with automatically updated reports? If so, what type of training and support can you provide?

2. .Please provide documentation of the size of your business in relation to the proposed NAICS code, specifying whether you are classified as a small business, Historically Underutilized Business Zone small business, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Woman-Owned Small Business and/or SBA 8(a) certified small business. Additionally, please demonstrate your firm's capability to meet the requirements of FAR 52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting.

3. Please provide the following:
a. Organization name
b. DUNS number
c. Organization's website
d. Contact Name
e. Contact Telephone
f. Contact E-mail address
g. Size designation
h. Number of employees in your organization
i. Your organization's current and gross revenue

4. Provide information concerning contract vehicles available to be used by the FDA in acquiring the services outlined in the draft SOW (GSA Federal Schedules, Government wide Acquisition Contract, etc.).



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Sources Sought

Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Sources Sought
Posted Date:
February 25, 2014
Description: Sources Sought Notice for Social Media Use.
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 2129
Rockville, Maryland 20857-0001
U.S. Food and Drug Administraton
10903 New Hampshire Ave

Silver Spring , Maryland 20993
United States
Sonia J. Nance
Phone: 3018276759
James Whitt,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-827-1022