Insights Blog

Confessions of a proposal production expert – delivery (Part 5 of 5)

All great proposal teams know the few golden rules of proposal development: Writers are more productive when they are fed. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. And… You can’t win if you don’t deliver on time! This week Briana Coleman, PPM.APMP shares her top 3 proposal delivery tips. Tip 1: Plan on delivering EARLY Founder and CEO of our company, Bob Lohfeld, once told me this story of his early days in the proposal business. The goal was to deliver a proposal from San Diego to Pasadena. Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong—including not budgeting enough time to print. There was not enough time to drive the proposal to the destination, so the company chartered a private helicopter on the day it was due to take the 2-hour flight. As the helicopter approached the Pasadena area, the pilot turned around and asked, “So, where do you … Continue reading Confessions of a proposal production expert – delivery (Part 5 of 5)

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Confessions of a proposal production expert – printing and assembly (Part 4 of 5)

In theory, printing and assembling your final proposal books doesn’t sound too hard. You hit print, wait for the printer to spit out a few thousand pages, put them in a binder, and seal the box. In reality, printing and assembly is a 1–3 day process that involves dozens of small, but important, decisions and nuances. This week, Briana Coleman, PPM.APMP shares some of her favorite printing- and assembly-related production tips and war stories. Tip 1: Choosing a printing company Let’s start first with the printer you use: inside equipment versus outside vendor. Be honest with yourself. Do you really have the internal skills, machines, and supplies to fully support your production? An average office inkjet printer is not going to give you the quality or professionalism of a professional printer. It will also take much longer to produce your proposal. When you decide to print in-house, it is often … Continue reading Confessions of a proposal production expert – printing and assembly (Part 4 of 5)

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Confessions of a proposal production expert – editing (Part 3 of 5)

This week, Briana Coleman, PPM.APMP shares her top 3 tips for editing a proposal to get within page count—along with a tip about redacted proposals. Your editor should understand the standard style guide you developed as a company standard and use that style guide in editing your proposal. In addition to examining grammar, one-voicing, and style, editors can be very useful in helping authors tighten up sentences and get sections within page count. I once cut five pages from a document simply by using the following tricks. Tip 1: Lengthy team names Many primes with multiple subs will dub themselves The XYZ Company Team in proposals. While having a team name creates brand identity, it can take up a lot of room when repeated 100+ times in a document. Try using Team XYZ, or even better, we/us/our to shorten the character length considerably. You’ll want to use Team XYZ a … Continue reading Confessions of a proposal production expert – editing (Part 3 of 5)

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Confessions of a proposal production expert – graphic design (Part 2 of 5)

In this post, Briana Coleman, PPM.APMP shares her top 4 tips for developing graphics for a proposal. Tip 1: Develop graphics as the exact size you need For example, if the final graphic must be 3”x4” to fit on the page, have your graphic artist render the graphic at that size. Do not render the graphic at 6”x8” and then size it down when you insert it into your document. When you re-size the graphic in your document, everything gets smaller—including the font. If your graphic designer used a compliant font size in the initial rendering, and you size the graphic down to fit on your page, you are now non-compliant. Story: On a large proposal, I assumed my graphic artist knew this tip. We went through a conceptualization phase, got approval at Red Team, and sent him off to render a few dozen graphics. He delivered the final graphics … Continue reading Confessions of a proposal production expert – graphic design (Part 2 of 5)

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