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EP052: Complete Your Story with Visuals – with Ama Cobbina


Yes, graphics are essential in breaking up the text of an RFP. But if that’s the ONLY part they play, we’re missing a big opportunity. Visuals CAN and SHOULD be an essential part of the CONTENT of a proposal, and they can even be leveraged in the planning process to give our team clarity and focus BEFORE we start writing. What if we thought of the graphics specialist as more than a supporting character who ‘makes things pretty’? What if we saw them a facilitator who can help us build compelling solutions?

Ama Cobbina is a Marketing and RFP Professional who specializes in graphic design and graphic facilitation in the proposal process. Ama earned her BS in Architectural Design from the University of Virginia in 2007, and she leverages her technical abilities and strengths as a visual thinker to help proposal teams conceptualize their solution, storyboard the RFP process, and create compelling proposal graphics.

Today, Ama joins us to explain how visuals can become an essential part of the content of the RFP. She walks us through the storyboarding process, discussing how she encourages proposal teams to strategize about visuals and why graphic specialists should be involved in the strategy conversation for each new RFP. Listen in for Ama’s insight on managing copyright issues for RFP graphics and learn how to make visuals part of your proposal content library.

Key Takeaways

  • How Ama transferred her skills in architecture to proposal graphics

  • Why visuals should be considered part of the content of the RFP

    Ama’s take on the biggest mistakes people make in RFP graphics

    1.      Reuse visuals without discussion

    2.      Skip entire storyboarding process

  • How Ama defines storyboarding as a visual roadmap for creatives

  • Ama’s suit shopping analogy for crafting a competitive RFP

    How Ama gets proposal teams to strategize about visuals

    • ‘Write me a caption’

    • Graphic facilitation

    • Leverage tools (e.g.: Build-a-Graphic)

  • Why graphic specialists should be part of the strategy conversation

  • How to make your visual inventory part of your content library

  • Ama’s best practices around RFP visuals

    1.      Start early and do it often

    2.      Pink Team = visual exercise

    3.      Invest in apps to manage assets

  • Ama’s insight into managing copyright issues for RFP images

  • The value in mind mapping at the start of the proposal process