California Complete Count – Census 2020 Media Services RFP

California Complete Count – Census 2020 Media Services RFP

The purpose of this RFP is to gather new and innovative ideas from advertising, media and public relations agencies that can reach and motivate hard-to-count populations. The California Census Office is planning to award a contract to help plan, design, produce, integrate, implement, and monitor a communications program in California for the 2020 Census. The selected Contractor(s) will be responsible for providing services in multiple communications areas to support building awareness and promoting self-response by Californians for the 2020 Census.


The California Complete Count Census 2020 effort is a statewide outreach and awareness campaign designed to ensure an accurate and complete count of all Californians in the upcoming 2020 United States census. The 2020 Census is decennial census, mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. The results are used to allocate Congressional seats, electoral votes, and government program funding to state and local governments. Just based on the funding component, a census that undercounts California could cost the state billions of dollars. For every Californian missed during the Census 2020 count, the State is expected to lose approximately $1,950 per person, per year, for 10 years, in federal program funding.

The intent of the California Census Office’s 2020 Census media and marketing campaign is to increase awareness and knowledge of the 2020 Census in hard-to-count communities and thereby increase the likelihood that individuals from hard-to-count communities will respond to the 2020 Census. This program aims to address the following goals:

  • Increase awareness and knowledge about the 2020 Census in hard-to-count communities;
  • Deliver focused messages about the Census process to targeted undercount groups concentrated on Census tracts that will most likely be undercounted; and
  • Ensure that all advertising and messaging is culturally and linguistically competent and responsive to a rapidly changing climate;
  • Support the California Complete Count statewide community outreach and media relations efforts through a strategy that is focused, timely, cost-effective and tailored to addressing barriers that prevent highly likely undercounted groups from completing and returning their forms;
  • Complement advertising and marketing campaigns by the U.S. Census Bureau, and a network of community-based organizations, local governments and philanthropic entities;
  • The ultimate goal is to ensure that hard-to-count populations in California are accurately counted in the 2020 census. The State aims to meet or exceed the U.S. Census Bureau’s nationwide target of achieving a 60.5% self-response rate from people in hard-to-count communities.

Scope of Work:

Media efforts will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Research and analytics, including message testing of hard-to-count communities;
  • Planning, development, and integration of a statewide, multilingual advertising and marketing campaign;
  • Project management;
  • Communications support;
  • Traditional advertising and media buying;
  • Digital advertising and other communications technologies;
  • Social media and digital engagement;
  • Public relations; and
  • Communications Planning and Materials for Partnerships (LCCCs, CBOs, etc.)

Due Date:

September 26th


California based agencies include W2O Group and Zeno Group.

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