COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA-RELATED SERVICES FOR 2020 CENSUS NEEDED

COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA-RELATED SERVICES FOR 2020 CENSUS NEEDED

To plan and implement a statewide communications and media-related services campaign that will educate Texans about the importance of responding to the 2020 Census. The campaign will reach Texans through multiple channels, including broadcast, print, and digital creative deliverables.

Background:

The purpose of the 2020 Census is to conduct a census of population and housing and to disseminate the results to the President, the states, and the public. The goal of the 2020 Census— which is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to occur once every ten years—is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. The 2020 Census has substantial implications for Texas and the rest of the United States. The decennial census determines the number of seats that each state will receive in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, decennial census data are used by governmental entities to draw the representative boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts, school 4 districts, and voting precincts. The results of the 2020 Census are also used to support critical government functions, such as appropriating federal funds to states, local communities, and individuals (an estimated $675 billion annually), including for programs such as Medicaid, Head Start, highway planning and construction, and emergency relief like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding; calculating monthly unemployment, crime, and poverty rates; and publishing health and education data. In addition, decennial census data play an increasingly important role in U.S. commerce and the economy. As people expand their use of data to make decisions at the local and national levels, they increasingly depend on data from the Census Bureau to make these decisions. To support the Census Bureau’s efforts, and to facilitate collaboration between all levels of government and with private-sector and community leaders, the Secretary of State serves as the primary liaison for the State of Texas in relation to the 2020 Census. Including consulting with the U.S. Census Bureau, the Secretary of State’s Office provides critical state-level coordination for local, state, and federal outreach activities, to promote the significance and value of having all Texans participate in the census. Delays and disruptions caused by COVID-19 have significantly impacted the Census Bureau’s operational plans, including its field data collection efforts. These collection efforts are critical to increasing the Census response rate, particularly in communities with low levels of Internet access. In addition, the Census Bureau recently announced that it would end its field data collection efforts by September 30, 2020—a month earlier than the agency had previously declared in April 2020 after the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Census Bureau has also indicated that it will stop all paid media on September 13, 2020 (except for digital advertisements, which will run through September 27, 2020). As Texas stands to benefit from substantial population growth resulting from its thriving economy and reputation as the best state for business, the impact of COVID-19 on the Census Bureau’s operations and the State’s response rate is particularly significant. Educating Texans about the importance of responding to the 2020 Census—through a statewide advertising and outreach campaign—will help provide a last push for increased responses in advance of the Census deadline. SOS seeks to partner with a Contractor to implement a statewide communications and mediarelated services campaign relating to the 2020 Census. Specific tasks to be implemented may include, but are not limited to, those described in Section 1.5 of this RFP.

Scope of Work:

The project will seek to educate Texans on the significance and value of participating in the 2020 Census. This campaign will reach Texans through multiple channels, including broadcast, print, digital, and other creative deliverables with the intent of informing the public to drive an increase in response rates within the state. Consistent with the broad goals set forth in Sections 1.1 and 1.2 of this RFP, and the foregoing provisions, specific tasks to be implemented (as agreed upon through the Task Activity Plan and Cost Estimate processes referenced in Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of this RFP) may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Develop overall concept and design of census informational and communications materials, consistent with current federal branding guidelines when applicable;

(2) Provide creative consultation and production consultation with SOS;

(3) Research, plan, develop, and implement strategies, messages, and materials to inform the general statewide population and targeted subgroups on the significance and value of participating in the 2020 Census;

(4) Research, plan, develop, and implement census information/outreach strategies, messages, and materials for the general statewide population, and various subgroups including but not limited to: the Spanish-speaking population, special needs population, students, young and elderly populations, and rural communities;

(5) Contractor may implement communications and outreach strategy for hard to count populations or areas of the state in which response rate turnout is below desired thresholds, consistent with guidelines provided by SOS and/or U.S. Census Bureau;

(6) Plan, design and produce, or re-broadcast educational census information/outreach materials in multiple formats, possibly including television, print, radio, electronic formats (such as Internet and smartphone applications), and in video formats that are research-based and appropriate for selected venues and media;

(7) Develop and implement social media opportunities as a way to supplement traditional advertising methods to inform all Texans on the process of engaging in and completing the decennial census;

(8) Provide weekly update meetings, status reports, detailed activity reports for prior weeks and projections for future plans, and possible oral presentations to SOS executive staff on a regular basis;

(9) Collaborate with SOS and Contractor’s research firm to identify and meet research needs, including reviewing survey instruments, discussion guides, and other research tools, preparing concepts or storyboards to test with members of the target audience(s) and applying research findings to overall marketing, advertising, and public information strategies;

(10) Provide media placement at a level established by mutual agreement between SOS and the Contractor;

(11) Purchase media time or space for programs and messages appropriate to the identified target audience(s). Advertising media may include, but 6 not be limited to: (a) Print, television, and radio advertisements; (b) Outdoor (billboards); (c) Public transit; (d) Internet projects; and (e) Free media time or space for public service announcements as appropriate;

(12) Maintain records of all contractor-assisted and non-assisted placements, including all print, audio-visual, and Internet materials;

(13) Provide reports on the types and amount of complimentary promotional assistance provided;

(14) Evaluate marketing, advertising, and public information activities and campaigns for effectiveness using appropriate evaluation processes and measurements. This may include tracking awareness, attitudes, and practices of target audience(s) during various stages of campaigns and activities to determine effectiveness in achieving desired goals, objectives, and outcomes;

(15) In addition to conducting long-term planning to ensure a successful project, the Contractor must effectively address unexpected or unforeseen issues, opportunities, and needs with regard to census education issues as requested or identified by SOS, and have budget contingencies for such issues and needs, including, but not limited to, any legislative or judicially-mandated changes or shifts in field data collection deadlines.

(16) Develop and produce a final report that provides a comprehensive overview of the performance of the Contractor’s representation services, including but not limited to, a review of all project activities, major accomplishments, performance summary (including all performance measures), industry awards received, final public awareness tracking, and final media placement tracking.

(17) Additionally, the Contractor shall: (a) adhere to the SOS Terms and Conditions identified in this RFP including (without limitation) any portion of the Contract (including any Amendments); (b) provide all labor, materials, and equipment necessary to meet requirements of the specified services throughout the term of the Contract (including any Amendments); (c) promptly (and no later than 24 hours after Contractor becomes aware of such events) notify SOS in writing of events that have, or may have, a significant impact on Contractor production, including: (i) problems, delays or adverse conditions that could prevent the Contractor from meeting time or work schedules; or (ii) favorable developments that could enable the Contractor to meet time or work schedules sooner than anticipated; and (d) provide project briefings to SOS upon request.

C. Additional Service Requirements

The Contractor shall:

(1) Have the ability to begin work on this project immediately upon date of award of the Purchase Order or on the agreed-upon date between SOS and the Contractor;

(2) Recommend and develop strategies to most effectively achieve desired results through the creation of marketing, advertising, and public information campaigns;

(3) Provide professional advertising and marketing services to assist SOS in managing communication issues as they arise;

(4) Develop targeted information campaigns. Applicable marketing advertising and public information services may include, but not be limited to, determining appropriate goals, objectives, and strategies for achieving desired outcomes, including identifying concepts, messages, target audiences, evaluation processes and measurements, media markets, and all other activities associated with the recommended strategies; and

(5) Coordinate its activities—when appropriate and as required by SOS— with other SOS-contracted firms, other state agencies, and any other entities involved with or affected by the services provided under this contract.

Due Date:

September 2, 2020 RFP Closing Time: 5:00 p.m. (CT)

Address:

Office of Secretary of State Purchasing Department James E. Rudder Building, Suite 405 1019 Brazos Street Austin, TX 78701-2413 Attn: Shuford Scott Email: sospurchasing@sos.texas.gov

Relevant agencies to consider for this assignment include Hunter pr and Magrino PR.

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