The County is seeking a communications/marketing firm with full-service capabilities to assist with the development and execution of a strategic outreach plan to educate residents about the importance of the 2020 Census, to encourage them to respond, and to facilitate access to the response survey, with special emphasis on communities with historically low response rates and populations that are considered “hard-to-count,” as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Meck Counts 2020 is Mecklenburg County’s effort to encourage participation in the 2020 Census. Our goal is that everyone who lives in our county is counted in 2020. Constitutionally mandated, the U.S. Census takes place every 10 years and requires that all residents be counted. An accurate census count is critical to the County’s ability to deliver the highest quality services and meet the needs of its residents.
Census data are used in four main ways.
1. To determine the number of representatives each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and to redraw district boundaries on the state and federal level.
2. To allocate federal funds (more than $883 billion in fiscal year 2016) to local communities each year.
3. To plan for resident needs such as new roads and transit, schools, health care facilities, and emergency services.
4. To make business decisions about product and service development and placement and business locations.
Scope of Work:
The U.S. Census Bureau seeks partnerships with local governments to encourage residents to respond to the census. Our main way to partner is through a Complete Count Committee which works with local stakeholders and media to educate the public about Census 2020, encourage participation, and facilitate survey access, particularly among traditionally hard-to-count populations. Mecklenburg County has established a Complete Count Committee (CCC), and it will begin meeting April 25, 2019. The CCC includes a cross section of leaders from government, education, healthcare, business, non-profits, faith community and community-based organizations. Its charge is to develop an outreach plan and to identify trusted voices in the community who can help execute this plan. It is anticipated that the plan will rely heavily on a grassroots campaign. The County is also working closely with the NC Counts Coalition and the N.C. Complete Count Commission.
The County is seeking a vendor to deliver the following services:
• Coordination meetings with client
• Presentations to client and Complete Count Committee
• Work plan and monthly update reports
• Research and development of a strategic outreach plan that includes target persona development, traditional and digital marketing, and a social media and digital engagement strategy. The plan should complement and build upon the campaigns of the U.S. Census Bureau, the NC Counts Coalition, the state and surrounding counties.
• Branding services – development of a logo and tagline (if deemed necessary)
• Create an outreach toolkit to be used by community-based census ambassadors
• Print and digital promotional materials for multiple target audiences
• Content development (digital and print)
• Graphic design services (digital and print)
• Develop a plan and budget for local, ethnic, traditional and digital advertising and media buying
• Track earned and paid media
• Video production and editing services
• Photographic imagery
• Event planning and coordination
• Develop with County and Complete Count Committee accountability measures to evaluate effective communications and marketing efforts.
The County will be responsible for managing the Complete Count Committee and facilitating meetings. The vendor may develop content for the MeckCounts2020.com website, but the County will post and maintain the website. Some travel to locations throughout Mecklenburg County may be required as well as occasional attendance at weekday after-hour or weekend events. The Complete Count Committee will meet monthly 4:00-6:00 pm and sub-groups will be formed that will meet as well.