Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) requests proposals from qualified firms to develop and implement Phase II of a media marketing campaign to raise public awareness and support regional and statewide efforts to obtain an accurate count for the 2020 decennial census. The goal of this project is to ensure a fair, complete, and accurate count during the 2020 Census for the purpose of safeguarding fair representation and distribution of resources. Proposals will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. Friday, June 19. Any proposals received after that date and time will not be considered.


The US Constitution requires that every person living in the United States is counted every ten (10) years to ensure fair representation in Congress and distribute federal program dollars among states and localities based on population. The decennial census provides foundational information that will be used to make policy decisions for ten years. Businesses and industries also decide where to locate new offices, facilities, and services based on census data, creating new jobs and promoting economic growth. Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) is located in Peoria, Illinois and serves as the Regional Planning Commission for Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties. In addition, TCRPC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Peoria-Pekin Urbanized Area.

TCRPC delegates its MPO responsibilities to the Peoria-Pekin Urbanized Area Transportation Study (PPUATS). TCRPC will support local governments in their efforts to increase public awareness and ensure a quality census. To aid in census outreach, TCRPC applied for and was granted to be the Regional Intermediary for North Central Illinois by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for the 2020 Census Grant Program. This entails collaborating and coordinating subrecipients to conduct census outreach and education efforts in a 10-county North Central Illinois region: DeWitt, Fulton, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford counties. TCRPC has been granted FY21 funding to continue the Census outreach due to the extension of the 2020 Census in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. TCRPC’s FY21 grant application includes the development and implementation of Phase II of its region-wide, multilingual marketing campaign in the North Central Region. This would include, but is not limited to, television, radio, digital/online, billboard, print, and social media. Focus will need to be made to the Census Tracts with low response rates.

Scope of Work:

TCRPC has divided the project into five (5) phases: planning, education and engagement, awareness, motivation, and reminding.

Phase 1: Planning (July 2020)

Outreach to promote the 2020 Census must first begin with a planning phase to clearly identify the goals and objectives of the process. This phase includes reviewing response rates in each county by census tract. More focus should be on census tracts with lower response rates and the Hard-to-Count population that resides in the identified census tracts.

Phase 2: Remind & Motivation (July – October 2020)

In this phase, the purpose is to provide targeted outreach to communities with a low response rate and encourage the prompt completion of the census from among the public, especially the HTC populations. The US Census Bureau’s initial response rate will be used to target the Census Tracks with low response rates. The advertisement of US Census Bureau protocols and timeline for manual enumeration to non-responding households will also be advertised during this phase. 

Phase 3: Reporting (October – November 2020)

The last phase is intended to provide a comprehensive report on the success of the marketing campaign, lessons learned, and suggestions for the 2030 Decennial Census.

The scope of services sought by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and its local partners shall include the provision of all required labor, materials, equipment, expertise, and media buying related to this RFP and Scope of Services. The primary purpose of this RFP is to secure expert consultant service to develop and implement the media marketing campaign to support census outreach and communication in the North Central Illinois region. The following items should each be addressed in the submittal.

Task 1: Review existing material and resources

The consultant will work with TCRPC, project partners, Illinois Census Office, US Census Bureau, and national organizations to collect and review existing materials that can be used in developing Phase II of the North Central Illinois 2020 Census Media Marketing Campaign. The consultant will utilize existing materials to support the design of the media marketing campaign and the selection of key messages for paid and other media. The consultant will work with community organizations to reach the intended audiences, raise awareness, and motivate them to complete the census survey.

Task 2: Clarify target audiences

The preparation and implementation of the media marketing campaign is intended to build public understanding and support of the census, address barriers that prevent undercounted persons from completing census forms on time, and influence decision making to promote a complete an accurate census count. Barriers to response include lower trust in government, increased number of residents with limited English proficiency, concern about consequences of responding for undocumented persons, mobility of households, and limited internet access and skills. Consultant recommendations regarding strategies to deliver focused messages to undercounted groups is an important element of this work

Task 3: Develop approach to 2020 Census framing, messaging and branding The consultant will recommend an overall strategic communications approach, including framing the issue, developing messaging for the general public and HTC audiences, identifying cost-effective message delivery options, branding, and creating an overall look and feel for graphic design.

Task 4: Prepare and submit media marketing campaign

The consultant will prepare the final campaign that outlines the recommended approach/strategy, which will include key audiences, messages, message delivery methods, and proposed branding and graphic design, for census outreach communication. The plan will include elements for earned media, including possible media partnerships; paid media; social media; and use of community partners to deliver messages to stakeholders/clients. The plan will include a budget for paid media and a timeline associated with the release of the paid and earned media. The consultant will provide vector artwork for all graphics.

Task 5: Approval of media marketing campaign

The consultant will work with TCRPC, project partners, Illinois Census Office, and US Census Bureau to approve the media marketing campaign for the North Central Illinois region.

Task 6: Implementing media marketing campaign

The consultant will start the implementation process of the Media Marketing Campaign once approved by all partners. The consultant will collect and track data on the media marketing campaign to measure the success of individual actives. Example data collection methods are: number of markets reached, number of viewers reached, number of materials developed, number of cultures/languages targeted, and number of online clicks. Activity reports will be prepared and submitted monthly. A final comprehensive report will be due in November 2020.

Deliverables The contract will result in the anticipated deliverables:

1. Survey of available census materials and resources,

2. Strategies to deliver focused messages to HTC populations,

3. Branding and overall look and feel of the graphic design,

4. Vector artwork for all graphics,

5. An approved region-wide Marketing Media Campaign with budget and timeline of both earned and paid media, and

6. Monthly reports on collection and tracking of data on campaign implementation.

7. Comprehensive report on the campaign with lessons learned

Due Date:

4:00 p.m. Friday, June 19


Michael Bruner, Planner II Tri-County Regional Planning Commission 456 Fulton Street, Suite 401 Peoria, IL 61602


456 Fulton St, Suite 401

Peoria, IL 61602

Edelman PR and Finn Partners are agencies worth considering for this assignment.

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