Census 2010: On a Mission

Have you received the United States Census 2010 in the mail? Better yet, have you filled it out and turned it in?  Chances are you answered yes to both those questions.  I hadn’t really been familiar about the process and results of the censuses in the past, until this year.  Who could miss those commercials on TV.  The clever slogan “We can’t move forward, until you mail it back.”  This is due to the Census 2010 communications campaign.  On the census.gov website, it mentions this specific plan and reasoning behind spreading the word about the census. Like me, you might not have known that the census results help decide how to disperse approximately $400 bil in funds to communities around the nation.

“In order to inform everyone about the 2010 Census and its importance, the U.S. Census Bureau has developed an integrated communications campaign (ICC) that includes paid media, earned media, national partnerships and Census in Schools programs and online interaction. The three goals of the ICC are:

  1. Increasing mail response
  2. Improving accuracy and reducing the differential undercount
  3. Improving cooperation with enumerators

Our prime contractor, DraftFCB and their partner agencies have developed a Paid Media Plan, described in this document, to spread the 2010 Census message as broadly as possible, especially during the mail-out/mail-back phase next March and April. The Plan also incorporates the work of eight partner media agencies, will encompass multiple languages and reach into every market across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.” (census.gov)

This plan has incorporated both tv, radio, outdoo/transit, and print media to target all people.  They are following the steps of raising awareness/educating people, then motivating participation and finally support for census workers and completion of the census survey by as many individuals as possible.

We will have to wait until the end of the census surveying to see the real results, but so far it is clear that the government took on a strong pr/communications plan to get the most results possible.

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5 Responses to Census 2010: On a Mission

  1. a_hundza says:

    I also noticed that the Census 2010 campaign took a different tone that prior years; it was interesting. I think the campaign did a good job at targeting demographics that they have been lacking response from in the past-college students, young adults, etc. I hope they keep expanding the campaigns in years to come, not only communication wise, but survey wise. I’d like to find some PR news on how they’ve dealt with the possible re-call talk and issues regarding the ethnicity/race issues on the 2010 cenus.

    • jalbaz says:

      Yes I do think they did an excellent job targeting more demographics and the issue with the ethnicity/race problem is one they will need to fix for the next census but it would most likely be way too difficult to re-call them now. There is little mention about it on their website.

  2. hhoma says:

    I lived in Wisconsin for 18 years and never once heard a radio commercial or saw one on TV for returning census forms (that I can remember). Since moving to Arizona, I am very impressed with the many ways that they are spreading the word about the census. I’ve heard countless commercials and seen a bunch of billboards – all of which grabbed my attention and made me realize why it’s so important to fill out the form. Whoever is behind all the PR, I think they are doing a great job of reaching different publics and putting out the right messages to get people to respond.

  3. alevy says:

    Before this year, I had also never come across a radio or TV commercial for returning census forms. I think this campaign took an effective angle by informing the public (with their communication efforts) about the importance of returning your Census forms and the impact they have on the community. This year, a Census Bureau representative came to my apartment personally to complete the Census survey. My roommates and I had to give him our information that he inputted into the computer. I thought this was an interesting method of obtaining our responses, but he noted that he had stopped by multiple times and no one had been here. So, by utilizing the media plan, it hopefully alleviates the problem of contacting all residents (in person) assigned to the representatives’ zone. I also agree that the Census campaign did a good job of targeting the necessary demographics, (such as college students) that may have not responded in the past. As college students, I don’t think we realize the impact that we have on the community because many of us may be from out of state and only be living here temporarily, however, it is important that we participate and help support improvements to our community.

  4. ddarnell says:

    The 2010 Census has probably been the most annoying thing in my life this year. I filled it out, sent it in and they (The Census People) keep sending me stuff in the mail saying send in your Census NOW! Oh one more thing, if you’ve already done so Thank You and please disregard this letter. What is wrong with these people. I hope that this headache they’ve been giving me helps the school system out and really does improve my community.

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