Situation: With the 2020 Census scheduled to occur in its traditional 10-year cadence, we were tapped to manage paid and organic social media for the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. The Census has been a trusted measure of communities every decade; however, political factions sought to create uncertainty and distrust in the Census process, particularly in communities that were traditionally underserved.
Strategy: We created a fact-forward social content campaign that separated fact from fiction among key groups with deep mistrust or misunderstanding about the Census. We highlighted key services, benefits and programs that depended on Census data to determine funding, from the general to niche. Our content was supported by social targeting that focused on identified underserved communities. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit just weeks before the start of Census collection, we quickly pivoted to provide additional support in lieu of now-cancelled grassroots outreach. Through even greater refinement of targeting, paired with near real-time data on neighborhoods that had self-reported (submitted their data through an online portal or via phone), we were able to focus valuable budget dollars on specific Census collection geographic areas that had low response rates.
Impact: Through our targeting and messaging, we were able to exceed the goal response rate for the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. Our campaign even caught the attention of the Texas Secretary of State, and through a partnership with The Atkins Group, we were soon after tapped to support a final state-wide push to get all Texans to participate in the Census count. The result was complete participation across the state.