California Complete Count office issues PR RFP

The 1.5 year contract is potentially worth $46.1 million.

SACRAMENTO, CA.: The California Complete Count office has issued an RFP looking for a PR firm to help with California Complete Count – Census 2020, its initiative to convince people to participate in the census.

The RFP, issued March 15, is intended to find an agency to help produce a campaign that will "ensure a complete count, navigate communities through 2020 census questionnaire submission, counter misinformation, address and overcome community concerns, and motivate traditionally hard-to-count Californians to participate in the 2020 census."

The office estimates the 1.5 year contract — which runs from July 2, 2019, to December 31, 2020 — will be worth $16.1 million, though it could be expanded to $46.1 million. The winning firm is expected to provide paid media, digital, social media, technology services, communications management, and crisis communications services.

The campaign will specifically target five demographics that the office has designated as hard to count: Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans and tribal communities, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Middle-Eastern North Africans.

The PR firm is expected to support a number of the offices’ goals, including "delivering focused messaging to those populations; ensuring the outreach is culturally and linguistically appropriate; developing rapid issue response strategies; and tracking and dispelling misinformation campaigns that discourage census participation."

According to the office, this is the first year of this campaign. During the 2010 census, the state spent $2 million on media buys to convince people to participate. In 2000, California spent $7 million on a statewide ethnic media paid advertising campaign.

The office is holding a bidder’s conference Friday to answer questions about the RFP. So far, the office said, 22 firms registered to attend in person and 50 registered to call in.

Bids are due end of day April 25 and the office will interview agencies from May 27-31. It expects to announce the winning firm June 3.

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