US Census

TCA uncovered the lifestyles, values, and motivations of South Carolinians in Hard to Count tracts. We then created a strategic plan to educate these people on the benefits the census and to encourage their participation. 

Research Team

For the 2020 Census account, the Research Department was tasked with the challenge of identifying the demographics and psychographics of individuals living in Hard to Count Census tracts across the state of South Carolina. Using first-, second-, and third-party data, our team uncovered not only what specific communities these individuals live in, but also their lifestyles, values, and motivations. Before conducting primary research, we cross-referenced existing Census data, information from the governor’s office, and industry reports, with a custom Claritas 360 audience cross-tabulation to answer our initial research questions and help us formulate new ones. Once we had our initial insights, we began to design our primary research but soon encountered a problem; It is nearly impossible to conduct a primary quantitative analysis on a population that is unwilling to fill out a survey. Thus, our team decided to take a grassroots approach and visit Hard to Count tracts across the state. In total, we conducted 81 interviews in 10 Hard to Count tracts across the Upstate, Midlands, and Lowcountry. When paired with our existing secondary research, we built in-depth audience profiles for the Census’ primary and secondary audiences as well as devised target personas for the campaign to be built around. After four months of meticulous research, we are thrilled with the project’s results.

Account Team

The 2020 Census aims to count every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. We were initially hired to do research to identify the audience and the campaign objective. We visited 10 Hard to Count tracts across the state of South Carolina to collect our primary research. Through our research, we uncovered that the majority of people living in HTC tracts do not know what the Census does or how it impacts their community. We came up with the strategy to empower South Carolinians to take the 2020 Census by creating a dialogue that boosts awareness and understanding. By 1) Educating South Carolinians about the census and its benefits. & 2) to Mobilize South Carolinians to take the 2020 Census by showcasing how it can impact their communities. To achieve this goal we came up with “Counting smiling faces in beautiful places” targeting English and Spanish-speaking Hispanic and African American males and females around South Carolina. We came up with an event toolkit, as well as created our own Facebook as part of the media tactics. This was shared with the General Assembly of the Complete Count Committees for state-wide use. Because of COVID-19, we were forced to pivot our tactics which were our biggest challenge. Part of our strategy was to use trusted voices around the state to speak directly to the audience. Our research uncovered that our audience is more willing to listen to people they trust, which takes us to what we’re currently working on. Right now we are working on a video promotion/PSA of South Carolina leaders exhorting the community to take the Census. We’ve also focused on owned social media platforms to engage our audience.