The Commonwealth of Virginia: Innovative Outreach Strategies for a Successful Census
The commonwealth of Virginia is employing innovative outreach strategies to achieve a complete count in the 2020 Census. Part of their strategy has been to explore outbound text messaging campaigns to engage with constituents, particularly as in-person outreach has become more challenging in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Virginia leveraged CommunityConnect Labs’ Community Motivator to send text messages to individuals on their voter file contact list, to ask users if they’d completed their census and invite them to opt-in to reminders. Early results are very promising, helping contribute to the commonwealth’s above-national-average 38.7% self-response rate as of 3/29/20.
Additionally, the state has scheduled “Weeks of Action” to drive engagement around the Census across different communities. These digital events include social media campaigns and senior-focused initiatives.