I was so happy to be invited in in this project. In the video below, I explain the what, why, and how of this project so I will not take the time to do that here. I really did not have a supervisor for this project and relied heavily on my partner Lisa and the communications faculty to help me make this project as professional and successful as possible. I worked For the Colorado Department of Transportation who was partnering with the 2020 Census to prompt participation and self reporting. I created multiple materials that were used in this promotion all of witch are listed below. I hope that you enjoy seeing this project as much as I did creating it.
Most of the verbiage used in this PR plan was taken from the National and Colorado 2020 Census PR plans and templates. It then was customized to fit our needs, our target audience, and our target dates. Even though we used this as a guideline, it was constantly changing to fit our needs such as when COVID-19 happened. Originally planned to use the messaging portion in the plan to create a script that people knocking on doors could say, but with the different regulations that came, knocking doors was no longer an option and thus got taken out of the plan.
The dates on the PR plan are mostly accurate as well, but there were some changes and additions that were made as this project progressed.
The press release took a large amount of research and approvals. I wanted to write it in a way that it would remain unique to all of the other press releases that were going to be released about the census. Overall it went through about a two-week prosses of approvals and changes before it was finally ready to be released. By this time COVID-19 was in full force so publishing was again delayed for a bit to see how COVID-19 would effect the census as a whole. It was eventually approved and released.
I produced two news-letters that went out to all of the CDOT employees in electronic form. The purpose was to educate and encourage employees to take the census. It also encouraged employees to encourage others to participate in the census. The first newsletter was made to be more informational and was sent out around the same time that the census was being mailed and the second was sent out on National Census day. Pictures were taken form a CDOT photo gallery with most of the information coming from the national 2020 census website.
I feel like I learned the most from working with social media posts. There was a tone of information to convey in each post. The images for the posts were created by Lisa, myself, or were used from the Official 2020 Census promotion packages we received. We used the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Facebook page for the posts. I created all of the posts in advance and then scheduled them in Facebook during times and dates that they were most likely to be seen. Occasionally adjustments and changes to the posts were made as the need arose and as we learned from the reaction we got on previous posts. We then monitored the posts and replied to comments when appropriate. I have included some screenshots of some of the posts below. To view, all of them visit the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Facebook page.
Did it make a difference?
The biggest question I think that everyone asks themselves after they finish working on something is “did it make a difference.” As I explained in my video, it is hard to put a pin on whether or not colorado had more participation in the census than in 2010 because the census is still ongoing. However, I have been tracking this information through a data map. I have also been using a ranking table that keeps track of self-reported information in each state. According to this information, Colorado has done fairly well in its attempt to get an accurate count thus far. These numbers are continuing to change, and hopefully, they will continue to rise.
I have to say that I was not the best at keeping track of where all my time was spent, but I can tell you that I attended five remote meetings that lasted from 30 minuets to an hour each. I also know that during the first part of the project I spent a total of 10 hours researching the census and understanding how it worked and it could be related to the State transportation system with additional hours spent on researching specific information for the various materials that I produced. I also spent around 10 hours with several professors as they helped me write and word the PR plan, discussing strategies for creating the social media posts, and discussing my overall project and how to make it more effective. As far as the time spent creating the other materials, I would say that I spent 30+ hours between creating drafts, making revisions, creating or finding graphics, and posting and monitoring posts on social media. I have also spent time tracking and monitoring the progress of the census in Colorado as well as pull this project together and make it available online for you to view. I have no doubt in my mind that I have spent a total of 60+ hours on this project.