Weber Shandwick Wins Nevada Contract for the 2010 Census Campaign

Jan 11, 2010, 09:30 ET from Weber Shandwick

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Weber Shandwick has been awarded an $866,000 contract by the Nevada Secretary of State's Office to implement a public outreach program designed to ensure a complete and accurate 2010 Census count in the Silver State.

Weber Shandwick, a leading global public relations agency, has secured numerous high-profile federal and state government contracts, including the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 Census communications campaign. Since 2007, a large team in six of Weber Shandwick's U.S. offices has worked on the partnerships, public relations and digital aspects of reaching every resident in the country, an audience of approximately 310 million people with 2010 Census messages about filling out and mailing back the form.

The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick, which directs the firm's work on the national Census effort, has assigned a separate team to lead the Nevada campaign. The Nevada program includes advertising support from Sawyer Miller Advertising and Hispanic and African American outreach by Weber Shandwick's multi-cultural firm, the Axis Agency. Weber Shandwick has subcontracted with The Ferraro Group of Reno and Las Vegas to assist in executing the plan. Weber Shandwick's contract runs through the end of April.

Barb Iverson, president of Weber Shandwick's Financial Services practice group, said of the win: "We are thrilled to have been awarded this contract with Nevada because we fully understand the importance of a complete count. While every state in the union has unique challenges with the decennial census, there are few states that face what Nevada faces: a population boom of more than 600,000 residents since the last census, plus one of the highest rates of unemployment, foreclosures and homelessness in the country. In our first planning meeting with Secretary of State Ross Miller and his staff in Las Vegas recently, the secretary indicated that Weber Shandwick's knowledge and vast experience reaching hard-to-reach audiences will bring added value to Nevada's efforts."

Miller added, "Nevada simply cannot afford to throw away precious federal dollars just because somebody isn't counted. We estimate the state would lose $917 for every man, woman and child missed, so people in this state have every reason to respond when asked to be counted. The questionnaire is short and simple, the information is completely confidential and by law cannot be shared with other government agencies, and it gives us all an opportunity to make significant investments in our own communities."

The Nevada Legislature approved the budget for the 2010 Census outreach, having seen the return on the successful 2000 campaign that positioned the census as a community-based project rather than a federal program. Nevada had the most improved response rate of any state in 2000 after finishing in the bottom five in 1990, when the state made little or no effort to encourage Nevadans to respond. Officials estimated the state lost tens of millions of federal dollars as a result of the poor response 20 years ago. The U.S. Census Bureau says the information it collects helps determine how more than $400 billion of federal funding is spent each year on infrastructure and services like hospitals, schools, senior centers, emergency services, job training and a variety of transportation projects. Census results also determine how many seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and the number of electoral votes in presidential elections.

The marketing and outreach plan is a multi-media effort to reach everyone living in the state, particularly populations that are traditionally undercounted. The final details will be developed in consultation with the Secretary of State's Office, the statewide and local Complete Count Committees, and U.S. Census officials based in Nevada.

About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations agency with offices in 77 countries around the world. The firm's success is built on its deep commitment to client service, creativity, collaboration and harnessing the power of Advocates - engaging stakeholders in new and creative ways to build brands and reputation. Weber Shandwick provides strategy and execution across practices such as consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate and crisis management. Its specialized services include digital/social media, advocacy advertising, market research, and corporate responsibility. In 2009, Weber Shandwick was recognized as PRWeek's inaugural Global Agency Report Card Gold Medal Winner, an 'Agency of the Decade' by Advertising Age, Global Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report, and International Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek UK. The firm has also won numerous 'best place to work' awards around the world including PR News and The Holmes Report. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.


    Jennifer Norton                      Leah Kondes
    Weber Shandwick                      Weber Shandwick
    212-445-8314                         952-346-6115
    jnorton@webershandwick.com           lkondes@webershandwick.com

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