Montana 2020 Census Newsletter

Montana Census 2020 Banner

Be counted


Sign Up to Become a "Be Counted" Site

With Census count beginning in mid-March, there are ways you can assist in obtaining a complete count for Montana. Since the 2020 Census will be available online and by phone for the first time, one of the best ways to help is by signing up to become a “Be Counted” site.

To become a “Be Counted” location you will need to have:

  • A building that the public and people with disabilities can access such as a business, organization headquarters, or community center where computers, tablets, or phones will be available for community members to use to fill out their form.
  • Password protected WiFi.
  • Your location will need to be available from mid-March until early May.
  • The location does not need to be staffed, but if you choose to staff your site remember that only Census Bureau employees can assist people with filling out their form because they offer confidentiality protected by law.

Click HERE to sign up to become a 2020 Be Counted location. We have an interactive map of "Be Counted" sites around the state, get your location added to the map and have promotional material mailed to you by signing up. 


State Complete Count Committee
The State CCC has just re-launched its website CENSUS.MT.GOV. The new website is easier to navigate, has additional information and resources with new content being added weekly. Take a moment to check it out.

Census Partners Across Montana
Over 900 organizations and businesses across Montana have signed on with the U.S. Census Bureau as Census Partners. These trusted voices in communities across the state are raising awareness that the 2020 Census is easy, safe, and important.  Learn more HERE.  

Forward Montana Foundation
Forward Montana Foundation in collaboration with Complexly has produced an in-depth informational video which can be viewed HERE. Forward Montana Foundation has also created Census coasters which they have distributed to various locations across the state. 

Western Native Voice and Montana Native Vote
Western Native Voice and Montana Native Vote recently were on Native Nation discussing the importance of the Census to Montana’s Native Americans in urban and reservation areas. The video can be viewed HERE. The two groups also received press attention this week for their work on tribal outreach, specifically their pledge cards.

Helena Food Share|
At Helena Food Share’s Christmas Meal Distribution Day they had volunteers hand out a half page Census flier provided by the state to over 700 people!

Have Census success to share email for a chance to be published in the next newsletter.



Create Your Own Public Service Announcement (PSA)

A PSA is designed to educate and generate awareness for the audience about a topic. A PSA may appear in a traditional advertising setting including television, radio, billboards, print publications and online advertising, but it can also be distributed with zero cost on social media platforms like Facebook .

Some video PSA’s look like television commercials and can be a valuable resource for providing audience specific messaging.

Tips for Creating Your Own Video PSA

  1. Identify Your Audience: Decide who your PSA is geared for. Hearing Census information from a trusted source helps build confidence in filling out the form. Think about groups that you frequently work with and make a video that includes them. Including community members is an important way to make sure your content is relevant to a Montana audience.
  2. Ensure Accurate Content: Consult the Talking Points found HERE to make sure your PSA has accurate Census 2020 information. If you need any specific information or want to fact check the information you have please contact the Census and Economic Information Center.
  3. Create an Outline: Decide what points you want to convey in your video, an appropriate length (typically 30-60 seconds), who you will include, and what the “hook” will be to gain audience attention.
  4. Write a Script: Use simple conversational language and keep your sentences concise and to the point. Read your script aloud, slowly and time yourself to ensure its length is on track.
  5. Film your PSA: Decide what your budget is for a PSA. Maybe you received a grant and can hire an outside production company or maybe you’re doing it yourself with a cell phone. Any video that is made will be helpful in ensuring a complete count so don’t let budget deter you!
  6. Distribute your PSA: Upload it online using YouTube or Vimeo, share it through social media, or unveil it at a community event. Identify organizations that focus on the group your PSA is meant to reach and ask them to help spread the word. Send your PSA to local TV stations and ask them to play it on their channel.

Examples of Census 2020 PSAs made by people and organizations across the country can be found here:

  • Brownsville Indiana School District PSA Video
  • Hildalgo County Texas Census 2020 PSA Video
  • City of Watsonville California PSA Video 
  • Mayor of Chicago  Lori Lighfoot PSA Video
  • City of El Paso Spanish PSA Video
  • Mayor Lori Lighfoot PSA Video




January 14 - National Census Media Day 

January 14 - Presentation to Big Brothers Big Sisters Staff 

February 6 - Aging Horizons Television Show 

April 1 - Census Day!


Montana Poised to Get Second House Seat Post- Census: Report

It Takes Extra Effort by the U.S. Census Bureau to Reach People Far Outside Urban Areas
U.S. Census Bureau 
* Has a feature section on Montana

Montana is counting on 2020 Census

Gazette opinion: Every Montana must count in the Census
Billings Gazete

Native activists working to get Montana reservations fully counted in census
Billings Gazette



Do you have a Census event coming up? Have you been working on community outreach? Or have success you'd like to share? Contact us HERE for a chance to be published in the next newsletter and have your next event displayed on the 2020 Census Events Calendar at CENSUS.MT.GOV.