Census public engagement campaign 2022 – extension activity (April to May 2022): evaluation report

An overview of the Scotland's Census 2022 public engagement campaign extension (April to May 2022), including independent evaluation results.

9. Overview of results

The April and May extension campaign activity successfully built on the initial census campaign stages, with very good levels of prompted recognition at 81%, cut-through (the proportion who spontaneously described something potentially related to the campaign) at 43% and main message take-out at 95%.

The media mix was successful in reaching the target audience. While there were some differences in the media recognised by age, gender and socio-economic group reflecting the targeting by channel, overall recognition was consistent across the sample profile, although lower among those living in Glasgow. However, marketing activity was extensively supported by other interventions in Glasgow, including field force visits and field events, helping to drive completion rate up there.

There were very good levels of multi-media and multi-stage recognition (66% saw both the end of April / early May (extension 2) and end of May (extension 3) activity and 72% saw/heard 2+ channels) – and seeing both phases and multiple channels had an impact on knowledge, understanding and behaviour, demonstrating the value of this.

Key campaign messages were successfully communicated, with people picking up on the reminder to complete the census (43%) and/or mentions of a fine for non-completion/legal requirement (52%).The campaign also successfully communicated that support was available (81% agreement/86% among campaign recognisers) and gave people a better understanding of why filling in the census is important (74% agreement/78% among campaign recognisers).

Awareness, knowledge and understanding of the census were at very high levels (e.g. 93% were aware that a census had taken place; 92% were aware you should fill in the census online if you are able; 90% were aware that filling in the census is a legal responsibility) and all related measures were higher among campaign recognisers than non-recognisers, suggesting that the campaign had a positive impact on building knowledge and understanding.

While the majority had completed the census by the end of March, evidence suggests the campaign (along with the other interventions) successfully nudged the remaining minority to take relevant action: just under three in ten recognisers (28%) reported taking action as a result of the extension campaign. The most common action was completing the census, mentioned by just under a fifth of campaign recognisers (18%). It is worth noting that half of campaign recognisers (51%) said they did not take action because they had already completed the census when they saw the advertising.

Among those who had not already filled in the census, recognisers were more likely than non-recognisers to say they were likely to do so (42% vs 13% – although base sizes were small so findings are indicative only).

The campaign successfully engaged the key sub-groups of interest[3], who generally had high levels of recognition, good campaign engagement and high levels of awareness/knowledge of the census, with younger respondents and lower socio-economic groups most likely to report taking action as a result of the campaign.


Email: Nicola.Clark-Tonberg@gov.scot

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