Flock and Rally has been honored with a Silver Wing Award of Merit for the development of Motor Supply Co. Bistro’s new restaurant website at www.motorsupplycobistro.com. The South Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (SCPRSA) annual Mercury Awards recognize the state’s most talented communications professionals and their outstanding strategic campaigns in a variety of areas.
Flock and Rally is a boutique agency in Columbia, S.C., offering full-service public relations, marketing, social media and event planning services to clients in the lifestyle, non-profit, technology and economic development sectors, with a focus on boosting South Carolina’s creative economy and contributing to Columbia’s growing reputation as a progressive Southern city on the rise.
The Silver Wing Award of Merit for External Websites was presented to Flock and Rally on April 24, 2014, for developing a site with exceptional web content that reflects the growing scope and importance of strategic public relations efforts. Entrants are judged on the quality and depth of their research, along with originality, budget, implementation and project evaluation. Silver Wing Awards are given for individual campaign components. (View the entire Mercury Award winners’ booklet.)
Responsive, Mobile-friendly Design
Motor Supply’s website was redesigned as part of a long-term public relations plan to provide ease of use for customers while reinforcing the restaurant’s position as a leading destination for farm-to-table, sustainable cuisine in the Midlands. The site needed to be user friendly, offering intuitive and simple navigation to help customers find pertinent information on the website as easily as possible from their mobile phones.
It was imperative that the site be responsive, allowing customers to engage easily with the restaurant’s reservation system, photos, blog and daily-changing menus on any size mobile device, tablet or desktop computer, with live-linked phone numbers to enable one-click dialing. In particular, a graceful means by which to upload and display the daily-changing, handwritten menu was essential.
Flock and Rally’s team prioritized a responsive design with a contemporary theme featuring original, high-resolution photography by Forrest Clonts Studio. Focus was placed on natural language search engine optimization (SEO), an easy-to-navigate e-commerce platform (for gift certificates and the restaurant’s house-made Two Brothers Jerky product), and a comprehensive press room with a grid-format press archive, comprehensive press kit and high-resolution downloads, per current best practices across the web.
A Collaborative Effort
While Flock and Rally’s founding partners, Debi Schadel and Tracie Broom, provided overall creative direction and leadership on information architecture, user experience and content strategy, account manager Chloe Rodgers took lead on project management, including research and content development. Photographer Forrest Clonts shot the striking images for the website, showcasing the dynamic staff, the conviviality of the space and the leisurely vibe – with help from a fearless cast of Motor Supply regulars.
Web development consultant Mathew Smith was engaged to customize code across the entire front and back end to produce the site per agency specifications, and Melissa Ligon, owner of Art4Money, Inc., Motor Supply’s advertising and graphic design firm, served as a consultant. Motor Supply owner Eddie Wales provided valuable guidance regarding aesthetics and user experience, as well.
Early Results: Longer Website Visits
Since the launch of the new site in November 2013, Motor Supply Co. Bistro’s website traffic has jumped from an average 1.5 minute stay per visit to 2.5 – 3.5 minutes per visit, showing that users are remaining more engaged in the content and user-friendliness of the site.
Flock and Rally has served as Motor Supply Co. Bistro’s public relations and social media marketing firm since June 2011. Since its inception in 2010, Flock and Rally has collaborated with local web designers to develop and/or manage websites for a variety of local clients, including Upstream: A Center for Mindfulness Practice and Holistic Mental Health; Marina Bay; Lake Murray Marina; Crafty Feast; and 701 CCA’s Columbia Open Studios. The firm plans to redesign its own website in the near future.
About Flock and Rally
Flock and Rally is a boutique public relations, marketing and event planning agency in Columbia, South Carolina, focused on leveraging new media tools and grassroots techniques to help clients launch and amplify their brands. Led by founding partners Debi Schadel and Tracie Broom, the Flock and Rally team works with some of the Midlands’ most iconic hot spots in hospitality, retail and entertainment, as well as clients in the non-profit, technology and economic development sectors. Flock and Rally’s mission is simple: to rally our community around great ideas. Learn more at www.flockandrally.com.
Current Flock and Rally Clients and Projects
- Motor Supply Co. Bistro
- Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
- EngenuitySC, the Midlands’ economic development organization
- MACK Home decor outpost & interior design firm
- Upstream: A Center for Mindfulness Practice & Holistic Mental Health
- Jenks Farmer‘s sustainable gardening book, Deep-Rooted Wisdom
- Cayce Mayor Elise Partin‘s 2014 re-election campaign
- The ConvergeSE web conference
- Free Times Best of Columbia party, Aug. 2014
- Palladium Society of the Historic Columbia Foundation auction, Fall 2014
- S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts fundraiser at Wavering Place Plantation, Nov. 2, 2014
- Crafty Feast indie artisan fair, Dec. 2014
- Famously Hot New Year 2015 social media campaign
- Slow Food at Indie Grits sustainable chefs’ showcase, April 19, 2015