Flock and Rally Earns Five Mercury Awards of Excellence

Creative agency earns awards for integrated communications, community relations, etc.

May 13, 2021 (COLUMBIA, S.C.)— Flock and Rally, the women-owned integrated communications and marketing firm, was honored with five 2020 Mercury Awards of Excellence for exceptional work in communications and marketing. The awards were presented by the S.C. chapter of Public Relations Society of America during the Mercury Awards’ 30th anniversary year.

The creative agency was honored with 2020 Mercury Awards of Excellence for the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Midlands Gives campaign; the “Saving Sarah’s Seat” campaign developed with The COMET; The COMET’s awareness campaign pivot for COVID-19; The S.C. Institute of Public Health’s (IMPH) COVID-19 campaign; and the S.C. State Fair’s drive-through fair campaign.

Flock and Rally is a full-service creative agency that works with clients across South Carolina and beyond, in sectors ranging from tourism, lifestyle, hospitality, and nonprofit to education, tech, business, economic development, and more. The firm has been in business since 2010, and its headquarters are located across from the S.C. Governor’s Mansion complex in downtown Columbia, S.C.

“We are committed to building communities and helping our clients reach a variety of audiences, even under extenuating circumstances,” says Merritt McNeely, executive vice president at Flock and Rally, “Our team is excited to share these awards with our project partners and with the clients who enable us to create timely, high-impact work.”

Details about each campaign are noted below.

Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Midlands Gives Campaign

The Midlands Gives 2020 campaign garnered a Mercury Award of Excellence in community relations. Midlands Gives is a year-round giving platform and annual 18-hour online giving event held each May — by Central Carolina Community Foundation — that brings the region together by raising money and awareness for hundreds of local nonprofits in one day. Flock and Rally has been working with Central Carolina Community Foundation to manage media relations for the campaign since 2015.

Despite the unique challenges presented by the global pandemic, Midlands Gives had a record-breaking year, raising over $3.32 million in donations in 2020, and the recent 2021 campaign broke records yet again, raising over $3.34 million in donations.

The COMET — Honoring Sarah Mae Flemming

The firm was honored with a Mercury Award of Excellence in integrated communications for the “Her Seat Is Saved” campaign. Sarah Mae Flemming was a Black woman from Eastover, South Carolina who was expelled from a Columbia city bus for sitting in a whites-only seat in 1954 — 17 months before Rosa Parks’ historic action in Alabama. The campaign was created to honor Sarah Mae Flemming’s legacy and create awareness of her vital role in our civil rights history. The campaign was launched on June 22, 2020, to commemorate the 66th anniversary of her ride.

Flock and Rally worked with The COMET’s in-house team to launch the campaign via traditional and digital advertising, social media, water bill inserts, and more, including life-size cutouts of Flemming being placed on each of The COMET’s buses from June through August 2020, with printed information about her life and legacy and a tagline that read, “Her Seat Is Saved.”

The COMET — Awareness Campaign Pivot for COVID-19

This campaign received a Mercury Award of Excellence in issues management. When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, it became clear that the transit system’s awareness campaign would have to be updated — swiftly. Flock and Rally teamed with The COMET to pivot its marketing messaging and graphics to reflect a focus on public health and safety.

The situation showed how quickly brands can be affected by external crises and in turn, the importance of shifting a marketing campaign as soon as possible in crisis scenarios.

IMPH COVID-19 Communications Campaign

The agency earned a Mercury Award of Excellence in integrated communications for this campaign. Over a nine-month period, in partnership with the S.C. Institute of Medicine and Public Health, Flock and Rally developed an integrated communications campaign that included a new website with a coronavirus information page, social media content, public relations campaigns and collaterals announcing four pandemic-related data reports, including the joint COVID-19 data brief that IMPH released in July 2020 in partnership with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).

The campaign helped IMPH’s audiences understand highly technical information via the use of tools such as illustrations and infographics deployed across multiple platforms. Media interviews explored critical topics such as county-level data which showed that communities of color across S.C. are impacted disproportionately by the coronavirus.

The S.C. State Fair: Free, Drive-Through Fair

This campaign garnered a Mercury Award of Excellence in events and observances fewer than seven days. Flock and Rally has worked with the S.C. State Fair since the 150th anniversary fair in 2019, and the team was eager to be a part of this reimagined event, where guests could enjoy free admission to drive through the fairgrounds and experience car-friendly attractions and indulge in their favorite fair foods, all from the safety of their vehicles.

The creative team worked closely with artist Cait Maloney to create a visual concept for the SC State Fair’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. The campaign produced many fun, heart-warming illustrations that advertised a way that people could enjoy the fair, even amidst a pandemic.

Flock and Rally is a full-service creative agency that develops new brands, launches major campaigns and provides integrated communications and marketing services for clients who believe in commitment to community. The agency is federally certified as a DBE. View the firm’s work, team and more at https://www.flockandrally.com/.

About Flock and Rally: Integrated Communications & Marketing
Founded in 2010, Flock and Rally is a full-service, women-owned creative agency based in Columbia, South Carolina. The firm integrates branding, public relations, marketing, traditional advertising, digital advertising, social media and more into campaigns for a diverse base of clients, ranging from regional nonprofits to large-scale businesses across South Carolina and beyond. Serving industry sectors ranging from lifestyle and tourism to business, technology, real estate, economic development and more, Flock and Rally’s mission is to rally the community around great ideas. Learn more at www.flockandrally.com.

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