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The Town of Ridgeway received a Municipal Achievement Award for its social media campaign for economic development. Officials accepted the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's 74th Annual Meeting on July 12. The town won in the 1-1,000 population category. Twenty-six cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
The Town of Ridgeway has been enjoying economic momentum in the last few years fueled by a strong business community and passionate residents. This small town of roughly 360 people launched a massive public relations and marketing campaign to bring more visitors and businesses downtown.
The campaign evolved from the town's strategic plan, which is updated and prioritized each year by council with input from residents. The plan called for an updated website, a new slogan/brand and new community events.
Ridgeway's new slogan, "One Tank Town," refers to how little gas it takes to get to Ridgeway, which is centrally located in the state. Town officials and the local chamber of commerce harnessed excitement for the town's signature event, Pig on the Ridge, to promote other popular events like First Fridays downtown and a 43-mile garage sale held in cooperation with other Fairfield County municipalities.
Local officials used technology and social media to share the town's assets. The custom-designed website allows town officials to include more information about the town, local businesses and special events. To complement this effort, officials began using social media to connect with both residents and visitors. QR codes direct visitors to the town's website then on to the websites of downtown businesses. These efforts were funded through a variety of sources, including town funds, revenue from Pig on the Ridge, and the in-kind efforts and donations from local merchants.
"The "One Tank Town" campaign has let the world know about the big things going on in this little town," said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association's website