ELIZABETH FRY KINGSTON Case Study
By: Breanne Johnson, Creative Director, SPARK SLC
Empowering women through the provision of community outreach, social justice services, and affordable housing, Elizabeth Fry Kingston provides invaluable services to women who are, have been, or are at risk of being in conflict with the law.
Early in 2020, Jim McCartney, President of the Board of Directors, and Kathryn Londry, Executive Director, reached out to discuss SPARK supporting the development of a brand new website. "Our current website was in a platform that we were unable to access and, therefore, not current," said Kathryn.
SPARK, part of the Innovation and Business Engagement department at SLC, is an in-house student enterprise focused on solving communication challenges for businesses in our community. They provide students interested in marketing, design, and development with the opportunity to work part-time throughout the school year, delivering industry-standard, quality marketing solutions to real clients, shattering the perception of a student-driven agency.
"The SPARK team took the time to learn about our agency and considered the websites of other Elizabeth Fry Societies," explained Jim. As a national entity, Elizabeth Fry Kingston’s society required a website that allowed them to showcase their incredible local work and complement the assembly and advocacy they share across the country.
Taking into account the need for a website that is user-friendly to navigate, responsive, accessible, and most importantly easy for Kathryn and her team to update on an ongoing basis, SPARK chose to develop the website on a Squarespace platform.
"The students were able to customize the overall look and feel to match Elizabeth Fry’s branding while making small tweaks to ensure the colours, text, and links meet current accessibility and SEO (search engine optimization) standards," explained Breanne Johnson, Creative Director of SPARK. "It was an excellent project that combined the talents of our Graphic Design, Marketing, and Development students."
"Being a part of the development of Elizabeth Fry's website was such an enriching experience. It was very gratifying to work with an amazing institution that empowers so many women in our community. I've also learned so much about website design and accessibility, it was certainly an awesome learning opportunity that helped me a lot with my personal development," said Carolina Quinete, a third-year Advertising and Marketing Communications program student who was the lead Marketing Coordinator for the project.
Working collaboratively, the students took content provided by Kathryn and Jim and developed a framework for the website that would allow visitors to quickly find what they were looking for if they were seeking services or looking to support the organization.
Like many organizations in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic provided a new set of challenges for both Elizabeth Fry Kingston and SPARK. "In March we moved our entire student staff to a remote working environment," said Breanne, "We were sad to leave our office in St. Lawrence College’s Innovation Hub behind, but our students rose to the challenge and have continued to offer the same great service to all of our clients all while working collaboratively online from their own homes. It’s a true testament to the professionalism and calibre of students we have at St. Lawrence College."
For Elizabeth Fry, the pandemic presented challenges to the timeline in completing our website explained Kathryn. "Some of our programs were temporarily no longer operational, some staff had been laid off, COVID protocols had to be developed and put in place, and the website, unfortunately, became less of a priority for the agency. However, the SPARK team continued to communicate with us and work on the project. We never felt pressured or any sense of frustration from the SPARK team. They were very accommodating to our schedules and this was very much appreciated. We can't thank them enough for their patience with us during this time."
The Final Product
Launched in November 2020, Elizabeth Fry Kingston’s new website can be found by visiting efrykingston.ca.
"We would highly recommend SPARK to anyone looking for this type of service," said Kathryn. "Bre and her team developed a visually attractive, user-friendly, and relevant website for our Agency. We cannot thank them enough for providing us with a site which we can easily update, as this had been lacking for several years. Their ongoing support to our staff and Board was very much appreciated. An amazing group to work with!"
SPARK’s areas of expertise include marketing and brand strategy, website design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), videography, graphic design, and much more. They’ve worked with clients ranging in size from independent photographers to large corporations like P&G.
To see a highlight of their past client work visit sparkslc.ca/our-work
For a full list of their services and to learn more visit sparkslc.ca