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About

Downtown Raleigh Alliance New Website RFP

Download a PDF of our RFP here

Introduction and Overview 

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance is requesting proposals from qualified firms for a comprehensive re-development of our website, www.downtownraleigh.org. This website is the front door to our organization and serves multiple audiences including the Raleigh community, downtown stakeholders, potential donors, and visitors. The website should align with DRA’s brand new Strategic Plan (goals and mission are attached in addendum A) and be responsive, fast, designed with SEO in mind, and user-friendly.

Our organization currently hosts websites for events and programs we produce such as First Friday Raleigh (www.firstfridayraleigh.com), Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week (www.dinedowntownraleigh.com), and the Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration (www.raleightreelighting.com). We would like to integrate these websites as well as future “sitelets” into the overall strategic design of our main downtown website. We would like for these sites to have their own navigation within the larger framework of our downtown website.

We are searching for a qualified firm to aid in the strategic direction of the site including design, information architecture, and backend development. There are many downtown organizations with great websites that can serve as inspiration for the structure and design of our own downtown site.

History of the Organization

In 1996, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) was created as a business-league nonprofit association for the purpose of revitalizing downtown. The DRA was created to administer the delivery of services funded by the municipal services district to attract investors, businesses and developers to downtown; to recruit retail and service businesses and promote and encourage development; to undertake activities to promote a positive image of downtown and to improve its marketability; and to maintain continuous and positive dialogue with government leaders.

New Website Objectives

  • Position DRA as the go-to organization on all things downtown Raleigh with a current, mobile-friendly website
  • Tell the story of DRA and highlight new mission and strategic plan
  • Align website design and architecture with target audiences
  • Celebrate downtown Raleigh businesses
  • House comprehensive list of downtown Raleigh events and happenings

Current Website

Our current website is 10 years old and doesn’t address the needs users have in 2018, nor does it reflect the organization’s refined mission and strategic plan.

Some Current Challenges

  • Not responsive
  • Design isn’t current nor does it allow us to alter the homepage much to promote something particularly special
  • Design isn’t abundantly clear what the website is for
  • Events aren’t highlighted well on the main page/no real difference is displayed for major festivals versus very small events
  • One main menu tries to do too much and navigation is not intuitive
  • Users often have to click too many times to find what they’re looking for
  • Site doesn’t allow for easy integration of our programs and events (such as our Restaurant Week at dinedowntownraleigh.org)
  • Some important information (such as economic development info) can be difficult to find 
  • Mapping is outdated
  • Doesn’t make good use of parking information for consumers
  • May have too much information on the site, making it overwhelming for users

Project Details and Scope of Work

  • Determine user-friendly Information Architecture for the following audiences:  
    • Downtown Stakeholders/Businesses
    • General Public
    • Potential Donors
    • Visitors
    • Economic Developers
    • Downtown Residents
  • Design beautiful user interface with input from DRA staff
  • Completely develop backend and frontend of site in a manner such that DRA staff can quickly and easily update information as needed
  • Create interactive downtown Raleigh mapping structure 
  • Integrate custom forms for things such as donations and user submissions

Website Requirements

  • Responsive/mobile-friendly
  • Sustainable design that is easy to change and update
  • Intuitive Content Management System with ability to put downtown businesses in various groups
  • Strong Search Engine Optimization 
  • Integration of downtown events in such a way that DRA staff does not directly input content
  • Integration of downtown commercial real estate listings
  • Transportation integration (i.e. real time bus updates)
  • Interactive mapping
  • Ability to create “sitelets” within overall structure of main website
  • Analytic software
  • Ability to create blog
  • Training
  • Secure
  • Ongoing support/hosting
  • Fast load speed
  • Accessible for the visually impaired 
  • Redirects from old content or websites

Website Wishlist

  • Utilize technology to pull area businesses from a third party source that auto-updates hours or other information as they change 
  • Utilize technology to pull downtown events from third party source
  • API available for third party usage (i.e. digital way-finding kiosks or Downtown Raleigh App)
  • Integration with a new Customer Relationship Marketing system (which could be Neon, Citylight, or Microsoft Dynamics)

Provided Assets

  • Photographs
  • Video, if necessary
  • DRA logo
  • Typefaces, if necessary 
  • Content

Interested Parties Should Submit

  • Detailed project proposal 
  • Relevant experience
  • Sample work
  • Pricing (Budget - $20,000)
  • Ongoing maintenance/support proposal
  • References

Timeline


Contact

Stacey Simeone, Director of Marketing
Downtown Raleigh Alliance
333 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1150, Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 821-6976
staceysimeone@downtownraleigh.org
www.DowntownRaleigh.org

ADDENDUM A


DRAFT STRATEGIC GOALS

  1. Build a culture of authentic engagement and inclusion with Downtown's diverse community
  2. Foster a thriving and diverse storefront economy
  3. Facilitate strategic partnerships to produce positive, balanced activations across Downtown
  4. Improve physical connectivity and accessibility within and around Downtown
  5. Position the DRA as reliable, responsive, representative, and mission-directed


NEW MISSION STATEMENT

Advancing the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone.