FLORENCE – Florence residents can expect to see slogans like “No Ifs, Ands or Butts About It” in restaurants as early as mid-October if promotion strategies designed by Francis Marion University senior marketing students are utilized by a local non-profit agency.
FMU Marketing Professor Dr. Kay Lawrimore was approached by the Pee Dee Healthy People Coalition to develop a marketing plan to promote smoke-free dining in restaurants earlier in the semester. As a result, 11 students recently gave formal presentations to Pee Dee Healthy People Coalition representatives.
“This was a golden opportunity for students to help the community and to get a headstart on applying their marketing knowledge,” Lawrimore said.
Pee Dee Healthy People Coalition member Lori Phillips said that for two years her organization has been seeking to raise awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke and provide Florence County citizens a smoke-free atmosphere in restaurants. Approximately 40 local restaurants are smoke-free. Student proposals were an opportunity for the organization to boost these efforts, she said.
“We knew we wanted to take it to the next level but we didn’t know quite how to accomplish that,” Phillips said. “The student presentations were fabulous.”
Campaign ideas ranged from student writing competitions to promote smoke-free dining to the use of mainstay promotional items such as T-shirts, bumper stickers and newspaper advertising.
Marketing student Robert Streett said because he is in favor of the move, building a campaign for smoke-free dining was easy for him.
“Everybody is going smoke-free because it is harmful,” Street said. “All I had to do was research the topic and the ideas just came.”
His premier promotion item is a “Smoke-Free Taste of Florence” to take place in the Exhibit Hall of the Florence Civic Center. The event would be free to the public and would give representatives from local hospitals and other smoke-free work sites the opportunity to display their products.
Streett and his classmates will be informed by mid-October which ideas were chosen by the Pee Dee Healthy People Coalition.
Following are the names of FMU senior marketing students who presented:
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