As One Story Ends, Another One Begins

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This may be the end of the race for PlanIt Public Relations, as our campaign for SmokingWords comes to a completion, but our team is thankful for the opportunity we had to work with Dr. Judith Sylvester and this non-profit organization. Our team believes that the efforts of our hard work will continue with SmokingWords as the organization raises awareness about the health risks associated with tobacco use and reaches the goal of making LSU a tobacco free campus.

It is hard to believe that just four months ago, myself, Erin Bernard, Ali Manion, Samantha Vicknair and Grace Weber began this endeavor with our client. During this time we have worked to provide SmokingWords with many tools to help further the organizations cause. These tools included a new logo, website and partnerships with other organizations in the community focused on raising awareness about the harms of smoking. In addition to creating new tools and strategies for the organization to use, PlanIt Public Relations hosted several events for SmokingWords.

On April 3, 2012, SmokingWords hosted several events to raise awareness for the cause. The first was a cigarette butt pick up in the Quad. During this event students and faculty had the opportunity to collect cigarette butts in the quad. After only one hour in the quad, participants were able to collect enough cigarette butts to fill 2 gallon sized bags. SmokingWords and PlanIt Public Relations were both happy with the amount of volunteers that showed up to participate in the cigarette butt clean up. Also, during this event, participants had the opportunity to sign a petition and banner designed for SmokingWords that will be given to the Chancellor Martin to show the support to make LSU a tobacco free campus.

PlanIt Public Relations and SmokingWords hosted a second event on the evening of April 3, with a large turn out, in the Holliday Forum called “Let’s Clear the Air.” The event hosted a guest lecture by Dr. Daniel Harrington of the LSU Health Science School in New Orleans. During this lecture Dr. Harrington discussed the research he conducted in about air quality due to tobacco use. Harrington further discussed how limiting or banning smoking in areas actually improved air quality in the areas where smoking and tobacco use occurred. After the lecture, guests were invited to enjoy snacks and refreshments provided by the PlanIt PR team.

Our team is happy with the results we have obtained by designing and implementing this campaign for SmokingWords and we wish the organization continued success in the future.

So as our story ends as public relations students in college, the story of our client continues as SmokingWords moves towards making LSU a tobacco-free campus.

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Rain or Shine: SmokingWords and PlanIt PR are Kicking Butts and Taking Names.

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On Wednesday March 21, 2012, in the midst of the monsoon that took place in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas, PlanIt Public Relations participated in LSU Health and Wellness Fair. This marked the completion of the first event of the Fresh Start 2012 campaign developed for SmokingWords. The event coincided with the National Kick Butts day, which aims at getting people to stop smoking and increase awareness about the harms and risks associated with the use of tobacco products.

Like with any event the PlanIt Public Relations team began by arriving early and setting up for the event. We had our newly printed SmokingWords banner displayed and tons of brochures available to the patrons. The topics of the literature available ranged from smoking cessation helplines to the risks associated with hookahs. We also had a second table that had a banner stating free cigarettes, but if patrons read the fine print they would notice that the table had all the harmful ingredients found in cigarettes, which included arsenic, butane, nicotine and carbon monoxide.

Although the main goal of SmokingWords and PlanIt Public Relations participation in the Wellness fair aimed at reaching the LSU community, SmokingWords had the opportunity to meet other health organizations in the Baton Rouge community. As a result of this SmokingWords was able to form future partnerships with Mary Bird Perkins, American Lung Association and Mental Health Association of Baton Rouge. By partnering with both the Mental Health Association and Mary Bird Perkins, SmokingWords hopes to offer cessation classes to individuals in the future.

In addition to partnerships and reaching the LSU audience, SmokingWords also gained media exposure. In addition to posting several updates to the both the SmokingWords Facebook and Twitter, the organization was featured in both the LSU Reveille and The Odyssey. To read the Reveille article click here and The Odyssey click here. We are really excited to get this media exposure and looking forward to our upcoming event on April 3, 2012 with Dr. Daniel Harrington. He will give a guest lecture titled “Lets Clear the Air”.

So as you can gather from this little blurb, Rain or shine, PlanIt Public Relations and SmokingWords are dedicated to the cause of making LSU a tobacco-free campus.

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Welcome to the Main Events: SmokingWords is ready to Rumble

For the past several months, PlanIt Public Relations, a student firm, remains dedicated to developing a campaign for SmokingWords. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about the harms smoking and help make Louisiana State University a tobacco free campus. After completing our research phase we began to strategize and decide what events would be the most beneficial to our cause. After several weeks of planning and contacting vendors and potential speakers, we have decided to participate in the 2012 LSU Health and Wellness Fair and also sponsor a guest lecture in the Holliday Forum with Dr. Daniel Harrington, ScD.

Coincidentally, the Health and Wellness fair coincides with the National Kick Butts Day. To raise awareness for our client’s organization and Kick Butts Day, several members of the group including Samantha Vicknair, Grace Weber and myself covered the quad and surrounding buildings with posters that displayed the risks of smoking. These posters also had SmokingWords Twitter and Facebook information for people interested in learning more about SmokingWords through social media.

Additionally we will have a cigarette butt pickup in the quad and we will have two tables at the fair with promotional materials about SmokingWords, as well as literature explaining the benefits of tobacco free living. Students and faculty will also have the opportunity to register for several giveaways donated to us by local vendors including Northgate Tavern and Buffalo Wild Wings.

The second event will be the guest lecture by Daniel Harrington, a doctor at the LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans, on Tuesday April 3, 2012. At this event Dr. Harrington will share his research with students and faculty about how smoking in fact increases poor air quality in the venues where it takes place. Harrington has also completed follow up research that shows how the air quality has improved in areas where smoking is banned. We are excited to host such an expert in the field and are confident that he will help increase awareness about the need for a tobacco free campus at LSU. In addition to the lecture students and faculty will have the opportunity to join SmokingWords and sign their current petition. There will also be giveaways at this event from local vendors including Balfour House and Raising Canes.

So as you can see we have remained busy and focused on developing a successful campaign. We look forward to our upcoming events and are determined to help make LSU a tobacco free campus.

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Rocking and Rolling in the World of Public Relations

For the past few weeks PlanIt Public Relations, a student firm, has been working diligently to develop a successful campaign for our client SmokingWords. We began the process of developing the campaign by looking at past research. After completing the research phase our firm brainstormed and came up with several great ideas and concepts to utilize throughout this campaign.

During this campaign it has been my main responsibility as account liaison to keep in contact with the client and inform them of our progress and answer any questions or concerns they may have.In addition to here responsibilities, I try to help my team in anyway possible to ensure we have a successful campaign. Recently, I contacted Daniel Harrington of LSU Health Sciences to see if he would be interested in coming to LSU as a guest speaker to share the research he has conducted in about air quality due to tobacco use.

Currently, Ali Manion, Writing Director for PlanIt Public Relations is developing our social media efforts for the campaign. We all agree that by utilizing social media we could potentially reach a bigger audience and disseminate our message to others we previously would not have reached. It was our goal to implement both a Facebook and Twitter account for  SmokingWords. On these social media sites, students and faculty will be able to learn statistics  about the harms of tobacco use. In addition to statistics, the social media accounts for SmokingWords will provide information to upcoming events, like the LSU Student Health Fair. Since implanting our social media efforts, SmokingWords has seen an increase in followers for the cause to help make LSU a tobacco free campus.

Grace Weber, Event Coordinator and Samantha Vicknair, Strategic Director continue to work on making our first event at the LSU Student Health Fair a huge success. Both Ladies have been in contact with the LSU Student Health Center and LSU Catering. Grace has managed to secure two tables for us at the fair and Samantha has been in contact with the catering to see if turkey sandwiches could be donated to us. This would be beneficial since one of our main themes is to “Quit Cold Turkey.”

Finally Erin Bernard, Design Director, remains dedicated to designing all fliers and promotional materials we will need throughout our campaign. To date she has designed our company logo, our student organization flier and is currently developing a banner design for us to use at all of our events.

So as you can see we are all Rocking and Rolling as the title of this blog stated. We look forward to our upcoming events with SmokingWords and reaching a wider audience to help make LSU a tobacco free campus.

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To Research or not to Research?

Currently PlanIt Public Relations is in the research phase of our campaign with our client, SmokingWords. Like all good things in life if you want something to be done right and successful, it normally begins with research of your own or the research of those before you.

As previously stated our group is working with Dr. Judith Sylvester, the director of SmokingWords. It is the goal of this organization to make Louisiana State University, or LSU, a tobacco free campus by Fall 2012. In order to achieve the client’s goal and produce a successful campaign that educates students on the harms of tobacco use, it is necessary for us to look at the past research and conduct research of our own.

We began the research process by looking at secondary research performed by other organizations. Many of these organizations included the National Institute of Health, or NIH, Nicholls State University and Tobacco Free Living, or TFL. By looking at this research we discovered alarming statistics. There are currently more people who die from second hand smoke in the U.S. each versus those who are actually smokers. By looking at the research conducted by Nicholls State University, we were able to see what an actual tobacco free campus policy looked like. For more information about what a tobacco free campus policy looks like click here. In addition to conducting secondary, PlanIt Public Relations conducted our own reseach as well. We currently have an ongoing survey entitled Perception of Tobacco Use on Campus. The goal of this survey is to find out how bot students and faculty at LSU feel about how tobacco is currently used on the campus, and how they would react if LSU does go to a tobacco free campus by Fall 2012.

In conclusion it is almost impossible to conduct a campaign without conducting research. By looking at past research it gives you insight into ideas that have already been explored and lets you know if those methods were successful or not. By conducting your own research it allows you to expand previous research or ideas. It also allows you to think outside of the box and develop your own methods and procedures to developing a successful campaign. It is our hope that by conducting our own research and combining it with the previous research conducted by others. PlanIt Public Relations will develop a successful campaign for SmokingWords and help make LSU a tobacco free campus.

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Putting what you Learn to Good Use.

Hello, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nathan Montgomery and I am a senior majoring in public relations at Louisiana State University. After graduation, I hope to either work in corporate or non-profit public relations. During my time at LSU, I have had the opportunity to learn from many professionals in the field of public relations. Since this is my last semester before I graduate, I now have the opportunity to plan, implement and execute my very own campaign.

For the spring semester a group of 5 students, including myself have the opportunity to start our own public relations firm known as PlanIt Public Relations. Under the guidance of Dr. Jensen Moore, our firm will have the opportunity to work with SmokingWords, a non-profit organization in the LSU community, which focuses on informing individuals about the harms associated with tobacco use.

 A few days ago my colleagues and I had the opportunity to conduct our first client meeting with Dr. Judith Sylvester, the founder of SmokingWords. Since the founding of the organization, Dr. Sylvester continues to get one step closer to making the university a tobacco free campus. As a result of her efforts, the LSU faculty senate passed a motion that allows the campus to be a smoke free campus, but no formal policy has yet been implemented.

 It is our goal as a student ran public relations firm to deliver an awareness and social media campaign geared at college students that will not only educate them about the harms of smoking, but also push to make the LSU campus a tobacco free campus.

 Over the next few months PlanIt will implement several strategies to reach the goal of our campaign. Many of the ideas include partnering with the LSU Student Health Center for their Annual Health Fair, and executing a campus wide event on the National Kick Butts Day scheduled for March 21, 2012. Currently SmokingWords does not have a Twitter account and it is our desire to establish one for the organization. By using social media we are certain that we can help spread the message to a much larger audience.

 It is by skill and determination that our team at PlanIt PR hopes to deliver an outstanding campaign to our client SmokingWords. We are all highly motivated and are ready to begin the process that could significantly lower the number of smokers and make LSU a tobacco free campus. 

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