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July 11, 2012
Applebee's Wants Kids to Read: Great!
Whether the "Summer Reading Challenge" to kids being mounted by an Applebee's franchisee and the Salvation Army in upstate New York and Connecticut is public relations or marketing is immaterial. It's a great idea that ought to be picked up by other businesses, for next year at this point. Kids need all the encouragement/prompting they can get to settle into summertime books and if aiming for an Oreo Cookie sundae or a free kid's meal will get them reading, great!   

The summer reading campaign is an inspired public relations/marketing move. Patrons at participating Applebee's are invited to drop new books into Salvation Army barrels at the restaurants and get an Applebee's Bookworm Club card and a free sundae on their next visit. Once kids 10 and under have 10 books initialed on their cards, they're eligible for a free kid's meal. The cards can also be downloaded on line. The Salvation Army is making the collected books available in neighborhoods it serves. 

"At Applebee's, we view reading as fundamental for success," says Stephanie Griffin, director of marketing and public relations for the T.L. Cannon Companies, a franchisee firm. "Through this book drive and our Bookworm Club Reading Program we hope to have kids embrace summer reading and share their love of books with those who are less fortunate." Sounds great to us.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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