When PR and Health Collide

There are many times when my two loves of health and public relations get to cross paths.  A great example of this is The Heart Truth national campaign sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and partner organizations.  The purpose of this campaign is to generate awareness about the leading cause of death in women, heart disease. 

The Heart Truth campaign was launched in 2001 and has no end date.  Its national symbol is a Red Dress to help remind women to protect themselves and take action against heart disease.  I think this symbol is awesome because it’s girly, but at the same time makes a bold statement.  The campaign is targeting women between the ages of 40 and 60, but also works to stress the message that it’s important to younger women, too.  It’s important to remember, heart disease is a gradual disease.  A woman can start developing the disease as early as her teenage years. 

I hate to bore you with school-ish topics, but this campaign really jumps out at me as a PR student because it’s been so successful.  To me, a successful campaign has the necessary PR elements, but also reaches a large audience and keeps people interested.  The Heart Truth campaign offers clever ways to draw attention to a serious matter.  It’s definitely something worth talking about for a number of reasons. 

Thumbs Up to the Campaign Tools
Click the links below to see what I’m talking about.  This campaign uses various PR strategies like social media and events.  It also has pre-made materials such as hand outs, posters and pamphlets for anyone interested in helping with the campaign.  What a smart way to get more people involved.  Alsol, this ensures a controlled, consistent message and accurate information to all. 

 You Can Support the Heart Truth, too

The Campaign is Great, but What Exactly is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is a disease of the blood vessels of the heart that can eventually lead to a heart attack.  Heart attacks are a result of an artery becoming blocked which prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Heart disease is one of several diseases of the heart and blood vessel system referred to as cardiovascular diseases. 

Many think heart disease is a curable disease, but it is not.  Once someone has heart disease, he or she will always have it.  Medical procedures can be done to help maintain heart disease and allow for blood and oxygen to get the heart more easily, but the arteries will always be damaged.  Find out if you’re at risk.
Heart Disease Statistics

  • In 2006, more than 1 in 4 deaths were caused by heart disease while 1 in 30 women died of breast cancer
  • Nearly 316,000 women die of heart disease every year
  • This year, heart disease will cost the United States $316.4 billion

 Ways to Reduce Your Risk Now

  • Don’t smoke
  • Stay active, exercise regularly
  • Know your family history, talk to your doctor and take appropriate actions to protect yourself

According to the American Heart Association, 1.26 million Americans will have a new or recurrent coronary attack this year.  Imagine how many individuals are indirectly affected by this disease each year.  While our age group is not the group most affected by heart disease, there is a good chance we will be touched by it one way or another.  So, pay attention to this campaign, talk about it and share your knowledge with others who might be at risk.  Since only you have control over you, start protecting yourself and take actions to reduce your risks of heart disease today.


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