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Use these ideas to join others across the country in conducting activities to raise awareness about women and heart disease.  Once you have an activity idea in mind, be sure to check out the Online Toolkit's promotional and educational materials—posters, brochures, fact sheets, newsletter articles, press release and media alert templates, proclamation, partner outreach letter, and more—to help make the most of your event.

Event Ideas

  • Organize a "Wear Red Day" or "Women's Heart Day" event at a local mall, library, community center, local business, or manufacturing plant.
  • Form partnerships with retail/clothing outlets to stage a Red Dress fashion show or hold a "Red Dress Day" that donates a percentage of the profit for every red dress sold to a non-profit heart disease organization.  (sample partner outreach letter)
  • Organize heart-health screening events and health fairs at businesses, faith-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and health centers.
  • Collaborate with existing community activities, such as organizing a team to join a local American Heart Association Heart Walk.
  • Launch a drive to distribute The Heart Truth posters and brochures to community centers, libraries, grocery stores, and physician offices.
  • Organize a "Red Dress Evening" or "Red Dress Luncheon" for a local restaurant to serve a creative "tasting menu" of heart healthy foods.
  • Hold a "Red Dress for Success" breakfast or luncheon with local professional women's organizations to feature a Red Dress fashion show.
  • Work with the governor and/or mayor's office to issue a proclamation officially designating your community's participation in The Heart Truth campaign. (sample proclamation)
  • Contact a female legislative representative and ask her to spearhead a program of her own, or ask her to issue a statement in support of your program.
  • Invite a female legislative representative to host your event and ask her to wear a red dress.
  • Distribute Red Dress Pins (Ordering Information) at your presentation or other community health-related events and activities.
  • Use The Heart Truth for Women:  A Speaker's Kit to give a presentation at your event.  (Get presentation ideas)
  • Organize a Red Dress team to participate in a local walk, run, or sports tournament. Of course, have your team wear red!
  • Ask your local library to set up a special heart health exhibit or organize a special reading center focused on women and heart disease.
  • Partner with local large businesses and corporations in your community or state to promote heart health awareness in the workplace.
  • Join with other organizations to write a letter to your state's First Spouse, asking them to take a stand on the issue of women and heart disease.
  • Encourage your local colleges or universities to host a heart health forum, utilizing the Speaker's Kit.
  • Ask your local high school art club or art classes to design artwork and advertisements for your event.
  • Host a Red Dress badge opportunity for local Girl Scout troops to encourage mothers and grandmothers to take care of their hearts.
  • Ask school children to decorate heart health gifts for their mothers or grandmothers, asking that they take care of their hearts.
  • Host a Red Dress gala in conjunction with Valentine's Day.

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Media Outreach Ideas

To generate added awareness of The Heart Truth campaign in your community, it's important to let your print and broadcast media know about your event or activity.  Here are just a few ways you can spread the word among your local media:
  • Distribute The Heart Truth sample media alert prior to your event. The alert provides the media with all of the details of your event, but most importantly, it lets them know why it is worthwhile for them to cover your news.
  • Distribute The Heart Truth sample press release on the day of your event to provide media with a more comprehensive overview of your activity, as well as background information about the campaign.
  • Send Red Dress Pins (Ordering Information) with a note about your event and The Heart Truth campaign to local female newscasters; encourage them to wear red clothing and the Red Dress Pin during the week of your event to show their support of The Heart Truth campaign. (sample pitch letter)
  • Contact a local talk show host or local medical news producer to have a program or segment on what The Heart Truth campaign is doing locally; offer interviews with a group of women of varying ages who are heart attack survivors. (Contact your American Heart Association office or WomenHeart for local spokeswomen)
  • Coordinate photo opportunities with local celebrities and/or dignitaries who participate in your activity; distribute news about the photo opportunity to local newspapers by tailoring our sample media alert.
  • Submit an article to your community newspapers or organization's newsletter to coincide with special events such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Women's Heart Day. (sample newsletter article)
  • Pitch your local medical producers and reporters about developing a 3-part series on women and heart disease (sample pitch letter). The series can feature local female heart attack survivors and local women and heart disease experts. It could include the following themes:
    • Part I: The Problem—Overview of heart disease.
    • Part II: The Risk Factors—Outlines women-specific risk factors, signs, and symptoms.
    • Part III: The Solution—Concludes with an action plan women can follow to get screened and take steps to lower their risk for heart disease.
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper editor, encouraging a feature story on women and heart disease.
  • Ask your local cable provider to run an existing Heart Truth PSA.
  • Work with a local college or university to reformat a Heart Truth press release into an article for the campus newspaper.
  • Submit photographs from your Red Dress event to your local newspaper, or submit B-roll from your event to your local television station.

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Presentation Ideas

The Heart Truth for Women: A Speaker's Kit—"talk in a box"—provides all you need to give a one-hour presentation on heart disease: a speaker's guide including instructions, overheads, handouts, and answers to likely questions; posters to advertise your event; and a compelling 10-minute video featuring women telling their own stories about how heart disease changed their lives.  The Speaker's Kit is available in Campaign Materials.

Consider giving a presentation to the following groups:

  • Women's Groups

    Start with groups to which you belong, such as a sorority alumnae group, women's auxiliary group, women's clubs, or a group at your place of worship.
  • Local Businesses

    Offer to organize a "brown-bag lunch" for employees where you will speak on the topic of women and heart disease awareness.
  • Local Malls and Clothing Retailers

    Ask local malls and retailers to partner in organizing a Red Dress fashion show along with providing educational materials for attendees.  Schedule a presentation to follow the show or tie-in the fashion show with other health-related events.
  • Local Hospitals, Clinics, and Health Centers

    Work with local hospitals, clinics, and health centers to add a presentation to their roster of community education classes, and to include The Heart Truth materials as part of their community health fairs.
  • Community Centers

    Work with the person who coordinates the education classes or group meetings at your local clinic, adult education institution, civic club, or YWCA to incorporate a presentation into their current activities or as a special event.

Attract a sponsor

Schedule a presentation to tie-in with a local, state, or national observance or event that has a connection to health, women, or the heart.  Examples include:

  • Late December/early January—encourage heart-healthy New Year's resolutions.
  • February is American Heart Month.
  • May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, American Stroke Month, and Mother's Day.  Women's Health Week is also in May.
  • September is National Cholesterol Education Month.

For a complete listing of national health observances go to www.healthfinder.gov/library/nho/nho.asp.

Don't forget to share your activity ideas by adding them to our Activity Registry!  You can also learn what different communities and partners are doing nationwide to promote The Heart Truth.

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