AHA touts Start!

The American Heart Association (AHA) has launched its Start! Challenge campaign in hopes to re-energize an effort first launched a year ago.

NEW YORK: The American Heart Association (AHA) has launched its Start! Challenge campaign in hopes to re-energize an effort first launched a year ago.

The competition's launch began January 4, with a media tour in New York City featuring entertainer Donny Osmond and the contest's six national finalists.

Following the national media focus in New York, Robyn Landry, EVP of communications for the AHA, said the group is now fanning out to concentrate on regional media in areas where the finalists reside. The outreach effort is intended to help reverse the trend towards inactivity and unhealthiness.

The campaign also includes a strong online component, centered around startchallenge.org, a site that allows visitors to view details on each of the six finalists, and sign up themselves.

Challengers will blog about their efforts, and track their progress on MyStart! Online, the program's free public tracking tool.

In addition, visitors to the site can vote for the candidate who most inspires them to change their lifestyle.

The Richards Group, a Dallas-based agency, is supporting the AHA on the campaign.

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