American Heart Association promotes Hands-Only CPR

DALLAS: The American Heart Association and the Ad Council launched PSAs around the AHA's Hands-Only CPR campaign this week, encouraging the public to try this recently-approved form of CPR, without mouth-to-mouth.

DALLAS: The American Heart Association and the Ad Council launched PSAs around the AHA's Hands-Only CPR campaign this week, encouraging the public to try this recently-approved form of CPR, without mouth-to-mouth.

"The bottom line is to get people to understand that they can do hands-only CPR and they can really save a life with it; it makes a difference," said Dr. Max Gomez, national board member and chairman of communications and marketing coordinating committee for the AHA. "'Hands can do incredible things' is the theme. We use some pretty cool things that hands can do as a way to grab people's attention and then bring home the point that you can also save a life."

In addition to the PSAs, the campaign has a Web site and is putting a lot of the content on other AHA sites. It is also on Twitter and Facebook, has added a specific iPhone app, and the two organizations are working internally on extensive media relations.

"We've got some viral versions of the videos that we're going up with," Gomez added. "I think people will start spreading them around."

Targeting all adults, but particularly women over the age of 55, the campaign worked with the Today show and USA Today on exclusives about the PSAs and campaign, and is targeting general consumer, lifestyle, health and wellness, and medical media outlets.

The PSA and PR campaign is part of a three-year initiative for Hands-Only CPR, Gomez explained. The first year of the program was about developing the messaging and campaign, with this year kicking off the public PR outreach.

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