Detroit: The International Association for Organ Donation (IAOD), a 5-year-old group started by the father of a child who needed a kidney transplant, has hired Marx Layne to help it reach a wider audience.
Since its founding, the association has enrolled 7,000 people into the Michigan Donor Registry, second only to the secretary of state's office, said founder and executive director Fouad Beydoun.
The association, which receives government funding, decided to hire Marx Layne "to take us to the next level," Beydoun said of the effort to expand outreach throughout Michigan.
The agency has launched a media relations campaign that includes partnering with Detroit TV stations and local newspapers that have agreed to run PSAs about organ donation.
Media relations efforts in April will include "a very aggressive PR campaign to get the media to focus on people who need organ donations," said Mike Layne, a partner with the agency.
Michigan has one of the lowest rates of organ donations per capita, Layne explained. The PR effort seeks to increase registration in the state's organ donor registry from 500,000 to 1 million people, Layne said.
An educational seminar is planned for April 22, featuring Tommy Thompson, US secretary of health and human services.
Beydoun started the organization by targeting fellow Arab-Americans as potential donors. Marx Layne will continue to target that population and will expand efforts to the African-American and Hispanic markets, as well, Layne said.