DALLAS: The American Stroke Association has launched an awareness campaign, which calls on people to use their communication devices and social media accounts to help those who are at risk of stroke.
The new “Take 2 to Save 2” effort, part of the ASA's long-running Power to End Stroke campaign aimed at the black community, encourages people to send potentially life-changing health messages to two people who may be at risk of stroke. Participants can text “Take 2” to 62444 and send a personalized health message to loved ones. They can also visit the campaign Web site, where they can cut and paste pre-written messages into their e-mail, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as Facebook page and blog.
“When we came up with the key messages, we really wanted people to sit down and realize they probably know someone who has the risk factors of stroke, which include high blood pressure, obesity and a family history of heart disease,” said Toiya Honore, senior communications manager of ASA, a division of the American Heart Association. “Because we spell out the symptoms, they can identify who they should send these messages to and link recipients to more information that can help reduce their risk.”
Take 2 to Save 2—which was announced at the International Stroke Conference in San Antonio on February 23, 2010—is being promoted through the ASA's extensive ambassador community. ASA spokesman Mark McEwen, a stroke survivor and former CBS' The Early Show weatherman, participated in an RMT. “He is one among a pool of individuals we use to help us on a national level. As a stroke survivor, he is the perfect person to get that message out,” Honore told PRWeek. “He also has a lot of friends in the media, so we felt a radio tour would be a good vehicle for him.”
McEwen also recorded a phone message, which was sent to the ASA's 50,000 other ambassadors across the country. A news release was also e-mailed to local ASA affiliates. “The communication staff in the local affiliates are pitching to the local media and partnering with the local ambassadors to carry out the message,” added Honore.
ASA hired Headwater Strategy, a branding and marketing agency in Dallas, to promote the campaign using social media. The campaign runs until June.
Honore said the ASA has spent about $35,000 on the initiative.