Patient Feature Story
Journalists are much more likely to cover your event or outreach if it involves a unique and personal patient story. Patient stories also help readers relate to the disease and makes them more apt to learn and share. You may already have the perfect patient in your networks. Ask them to speak at your Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day event, or to be available to reporters interested in covering your outreach.
The best way to diagnose heart valve disease is through an echocardiogram. Ask a journalist to experience one given by your heart team. Whether they broadcast live, send a film crew, or simply write about their experiences afterwards—this can be a great way to start a conversation about valve disease while showing off your facilities. The journalist could then encourage their audience to share images of their echoes through social media and tagging the posts with #ValveDiseaseDay and #IListenedtoMyHeart.
Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed
Letters to the Editor and Opinion-Editorials (Op-Eds) are great ways to raise the visibility of valve disease and your organization. Include patient stories, expert perspectives, and any viewpoints unique to your hospital or center. Include a call-to-action that directs readers to the Valve Disease Day site when possible. Examples of Valve Disease Day op-eds and here and here.
Sample Press Release
Use the following sample press release to promote your organization’s Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day activities to local media! Fill in any necessary information and customize as needed.
[Insert Organization Name Here] To Celebrate
Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on Friday, February 22
Heart valve disease impacts as many as 11 million Americans
[City, State], [Date of Release] – On February 22, [Insert Organization Name Here] will celebrate Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day, bringing attention to a disease that impacts as many as 11 million Americans. [Insert Organization Name Here] will host a/n [Insert Type of] event to educate the community about heart valve disease and reinforce the importance of early detection and treatment. [Insert details about your organization’s event, including important details such as location, time, speakers, etc.]
Heart valve disease involves damage to one or more of the heart’s four valves. While some types are not serious, others can lead to major complications, including death. Each year, more than 25,000 people in the U.S. die from heart valve disease. Fortunately, heart valve disease can usually be successfully treated with valve repair and replacement in patients of all ages. [Insert Organization Name Here] joins a campaign of organizations, advocates, health care professionals, patients, and families across the country working to increase recognition of heart valve disease and reinforce the importance of early detection and treatment.
Numerous events are being held across the country, including a flagship event taking place in Washington, D.C. at MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute.
Despite the millions of Americans affected by heart valve disease, a recent survey found that three in four adults know little to nothing about heart valve disease. Although age is the greatest risk factor for heart valve disease 30 percent of respondents over age 65 say they know nothing about the disease.
“Awareness of heart valve disease is low, and because there are sometimes no symptoms, or symptoms are dismissed as signs of normal aging, it often goes undetected. That’s why [Insert Organization Name Here] is proud to join the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign to encourage people to listen to their hearts,” said [Insert Name of Organization Spokesperson Here]. “We want our community members to join the campaign at www.valvediseaseday.org and help spread the word about the risk factors and symptoms of heart valve disease.”
Follow updates from the campaign by visiting [Insert Organization Website Here] and following [Insert Organization Name Here] on social media [Insert links to your social media pages]. You can stay tuned to all of the day’s events by following the hashtag #ValveDiseaseDay. Learn more about heart valve disease at www.ValveDiseaseDay.org.
[Insert Your Organization’s Boilerplate and Media Contact Information]