Wheeling Walks Training Manual

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Chapter 4:
Appendix 4-b


Campaign Press Kit - Sample Event Announcements

Wheeling Walks logo


Rob Sweetgall ? ?The Real Forest Gump?

Monday, April 30, 2001 10:00 AM Ohio Valley Mall

Monday, April 30, 2001 5:00 ? 6:30 PM Ohio Valley Medical Center

Both events free to the public! (Validated Parking and refreshments at OVMC)

After walking seven times across America, Rob Sweetgall will explore the broad benefits of walking. This will include how walking can reduce stress, blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes risks, and obesity?. while improving longevity and a positive outlook on life. Learn why taking even a short walk has benefit. Learn dozens of ways to fit 6,000 extra footsteps into a frantic day. Discover three ways walking can flatten your stomach and help you take up less space on planet earth.

See Rob Sweetgall at the Ohio Valley Mall where he, WHEELING WALKS, and The Ohio Valley Mall will kickoff the ?Walksport? Program that will give mall walkers the opportunity to earn gifts by walking. At OVMC, Rob will present Walk to Health. This is one humorous, educational, entertaining, inspirational program you don?t want to miss!

Don?t forget to register for WHEELING WALKS on line at wheelingwalks.org. Please log your minutes on line or by calling XXX-XXXX.

Remember Walk 30 Minutes on Almost Every Day!

Isn?t It Time You Started Walking?

Wheeling Walks logo


Mark Fenton- Editor-at-Large for Walking Magazine

Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at Wheeling Park High School at 9:00 AM

Tuesday, April 24, 2001 at Wheeling Jesuit University at 7:00 PM

Mark Fenton, an entertaining, persuasive, and knowledgeable walking advocate, and one of the nation?s foremost experts on walking will visit Wheeling on April 24, 2001. Mark is a vocal pedestrian advocate and recognized authority on public health issues and the need for community, environmental, and public-policy initiatives to encourage more walking.

Mark?s interest in walking began with the study of the biomechanics of walking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After earning BS and MS degrees there, Mark worked as manager of research engineering at Reebok for three years. His work led to numerous publications related to exercise science, human performance, and athletic footwear and materials, while also providing plentiful experience on the health benefits of walking.

Currently Mark uses his knowledge of walking as an author, a regular columnist in Walking Magazine and as a speaker and motivator on public health and fitness issues. His instruction spans the spectrum from introductory fitness-walking clinics to coaching elite athletes.

See Mark Fenton be officially welcomed to the City of Wheeling by Mayor Nick Sparachane on April 24, 2001, at 9:00 AM at Wheeling Park High School where he will give a presentation to students of the school. The public is invited to attend. Please call WHEELING WALKS @ 740-XXX-XXXX for reservations. In addition, Mark will give a walking clinic to the general public at 7:00 PM @ Wheeling Jesuit University. All area walkers are encouraged to attend.

And don?t forget to register for WHEELING WALKS on line at wheelingwalks.org
and log your miles on line or by calling XXX-XXXX.
Remember, Walk 30 Minutes or More on Almost Every Day!

Campaign Press Kit - Sample Media Advisories

Wheeling Walks logo

Physician?s Press Conference

May 8, 2001

9:00 AM

Oglebay Resort & Conference Center

Wheeling Hospital and Ohio Valley Medical Center will host a physician?s press conference to promote and encourage participation in WHEELING WALKS, an 8-week media campaign that encourages Ohio Valley residents to walk 30 minutes or more on almost every day. A continental breakfast will be served beginning at 8:30 AM. Please join us for this meritorious event.

Media Advisory

The Wheeling-Ohio County Public Health Department, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and WVU Department of Community Medicine Announce Unique Walking Campaign in West Virginia


Tuesday, April 17, 9:00AM
The Wheeling Civic Center
2 14th Street
Wheeling, West Virginia

WHAT: The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and West Virginia University, Department of Community Medicine (WVU) will hold a press conference to kick off the Wheeling Walks 30 Minutes or More Challenge. This unique 8-week media based campaign will encourage citizens of Wheeling and the surrounding area to get off the couch and take a walk.

This intensive media campaign will include TV, radio, and newspaper ads as well as community activities to let adults know about the ample walking places in Wheeling and to encourage all adults to improve their health by walking at least 30 minutes a day.

The media campaign will be supplemented by a comprehensive grassroots effort featuring family walking activities, community walking events, physician "walking " prescriptions, and faith-based walking programs.


Scientists have confirmed that lack of physical activity contributes significantly to death and disability in the United States. It is estimated that physical inactivity alone annually accounts for approximately 200,000 deaths. In West Virginia, 68 percent of the adult population reported little or no physical activity in 1998 and West Virginia ranked third worst among the 50 states for having no leisure-time physical exercise at all.

To improve heart, brain, and other body functions at all ages, current public health guidelines recommend moderate physical activity - 30 minutes or more - on almost every day. Successfully communicating this information to communities in ways that actually prompt citizens to put on their walking shoes and walk remains underdeveloped.

WHO: Speakers at the press conference include:
  • Honorable Nick Sparachane, Mayor of Wheeling
  • William C. Mercer, M.D., Director, Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department
  • Bill Reger Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University
  • Holli Smith MS, MSW, CHES - Local

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: In addition to the speakers at Tuesday's press conference, there will be:
  • A screening of the campaign's first television spot (copies available for TV stations).
  • Wheeling Park High School Ambassadors
  • A class of grade school students with campaign posters they designed.
  • Walking shoes of various celebrities along with letters of endorsement of the campaign.


    This advisory is provided for media planning purposes only. Release is embargoed until 9:00 AM Tuesday, April 17, 2001

    CONTACT: Debbie, Project Facilitator

    Campaign Press Kit - Sample Press Release

    Wheeling Walks


    Embargoed until 9 AM CONTACT:

    Tuesday, April 17, 2001 Dr. Bill Reger

    West Virginia University Begins Unique Health-Education Campaign in Wheeling
    Innovative Program Uses TV Ads to Help Get Wheeling Moving

    A unique walking campaign begins today on the airwaves, in the streets, and on the walking trails in Wheeling, WV.

    WHEELING WALKS is a project developed by West Virginia University and the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department to promote increased physical activity and reduce the burden of overweight, heart disease and diabetes in the United States. It is an intensive, eight-week, multimedia campaign aimed at communicating a simple but important health message: that regular walking can provide energy, help people feel better, give a person more time, and improve overall health. And it doesn't take much time.

    The message will be aired through an extensive paid-advertising campaign on local television, along with radio advertising and print ads. The TV spots - produced by a Los Angeles agency that specializes in political-campaign commercials - will air more than 400 times in the Wheeling area, beginning during prime-time programming today.

    The advertising campaign will be accompanied by a grassroots community effort featuring walking clinics sponsored by the Ohio Valley Runners/Walkers Club and Wheeling Jesuit University. There will be walking programs in area schools, worksites, churches, and civic groups. The WHEELING WALKS campaign opened this morning with a kick-off event and press conference at the Civic Center in Wheeling. The campaign runs through June 9.

    "Both the message and method of this campaign are distinctive," said Dr. Bill Reger, Associate Professor of Community Medicine at WVU. "The advice we are offering is very focused and specific. Unlike many health-education campaigns, that try to change a person's entire lifestyle, we are offering people one simple, painless activity that will yield significant health benefits for themselves and their families. We believe this message will be communicated with great impact by our TV spots, even competing against junk-food ads with their mega-buck budgets."

    In one of the campaign's TV commercials, a woman discusses how much energy her husband has since he started walking: "Ted used to come home pooped. He did not have the energy for ... anything. Then I told him about a commercial on walking. It said that walking actually gives you energy. So Ted started walking. Ten minutes at first and then a little more each day. Now he's walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It's good for his heart. It relieves stress. These days Ted has the energy ... well ... for everything."

    ?Isn't it time you started walking?" she asks, followed by the campaign title: WHEELING WALKS.

    "Regular walking is one of the easiest and most important steps you can take to better health," said Dr. Robert D'Alessandri, Dean of the WVU School of Medicine. "By encouraging people to walk 30 minutes or more almost every day, the campaign can help individuals decrease blood pressure, prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer; preserve bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Many of West Virginia's health problems would be improved if people would walk regularly 30 minutes, which they can begin with 10 minutes and then increase when they feel ready."

    WHEELING WALKS builds on the success of the Bayer Wellness Program and the "1% Or Less" low-fat milk campaign in reducing the risk for heart disease in this region. WVU's Dr. Reger served as director of both campaigns.

    "A sedentary lifestyle, along with a poor diet, causes as many deaths as tobacco," according to Reger. In West Virginia, obesity and heart disease rates are nearly 20 percent higher than the national average. (Nationally, one out of three Americans is considered obese.)

    Lack of time - or the perception of a lack of time - is one of the largest obstacles to regular physical activity. "Walking 30 minutes is just one TV show, and the average American watches 3-4 hours of TV per day, says Reger. "If you have time for one TV show, you have time to walk."

    "Another problem is that people come home exhausted," said Reger. "However most people are mentally tired. Once they start walking, people will find that walking actually gives them energy."

    Many in the community are committed to WHEELING WALKS. There are 45 volunteers in the Speakers Bureau, in addition to the commitment of the entire Ohio Valley Runners/Walkers Club, and a 67-member Advisory Board.

    According to Mayor Nick Sparachane of Wheeling: "Regular walking can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. We are pleased to see a campaign that provides community members with advice that can significantly promote both physical and mental health, but that is easy to understand and easy to follow."

    A wide range of community events are planned during the eight-week WHEELING WALKS campaign:

    • Community Prayer Walk with the faith community
    • Walking Clinics
    • Ohio Valley Mall Walking Program Kick-Off
    • Mayor's Walking Cup, endorsed by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation
    • Intergenerational Walk in conjunction with the Ogden Distance Race
    • Educational programs at worksites, schools, and community centers

      A key message of the campaign is that walking gives you energy. "Give it a try," Reger encourages, "not only will you reduce your chances of heart disease, but you will feel better and have more energy."


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