Wheeling Walks Training Manual

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Chapter 7:
Planning and Delivery of Public Health Events:
Rob Sweetgall Walk to Health Event
Physician's Press Conference Event
Mayor's Walking Cup Event
The Intergenerational Walk Event
The Finale Celebration Event

Rob Sweetgall - "The Real Forest Gump" Walk to Health Event

Rob Sweetgall is a motivational speaker. His Walking-For-Wellness program is world renown.

Planning the Event: You will notice several similarities between the Mark Fenton program and the Rob Sweetgall program. However, it is important to note that our target audience was different. Targeting a different audience helped us communicate our message to more people.

Plan the event at a convenient facility with ample parking and space for a large crowd. WHEELING WALKS partnered with the Ohio Valley Mall and the two local hospitals for this event.

Activities

8:00-9:00 am - "Walk on the Well Side" at Howard Long Wellness Center

This informative presentation focused on how walking can reduce stress, blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes risks, and obesity?. while improving longevity and a positive outlook on life.

Task for the Event:

  • Reserve a meeting room for 30 people.
  • Arrange for room set-up. Ask the Wellness Center staff to set-up the room and provide a public address system.
  • Invite volunteers and senior center members. Call the volunteers and ask them to bring a friend.
  • Invite Wellness Center members. We created a flyer for the event. The Wellness Center distributed the flyer to their members. (See Appendix 7J for flyer.)
  • Prepare handouts to distribute to program attendees (See Appendices 4A and 7J ).
  • Prepare a sign-in sheet. Create one for guests. Include Name, Organization, Address, Phone, and Email. Create a second for the Media. Include Name, Affiliation, and Contact Information. (See Appendices 6B and 6C.)

10:00 am - Mall "Walk Sport" Kick-Off

The Ohio Valley Mall is the only free indoor public walking venue near the city of Wheeling. We partnered with the mall to introduce their ?Walk Sport? Mall Walking Program. We arranged for Rob Sweetgall to speak at their kick off celebration.

Tasks for the Event:
  • Arrange for a registration and information table.
  • Confirm that the mall will provide refreshments, balloons, decorations, 100 chairs, public address system, and name tags.
  • Confirm that the mall will compile an invitation list and send invitations.
  • Prepare an agenda. Remember keep the program brief. (See Appendix 7K )
  • Prepare handouts. (See Appendices 4A and 7J)
  • Prepare a sign-in sheet. Create one for guests. Include Name, Organization, Address, Phone, and Email. Create a second for the Media. Include Name, Affiliation, and Contact Information. (See Appendices 6B and 6C)

11:30 - 12:00 pm - Family Services Presentation

Tasks for the Event:

  • Contact the Senior Center Director to arrange presentation. Ask director to invite approximately eighty (80) 55-75 year old clients and staff.
  • Arrange for room set-up. Ask the Senior Center staff to set-up the room and provide a public address system.
  • Prepare handouts. (See Appendices 4A and 7J)

12:00 Noon - Live on local TV station

See Chapter 4 for information about working with the media

12:30 pm - shoot promos with local TV station

See Chapter 4 for information about working with the media

1:30-2:30 pm - Lunch with city/county officials

3:00 pm - Interview on Live Radio Show, WWVA

See Chapter 4 for information about working with the media

3:30 pm - Interview on Live Radio, WVLY

See Chapter 4 for information about working with the media

5:00-6:3O pm - "Walking Into Health" public presentation

This program sponsored by the two local hospitals. The presentation focused onhow walking can reduce stress, blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes risks, and obesity?. while improving longevity and a positive outlook on life.

Tasks for the Event:

  • Reserve a meeting room for 150 people.
  • Arrange for room set-up. Be sure a public address system is available.
  • Confirm with hospital that refreshments will be provided, parking will be validated and the media will be contacted.
  • Prepare handouts (See Appendices 4A and 7J).
  • Prepare a sign-in sheet. Create one for guests. Include Name, Organization, Address, Phone, and Email. Create a second for the Media. Include Name, Affiliation, and Contact Information. (See Appendices 6B and 6C.)

Conclude the Day with a Walk A short walk is a great way to reinforce the campaign message. Arrange for the speaker to lead the walk.

Don?t Forget to Thank EVERYONE! Remember to thank all participants promptly. Generate a thank you list from your sign-in sheets, invitation lists, and speaker contact information. If possible, add a personal hand-written note of thanks. This extra effort may encourage participants to attend future events and offer additional support for the campaign.


Physician?s Press Conference EVENT

The Physician?s Press Conference is a media event. The purpose of the event is to announce that area physicians will be prescribing ?walking? to their patients. The goal of the press conference is to attract media coverage. In addition, the press conference will add credibility to the campaign message. Physicians are respected by the public and are a primary source of health advice. Schedule the Physician?s Press Conference on the fourth week of the campaign to give the campaign a boost near the midpoint.

Planning for the Event Contact local health care organizations to schedule a meeting to discuss the press conference. The hospital administrator or marketing director may be the best contacts.

At the meeting:

  • Distribute copies of campaign information packet. (See Appendix 4A)
  • Explain the campaign and the intent of the physician?s press conference.
  • Ask the contact to suggest physicians who would be likely to speak at the press conference and have the most impact on the campaign (cardiologist, pediatrician, general practitioner, etc.).
  • Ask for sponsorship. (see sample business support letter in Appendix 7R ) Request funds to purchase a light breakfast (fruit, bagels, rolls, juice, water, coffee) and reserve a hotel banquet room.
  • Set a date, time, and location for the press conference.
  • Plan the event on week four of your campaign.
  • Schedule the press conference early in the day to avoid conflicts with physician?s schedules.
  • Plan the event at a convenient facility with ample parking and space for a large crowd.

Contact 4 to 5 prominent physicians in your community to speak at the press conference. Physicians should represent the local hospitals. In addition to your contact, ask the hospital administrator or marketing director to request the physicians? participation at the event.

  • Be sure the physicians understand that the press conference is a media event. Inform them that TV and radio newscasters will be invited. In addition, inform them that their statements should be brief (about three to four minutes each).
  • Be sure to send a follow up letter to thank the physician for agreeing to participate and to confirm the date and time of the event.

Other Tasks

  • Reserve a room for the press conference. Be sure the location is convenient, has ample parking and space for a large crowd.
  • Arrange for breakfast.
  • Invite 15-20 high profile individuals who are involved with the campaign
  • Prepare Physician?s Prescription Pad Packets (see Appendix 7L ).

    We designed and printed WHEELING WALKS Prescription Pads. Local physicians were encouraged to use the pads to prescribe walking to their patients, as appropriate. These prescription pads were delivered to local physicians? offices by The Wellness Bridge. The Wellness Bridge is a total wellness program within the Wheeling area that emphasizes lifestyle change, including proper nutrition and exercise. See Appendix 7M for a complete description of how and when the Prescription Pad Packets were delivered.
  • Send a media advisory to the media. (See Appendix 7N . See Chapter 4 for information about working with the
    media.)
  • Prepare a sign-in sheet. Create one for guests. Include Name, Organization, Address, Phone, and Email. Create a second for the Media. Include Name, Affiliation, and Contact Information. (See Appendices 6B and 6D.)

Conclude the Day with a Walk A short walk is a great way to reinforce the campaign message. Arrange for the physicians to lead the walk.

Don?t Forget to Thank EVERYONE! Remember to thank all participants promptly. Generate a thank you list from your sign-in sheets, invitation lists, and speaker contact information. If possible, add a personal hand-written note of thanks. This extra effort may encourage participants to attend future events and offer additional support for the campaign.


The Mayor?s Walking Cup EVENT

One of the major roadblocks to walking is a busy schedule. Therefore, WHEELING WALKS wanted to show Wheeling area employees how easy and beneficial it could be to incorporate a walk into their busy workday. We suggested a lunch hour walk. To encourage lunch hour walking, we planned the Mayor?s Walking Cup.

Planning the Event

Gaining the Mayor?s Support

It is important to obtain the Mayor?s support for the event. Meet with the Mayor to explain the event and the importance to the area employees. Ask the Mayor to publicly acknowledge his/her support by making a public announcement or proclaiming a ?Wear Your Sneakers to Work Day?. For example, the Mayor of Wheeling proclaimed May 16, 2001 ?Wear Your Sneakers To Work Day?.

Location

It is preferable to hold the walk as near the business district as possible. This way, participation will take little time from the employees? jobs. For example, the Wheeling Heritage Trail (a walking trail) is located in downtown Wheeling. This provided a perfect location for our Mayor?s Cup.

If you do not have an accessible walking trail in your business district, it may be necessary to cordon streets for a brief 60-minute period. If this is necessary, you will need to ask for permission.

  • Be sure to meet with the Mayor or City Managers? office at least 6 weeks before the event is scheduled. Ask for permission to cordon the streets for the walk.
  • Be sure to contact local emergency service representatives about relocating emergency routes within your community. Be sure to make a written request and followed-up the request with a phone call.

Asking a Business to Take the Lead

Ask an established business to act as a liaison between the businesses and the campaign.

  • Contact a well-known business.
  • Meet with the manager, marketing director, etc to discuss the event and ways the business can assist.
  • Ask the business to send letters, using their letterhead, requesting other businesses participate in the event. (See Appendix 7O for a sample letter.)

Informing Local Businesses

Once you have gained the support of the Mayor and a well-established local business, inform the local businesses of the event.

  • Compile a list of local businesses in the downtown area. A listing of local businesses should be available from your Chamber of Commerce.
  • Send a letter to each business explaining the event and asking that they support the Mayor?s Cup by permitting employees to walk for 30 minutes (or at least 10 minutes) during their lunch hour on this day. (See Appendix 7P for a sample letter.)
Tasks for the Event:
  • Ask the lead business to staff a registration table.
  • Prepare campaign information for distribution at the event. (See Appendix 4A for campaign information.)
  • Prepare a sign-in sheet. Create one for guests. Include Name, Organization, Address, Phone and E-mail. Create a second for the Media. Include Name, Affiliation, and Contact Information. (See Appendices 6B and 6C.)
  • Discuss ways to provide a light lunch for event participants. The business should be familiar with local eating establishments and able to ask for donations. In Wheeling, pizza, fruit and bottled water was provided.
  • Arrange for a food table, napkins, and volunteers to serve.
  • Arrange for balloons, banners, or some type of entertainment to make the event fun and festive. For example, WHEELING WALKS had a live remote by the local country music radio station. The station brought their ?Froggy? character and we added 50 balloons at the start of the trail.
  • Be sure the campaign PR person contacts the media.
Agenda for Mayor?s Walking Cup

The event is simple, yet very informative for participants. Many workers commented that they were encouraged to walk the trail more often on their lunch hour.

The Agenda

  • Brief comments by the Mayor
  • Walk, lead by the Mayor, started at 12:00 noon. The Walk was 30 minutes.
  • While the group walked, the lunch was delivered.
  • As walkers returned, they went through the food line, had their lunch, and returned to work by 1:00PM.

Don?t Forget to Thank EVERYONE! Remember to thank all participants promptly. Generate a thank you list from your sign-in sheets, invitation lists, and speaker contact information. If possible, add a personal hand-written note of thanks. This extra effort may encourage participants to attend future events and offer additional support for the campaign.


The Intergenerational Walk EVENT

Intergenerational Walk is a perfect opportunity to show how a active lifestyle benefits people of all ages. Walking together has not only positive fitness benefits, but helps to build stronger family relationships.

The intergenerational walk was designed to draw attention to the public health benefits of active aging. According to the World Health Organization, ?In a society for all ages, active aging makes a difference.?

Planning the Event

Location

Be sure to plan the event in a location that is convenient and easily accessible by all ages.

Inviting Generations of Walkers

Attracting different generations of walkers is the most difficult planning task of the Intergenerational Walk. Planning your event to coincide with an established community event, may prove beneficial. For example, WHEELING WALKS planned our Intergenerational Walk to coincide with the Ogden 12K Distance Race. Many individuals, who were in town for pre-race day activities, participated in our event.

Invite worksite program participants and volunteers by sending them an invitation. Contact the city recreation department and the schools to invite local sports teams and other school-age children to the event.

Tasks for the Event:

  • Arrange for a registration table with an Event Registration Form.
  • Prepare campaign information for distribution at the event. (See Appendix 4A, for campaign information.)
  • Prepare a registration sheet for participants including Name, Organization, Address, Phone and E-mail (see Appendix 7Q ). Have a Media Sign-In sheet ready as well. (See Appendices 6C.)
  • Accommodate the older generation by providing health screenings. For example, Ohio University Eastern, nursing students volunteered to take blood pressures after the walk. Although not necessary, it was an added bonus and many people took advantage of the service.

In addition to the above items, a local sponsor provided funding for t-shirts. T-shirts were given to participants who paid a $5.00 registration fee. Also included in the registration fee was a trial membership to the Ohio Valley Runners?/Walkers? Club.

Needed Supplies

  • Cash boxes
  • T-shirts
  • Registration forms
  • Framed Certificates for winners of pre-determined groups (largest family, oldest/youngest walker)
  • Pre-registered forms
  • Pencils
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Popsicles

Don?t Forget to Thank EVERYONE! Remember to thank all participants promptly. Generate a thank you list from your sign-in sheets, invitation lists, and speaker contact information. If possible, add a personal hand-written note of thanks. This extra effort may encourage participants to attend future events and offer additional support for the campaign.


The Finale: Community Campaign Celebration EVENT

This event was scheduled to celebrate the success of the 8-week campaign. The event was significant because the WHEELING WALKS staff was able to ?pass the baton? to the Ohio Valley Runners?/Walkers? Club. At this event, the campaign officially became a ?community owned? program

Keep this event brief and simple. Allow the community organization to take the lead.

The Ceremony

The ceremony may include:

  • comments on the campaign?s success including:
    • number of miles in 8 weeks,
    • number of participants registered,
    • number of businesses participating,
  • response to the campaign and thanks to the community from the campaign director,
  • acceptance of the challenge to continue the momentum from the local organization
  • remarks from the Mayor

Other agenda items:

  • Recognize and thank your volunteers. Present them with certificates of appreciation, if your budget allows (see sample in Appendix 7S ).
  • Recognize participants for their achievements.

Conclude with a Walk

Conclude the event with a walk. Celebrate your campaign achievements. Take a walk together and enjoy it!

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