It also depends on what type of cooling system failure you were experiencing, if you have lost all coolant, such as a burst hose, continuing to run the car or open the heater will not help you at all. Likewise, if you have snapped a belt And the fan or water pump is no longer running, continuing to run the car will not help you. Turning the car off as soon as possible is the best solution in these cases.
If it is just a temporary overheating situation, such as going over a large hill or being stuck in traffic, and all your cooling system components, belts and hoses are still working - then yes, in that situation, turning on the heater and driving at moderate speeds, can help alleviate the heat . If you were stuck in traffic, try to exit the freeway and drive on city streets to get some wind blowing through the radiator.