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AOA campaign boosts optometry awareness

August 29, 2012

The AOA is continuing to boost optometry awareness across the country. In May and June, the Optometry Awareness & Public Affairs Campaign team continued to position the AOA and doctors of optometry as the go-to source among top-tier media for stories on eye health and vision, focusing on timely topics such as ultraviolet (UV) protection.

Other important campaign milestones included fielding the 2012 American Eye-Q® consumer survey.

This helped the public awareness team gain valuable insights into the public’s knowledge and perceptions regarding eye health and vision issues.

The survey results will be used throughout the year in media outreach efforts and relationship-building opportunities with key media.

The campaign also prepared for the launch of the annual Ready for School campaign. This year’s campaign, along with other ongoing efforts, will help enhance optometry’s reputation by promoting awareness and understanding of who optometrists are and how they help patients.

May highlights, accomplishments

May saw several significant media coverage, including:

  • Shape magazine’s May issue covered computer vision syndrome and quoted the AOA and the State University of New York State College of Optometry. The magazine reaches 1.5 million readers.
  • Ebony magazine’s May column “Prescription for good health: Dr. Dave’s advice on how to keep every part of your body in tip-top condition,” garnered 1.2 million audience impressions. It refers to the AOA when offering tips on “Your Vision.”
  • Parenting magazine’s May issue featured “Protect Those Peepers.” The article quoted AOA trustee Andrea Thau, O.D., and reached 2.2 million audience impressions.

June highlights, accomplishments

Earlier this summer, the campaign garnered attention in major media outlets.

  • The June issue of Parents magazine included information from the AOA in its “Health News” section. In the article, AOA Immediate Past President Dori Carlson, O.D., stated, “3-D movies can help detect vision problems in children. If your child fidgets with their 3-D glasses, covers an eye, or complains of eye discomfort, dizziness or a headache during the film, take them for an eye exam.” Parents magazine has a circulation of more than 2.2 million.
  • Prevention magazine featured information on nighttime driving from Dr. Thau. The “Ask Prevention” section of the June issue of Prevention magazine included this question from a reader: “I find it hard to see well driving at night, though I see fine by day. Does anything help?” The response informed readers: “Even people who don’t wear glasses can have trouble seeing lane demarcations, dips in the road, and more when driving in the dark. Some of these hazards—as well as the glare of headlights from oncoming cars—can be mitigated by keeping the inside and outside of your windshield free of dust and smears,” advised Dr. Thau. Prevention magazine has a circulation of 2.9 million readers.
  • The AOA and AOA members prominently featured in a high-profile “Healthy Vision & Hearing” supplement to USA Today. The special June section included three AOA/ AOA-member bylined articles and statistics from the AOA scattered and referenced throughout the nine-page supplement. To lead off the special section, Dr. Carlson bylined the article “Think about your eyes,” reminding consumers that protecting vision should be an important part of the overall health care routine for Americans of all ages. AOA Associate Director of Public Relations Susan Thomas and AOA member Fraser C. Horn, O.D., were quoted multiple times in an article titled “Let the sun shine in, but always (always) wear sunglasses,” regarding UV protection. Additionally, AOA member Glenda B. Secor, O.D., bylined an article on contact lenses and their ability to offer improved visual acuity and an enhanced quality of life. Finally, the last article in the supplement titled “Healthy eating, healthy eyes” was authored by the AOA. The article included information about nutrition and vision, highlighting the particular benefits of omega-3s. The “Healthy Vision & Hearing” supplement was inserted in 1.6 million editions of USA Today across the country.
  • During Optometry’s Meeting® in Chicago, AOA member James Sheedy, O.D., Ph.D., was interviewed by NBC-affiliate WMAQ-TV, which aired on Friday, June 29, about 3-D and eye health. The segment was a follow-up to the blockbuster Opening General Session on 3-D at Optometry’s Meeting®.

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