AOA Ready for School campaign reaches 36 percent bigger audience

AOA Ready for School campaign reaches 36 percent bigger audience

This year's AOA Ready for School campaign—and its message to parents, teachers and caregivers about the importance of scheduling comprehensive eye exams for children before school begins—outpaced even the excellent results of last year's campaign.

"ODs should continue to ask parents whether their children have had the comprehensive eye examination that will help maximize their education."

This year, the annual campaign put a special emphasis on the growing strain that digital device use is putting on children's eyes and how to deal with it.

Overall, the 2015 campaign had 2,755 media hits, which generated 454,746,521 media impressions, or opportunities for the message to be seen or heard.

Elements of the campaign included an infographic, social media mentions and a nationally distributed press release. Additionally, AOA Trustee Barbara L. Horn, O.D., was featured in a national satellite media tour. Dr. Horn conducted more than 30 live and taped interviews, reaching millions of parents with AOA's message.

"A satellite media tour is a cost-effective way to get tremendous outreach.  Using just one block of studio time from one location, I was able to speak with reporters from local and national TV and radio stations across the country. Those stations then continue to spread our message to their audiences through multiple airings of the interview as well as sharing it on their websites," says Dr. Horn.

The satellite media tour alone had more than 400 placements across the country, reaching an audience of 99.8 million people.

Build off the momentum of the Ready for School campaign
Although most students are back in the classroom and the Ready for School campaign has wrapped, that doesn't mean the message becomes any less valuable.

"Doctors should continue to ask parents whether their children have had the comprehensive eye examination that will help maximize their education," says Dr. Horn. "Once school has started, we should reiterate the importance of comprehensive eye examinations to evaluate any eye strain and discomfort and the need for clear, comfortable and safe viewing of electronic devices," she adds.

These conversations also should continue in the exam room.

"Eighty percent of children experience symptoms while viewing their devices," Dr. Horn says. "The high-energy, short-wavelength light emitted from the devices is something all of us should discuss with parents and patients. Doctors should recommend proper lenses for clear vision and filters or coatings to help minimize discomfort and damage from the blue light constantly being viewed while on their devices."

Building off the success of the Ready for School campaign, the AOA will roll out its next national campaign, regarding contact lenses, in October.

September 8, 2015

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