Your voice in the media
Our key campaigns and media coverage highlights
Through our national and regional media campaigns, we aim to ensure that the voice of our members is heard on important issues impacting the profession.
Set up in 2017, our annual Voice of Optometry insight survey which invites members to share their experiences, has been instrumental in helping us to do this. Using our Voice of Optometry findings we’ve launched public awareness campaigns on a range of topics including driving and vision, children's eye health and lifestyle choices.
Media coverage highlights 2022
We secured national coverage across three headline campaigns alongside an ongoing programme of media activity to promote optometry and eye health.
2022 saw regular appearances on Radio 4’s In Touch programme including discussing the impact of COVID-19 on eye health and the future of cornea transplantation, according to pioneering research.
We launched our first long-running campaign for equality, diversity and inclusion in optics, 100% Respect. Our cost of living activity #EyeCareSupportNow supported by MP Marsha de Cordova, secured over 200 pieces of coverage across broadcast, print and online publications with key targets BBC, Channel 4 and the Independent covering our findings.
Our Don’t swerve a sight test campaign also continued to perform well with the latest data and case examples gaining traction with national outlets such as the Express, Sun and Daily Star.
Further 2022 highlights
- Cost of Living: 'Wrong' to reduce glasses help for Wales' poorest - BBC News
- People 'risking their vision' to save money on eye tests and new glasses, optometrists warn - Sky News
- Do blue light glasses actually work? Stylist
- Shingles could put you at risk of 'blindness' - symptoms to spot - Express
- Elderly driver with 'terrible' vision jailed after killing cyclist in broad daylight - Driving.co.uk, The Times
- Long Covid: Blind spots in the eyes could be a sign of the condition - ‘Seek expert help' - Express
- Long Covid symptoms: 3 changes to your eyes you should be aware of post coronavirus - Mirror Online
- Patients going private for cataract and hip operations - BBC News
- Two in three drivers could be breaking the law on how far they can see number plates - Mirror Online
Media coverage highlights 2021
The shift seen across the media landscape in 2020 continued throughout 2021 – but that didn’t stop us supporting members with crucial COVID-19 related news and campaigns around topical subjects throughout the year.
We secured national coverage in the Telegraph discussing how lockdown has impacted the UK’s eye health, coverage from a range of UK news outlets surrounding the new DVLA proposals for drivers over 70, as well as eye care tips in lifestyle publications like My Weekly, Platinum Magazine and more.
Our summer consumer campaign SPF for your Eyes secured coverage across national and regional outlets including the Express and Sun. While additional activity included launching our Know your lenses campaign, around the illegal supply of contact lenses online, and winter driving tips as part of our annual Don’t swerve a sight test campaign.
Further 2021 highlights
- What lockdown is doing to your eyesight - and how to fix it, The Telegraph
- Motorists over 70 and in poor health face a ban on night time driving in licence shake up, and could only be allowed to travel up to 30 miles from their home, Daily Mail
- Eye twitches have become more common in lockdown, says eye surgeon – here's how to stop the spasms, Yahoo
- Health & Wellbeing, The People’s Friend
- 5 ways you can reduce eye strain when using a screen, Which?
- Your EYEBALLS can get sunburnt, experts warn – 5 ways to prevent it, The Sun
- Increase in short-sightedness in children linked to the Covid pandemic – here’s what you can do about it, The Independent
- Half the world could need glasses in 30 years if we don’t stop staring at screens, The Times
- You've been framed: the allure of statement specs, Financial Times
Media coverage highlights 2020
The media landscape shifted dramatically in 2020 – curtailing much planned PR activity for the year. Despite that, we supported members with as many as three releases a week on coronavirus-related issues at the height of the pandemic and continued to achieve high profile coverage throughout including calling on the Government for more financial and job support schemes, illegal practice, contact lens advice and returning to practice. Our campaigns included spectacle anti-fogging tips covered by the Daily Mail, The Sun and online portals such as Yahoo!, and our driving in the dark campaign, coinciding with the clocks changing, was picked up by lifestyle publications My Weekly, The People's Friend and regional press.
Further 2020 highlights
- Experts say there is 'little evidence' Covid-19 causes vision problems, The Daily Mail
- Developer warns VR headset damaged eyesight, BBC
- Optometrist reveals top risks that cause severe eye damage – from swimming to diet, The Mirror
- Looking out for your eye health, The People’s Friend
- GBBO star shares hack to stop glasses steaming up while wearing a face mask, Yahoo!
- Fright for sore eyes: Contact lens horrors stories, The Sun
- Will opticians be open during the second lockdown in England?, The Metro
Media coverage highlights 2019
On 2 July 2019, we launched our first national smoking cessation campaign, Stub it out, which included a media launch, digital campaign and outdoor advertising on posters and buses at locations in London, Glasgow and Manchester where there are the highest levels of smoking in the UK. During the first week of the campaign, 22 broadcast interviews took place reaching seven million listeners and over 60 online articles, with a combined reach of 30 million.
Coverage highlights included BBC news, Sky News Radio and STV in Scotland. Sky News Radio reached three million people and BBC News reached 801,000.
Further 2019 highlights
- The truth behind eye health vitamins, Raconteur, The Times
- Wearing mascara every day is bad for your eyes, The Sun
- Eye tests, Mental health apps, Chlorine on food, You and Yours, Radio 4
- How to help our children look after their eyesight, The Herald
- How could A.I save your sight, REFORM
- Keep the road in your sights, SAGA Magazine
- Older drivers: Is age a factor behind the wheel?, BBC News
Media coverage highlights 2018
A B See
Our first A B See campaign, which launched on 22 August 2018, shone a spotlight on the risks of children missing out on, or delaying, sight tests. Capturing the nation’s attention were the Voice of Optometry findings. These revealed 74% of practising optometrists had seen children in the past year who had vision problems that could have been treated more successfully if they had been diagnosed at an earlier age.
The campaign was featured extensively on both national and local TV and radio, including an interview on BBC Breakfast. Our message was widely covered online and in the printed press, with the importance of children’s sight tests discussed in the Huffington Post, Daily Mail and ITV News among others.
Don't swerve a sight test
Our second Don’t swerve a sight test campaign was also widely reported when it launched on 7 November. During the first week of the campaign 27 radio interviews, six articles in the printed press and 185 online articles helped to promote our message about the importance of regular sight tests for drivers, to millions of members of the public.
Highlights included coverage in the Daily Mail, Metro and Telegraph and interviews on Capital FM, BBC Radio 2 and TalkSport.
Our Don’t swerve a sight test message and member survey findings also gained attention in September 2018, when a police initiative saw four forces carry out roadside sight checks on all drivers stopped. In total our campaign was included in over 250 media outlets.
Further 2018 highlights
- Fancy a swim? There are new rules, The Times
- 11 Things Contact Lens Wearers Should Never Do, Mental Floss
- When is it worth paying more at the opticians or dentist, Which Magazine
- AOP highlights the need for improved eye health services for patients with learning disabilities, NHS Networks
- How to clean your glasses – without damaging them! Good Housekeeping
Media coverage highlights 2017
In 2017, we increased our media coverage by 174% on 2016 using statistics from the Voice of Optometry survey. Through the thoughts, opinions and experiences of our panel members, on eye health topics, we achieved coverage across national, international, online and trade media.
Don’t swerve a sight test
Our primary campaign in 2017 related to vision standards for driving. Our inaugural Don’t swerve a sight test campaign achieved 159 broadcast hits, reaching over 111 million listeners when it launched on 14 November.
The BBC Breakfast and BBC News programmes reached a combined total of over 2.5 million. It was also covered by national newspapers, including The Telegraph and The Times, online by BBC News, Huffington Post and Yahoo!, and on the radio by Sky News and LBC.
Further 2017 highlights
- Why you should never wear your contact lenses in the shower: The unexpected ways you could put yourself at risk using them, The Daily Mail
- Novelty contact lenses 'can cause sight loss', BBC online
- Are screens hurting my child’s eyes? Dads.info
- Surgeons remove 27 contact lenses from woman's eye, BBC online
- Summer loving... how to spend wisely on fashionable shades and free your inner film star, The Daily Mail
- How to work out in a heatwave, The Times