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Examining ECPs' Online Involvement;
Tapping the Influential "Mommy Brigade"

While the impact of digital and social media is continuing to transform business communication, it's sometimes important to remember that people are working hard to catch up.

This issue, we look at the fact that some 22 percent of eyecare professionals may not yet have a practice website, and take a look at some of the reasons, per a new Jobson Internet survey.

On the consumer/patient side of the spectrum, we examine how the influence of "mommy bloggers" can inform and enlighten this important purchasing decisionmaker group about their eye health and eyecare—an opportunity for all eyecare professionals to tap into.

Don't forget: the easy-to-access CLICK Archive located under the CLICK button at, which features dozens of Cool Tools, Sites to See and other resources for building your web image and your office's connection to patients.

Have you tried something new on your website or launched a successful social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.

—The Editors




Do One Out of Five Eyecare Practices Still Not Have A Website?

NEW YORK—It would seem in today's business environment, one in which digital media is exerting more and more influence, that all eyecare professionals would have a practice website and a presence online.

While there has indeed been rapid growth in this area, a recent survey by Jobson Optical Research might indicate that there is still a way to go.

Some 88 percent of 430 eyecare professionals surveyed in the 2011 Jobson ECP Internet Study say they use the internet "several times a day", and nearly 47 percent say they use the internet "roughly the same" for both profession/work and for personal reasons.

Some 77 percent of those ECPs surveyed say their practice has a website. But 22.1 percent of them say they do not. That is virtually the same response as the 2010 survey when 22.3 percent of ECPs, slightly more than one out of five surveyed, said they did not have a practice website. Among the reasons cited among those for "not having a website" were feeling they didn't need one (23 percent), those "not having the budget" for one (21.2 percent) and another 20 percent who were stumped and didn't know how to make a site.

The encouraging news is that of these, nearly 40 percent indicated they would create a site within this next year; still, nearly half of those who don't have a site, said they would not be creating one. In fact, while the majority of ECPs have sites that have been around and expanding for several years, some 23 percent of eyecare practices (opticians and OD practices primarily), have only had their websites functioning for 6 months to up to one year. Opticians, optometrists, managers and others across all age groups, roughly equal percentages of men and women were surveyed. Fifty nine percent indicated that they had solo practices, while 20.5 percent said they were in practice groups of two or three locations, and 20 percent with groups of four or more locations.The Jobson ECP Internet Study was fielded via email from Nov. 23, 2011 to Dec. 12, 2011. Trended results are charted whenever possible. More info about the report is available at Jobson Research or from Jennifer Zupnick.



Tapping The Power of "Mommy Bloggers" To Educate About Vision Care

SAN DIEGO—With the rise of the web, the influence of bloggers have become very important platforms for communicating in new ways to consumers. With their own posts and blogs, plus the extension of their Facebook posts and Twitter tweets, eyecare professionals can learn to tap into the reach of many such bloggers in their region or on a national level.

One vision care company, Carl Zeiss Vision, has started a major outreach program to one prominent group of "mommy bloggers" to help their readers and growing audience understand the options they have in purchasing eyeglasses for themselves and their families.

"Consumers are often unaware of the options available to them in lenses, and how those options can improve their visual experience," said Joe Donahoe, Carl Zeiss Vision's president for North America. "As most practitioners will tell you, informed patients are most likely to purchase premium lenses that offer the best visual experience. We are working with bloggers to encourage their readers to ask the right questions—questions that will start a conversation about lens options and their benefits."

The mommy blogger phenomenon has seen rapid growth in the last five years. According to a study by, mommy bloggers reach over 35 million women in the U.S. Forty-nine percent of readers use blogs to obtain health and wellness information. A survey by shows that 94 percent of mothers rely on recommendations from other mothers when making purchase decisions.

"From practitioners to products, peer-to-peer recommendations are among the most powerful ways of marketing eyecare," said Claude Labeeuw, Carl Zeiss Vision's vice president, marketing. "By reaching consumers through the bloggers they trust, we believe we can grow the market for premium eyewear."

Educational materials provided by ZEISS include basic information about eye exams and lenses, and a list of questions to ask an eyecare professional. Some bloggers are posting the information in .pdf form, and encouraging readers to print them and take them to their next eye exam. A sampling of some of their comments:

  • "I thought I was pretty savvy about vision facts. When I began reading through their information I realized how uninformed I was. I didn't realize the variety of coating options available for lenses, the importance of choosing the right type of glasses, or questions to ask our doctor."—Just Like June
  • "I may not be an expert on eyecare, but thanks to Zeiss and their helpful, easy to use educational tools, I am a little more educated about my daughter's vision issues and I know better how to get her the right care for her eyes—that's huge for me!"—Misadventures in Baby Raising
  • "What great educational tools! I know when I go to the eye doctor I never really understand what they're talking about. This definitely helps!"—The Thrifty Things

To date, over 80 bloggers with a combined average readership of 1.1 million have created posts based on the Carl Zeiss Vision materials.


NutshellMail from

One of the challenges of taking part in social media is managing it all. With NutshellMail from Constant Contact, business owners can stay connected with everything your customers are saying about you—at a single glance. Email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and more. The program enables you to "simplify your social media life" by viewing all comments from your inbox. It takes copies of all your latest updates in your social networking accounts and places them in a snapshot email. The NutshellMail Update is then sent to your primary email address on your schedule. The service is free. A video of how it works is posted at the ConstantContact site.


Gist says it "removes the noise" from individual email alerts, eliminates the hassle of going to multiple services to get news and updates about contacts, and automates the delivery and presentation of the most important information about the contacts in your professional network. The site does this by pulling together all of a user's contacts from various inboxes, address books, social networks, and other sources then adding news, status updates, and blog posts to them to create a rich business profile for everyone in someone's professional network. Users can also share news and information directly from the Gist Dashboard. With the click of a button you can post updates to social networks like Twitter and Facebook or share with others via email. A tour and a video on the site explains how it works.


According to The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, than 80 percent of American adults own a cell phone and over half (55 percent) own a desktop or laptop computer. "The unique characteristics and high visual demands of digital work and play make many individuals susceptible to the development of eye and vision-related problems," according to optometrist and author Dr. Jeffrey Anshel, who appears on the new edition of Healthy Vision™ with Dr. Val Jones to explain how digital devices affect our eyes and what we can do to help prevent or reduce the development of vision-related problems when using them.
The series is devoted to educating and improving the eye health of Americans. The program is supported by ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses and is hosted by Val Jones, M.D, CEO of Better Health, LLC, a network of popular health bloggers, and author of, "Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason," which won The Best New Medical Blog award in 2007. Free podcasts of Healthy Vision™ with Dr. Val Jones can be found in the iTunesĀ® Store (for best results, search for the show by its complete title. You will find it in LifeMinute.TV Health) and on BlogTalk Radio.


A new program from Prevent Blindness America (PBA) offers ECPs and all those involved in improving communications with patients about protecting their vision a series of educational resources and tools. PBA's "Healthy Eyes Educational Series," is a free program designed to build public awareness of eye and vision basics, common adult vision disorders, eye safety precautions and proactive behaviors that give the best chance for a lifetime of healthy vision. Participants can visit the Healthy Eyes Educational Series section of the Prevent Blindness America website and download modules to conduct formal presentations or informal one-on-one sessions that can be customized utilizing topics most appropriate to the audience or clients. The modules each include a Presentation Guide and corresponding Power Point presentation. Healthy Eyes Educational Series module topics include: Adult Eye Disorder, Contact Lens Safety, Eye Anatomy, Healthy Living, Home Safety, Low Vision, Refractive Errors, Sports Safety and Workplace Safety.

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