Eyecare Professionals Embrace Tools to Leverage Campaign and Offer Healthy Vision Solutions to Patients
NEW YORK, March 21, 2003 – With eyecare professionals now embracing tools to leverage Transitions Optical, Inc.’s eye health-focused campaign and aid them in discussing healthy vision solutions to patients, the company is stepping up its outreach efforts to consumers through an aggressive media relations initiative. Via stories in the news media, this initiative will complement Transitions Optical’s consumer advertising message and build awareness among patients of the need to protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and bright, glaring light.

“We know that eyecare professionals play a vital role educating patients on important eye health topics like UV protection,” said Frank Reilly, North America marketing director, Transitions. “But with limited time for each patient, they are challenged by a low level of patient awareness on such topics. For example, while 79 percent of people know the sun can cause skin cancer; only 6 percent know it can harm the eyes (Survey conducted from Apr. 10-14, 2002 by ICR, Media, Pa.) Messages are best remembered when patients hear them from more than one source, and we’re pleased to do our part in the educational process by reaching out to consumers through the news media.”

Reilly added that the decision to reach out to consumers through media relations was based largely on a knowledge gap identified in this area. According to recent research (Survey conducted from Jan. 24-28, 2003 by ICR, Media, Pa.) from Transitions Optical, nearly one-third of people (30 percent) who take steps to protect their skin from the sun learned of the importance of doing so from the media – articles in newspapers, magazines, online or stories on television. Conversely, only 15 percent of people who take steps to protect their eyes from the sun learned of the need to do so from the same source.

To help build an understanding among the media of the importance of UV protection for the eye, Transitions Optical developed a “Sun Protection for Your Eyes” kit, which it is sending to health editors and reporters at newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations across the nation. The attention-getting kit includes a sampling of items that should be used as part of a daily overall sun protection regimen, including a hat, lotion and lip balm with built-in SPF protection, and Transitions® Lenses. The kit includes research on the lack of awareness of the need for UV protection for the eyes of both adults and children, and communicates the importance of getting into a “sun smart” routine that factors in protecting the skin and eyes.

Consumer Advertising Piquing Interest

Transitions Optical kicked off the most intensive campaign in the company’s history March 1, leveraging a combination of television and print ads. The campaign has already reached close to 300 million people, with 135 million seeing the print ads and 147 million viewing the television commercial.

“The advertising is already helping pique consumer interest in Transitions Lenses and the importance of UV protection for the eyes,” said Reilly. “Our ads include a toll-free number consumers can call for referrals to local eyecare professional locations. We’ve already offered approximately three times the number of referrals we expected to provide so far this year, so we know the ads are really motivating consumers to learn more.”

Eyecare Professionals Seize Tools to Leverage Campaign in Their Practices

Many eyecare professionals have also already spotted the advertising in publications like Newsweek and Parade and on network and cable stations. “Most eyecare professionals knew we were going to be advertising, but actually seeing the ads, especially on TV, is generating a lot of excitement,” said Reilly.
Many eyecare professionals have received training on the Transitions Online Marketing Tool, which gives them easy access to customizable advertising and other marketing tools to help them leverage the strength of Transitons Optical’s national campaign at the practice level. “The most widely used aspect of the tool has been the customizable advertising,” said Dawn West, manager of trade shows and events, Transitions. “Eyecare professionals are excited about the advertising and eager to tie it into their locations by creating a consistent look in their own advertising with what patients are seeing nationally.”
Transitions Optical is rolling out a new point-of-sale piece for eyecare professionals built around the television advertising, a 6 inch by 18 inch “static cling” that includes imagery from the campaign. The cling can be affixed to almost any surface in the dispensary, including walls, cabinets, wood and glass. It can help create consistency and generate interest by reinforcing the message of Transitions Optical’s national campaign.

“Patients may see the cling and remember seeing the TV commercial, encouraging them to ask questions about Transitions Lenses and UV protection,” said West. “Our goal is to give eyecare professionals every opportunity to leverage the campaign in their practices and encourage a dialogue between eyecare professional and patient on these topics.”

Eyecare Professionals Seize Opportunities for Education on Eye Health Issues

As part of its largest-ever training and education initiative, Transitions Optical is offering training through the Transitions Partners in Education program to help eyecare professionals provide excellent eye health information to patients and maximize their success with Transitions Lenses.

“Since the beginning of the year, we estimate that approximately 7,000 eyecare professionals and their staff have already been trained through the program by the Transitions Solutions Team and our lens manufacturer and STAR Lab partners,” said Denis Fisk, director of global education, Transitions. “The first module in this series includes a clinical focus on the need to protect the eyes from UV light and the implications for everyday eyewear, and has been very well-received by eyecare professionals.”
Mary Anne Sammon, practice administrator for Yankee Eye Clinic, Eagan, Minn., scheduled the Transitions training for her practice. “We are always interested in learning about new products and dispensing techniques, but our staff is busy, so it’s usually a challenge to get them together for training,” said Sammon. “Four of the five optometrists and all five opticians in our office attended the recent training from Transitions because they were intrigued with the topic. I’ve never heard so many of them say, ‘I didn’t know that before.’”

Strong demand for the “Light, Sight, and Photochromics” monograph, sponsored by Transitions Optical, is another demonstration of the high interest among eyecare professionals in eye health topics. Transitions has already distributed more than 5,000 copies of the publication, which can act as a single source for eyecare professionals of the latest research on vision-related quality of life, a relatively new area of clinical investigation.

“We were especially interested in the information on the benefits of photochromics for children, since the vast majority of UV exposure occurs in childhood,” said Dr. Ron Goldstein, O.D., New York City. “I’ve sent the monograph home on a rotating basis with all my employees as required reading.”

Optometrists can now earn four hours of COPE-approved CME credits from the University of Alabama School of Optometry for taking a 40-question quiz based on the monograph. They must mail the completed quiz to the university and score 70 percent or higher to receive a certificate of completion. Optometrists who have already reviewed the monograph and would like to request a copy of the quiz can contact their Transitions Solutions Team representative or call Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506. Future copies of the monograph will be distributed with the quiz.

Putting Education Into Practice

Eyecare professionals are enjoying putting their educational skills into practice through the Transitions Present & Earn Every Day Program. The national promotion, built on the excitement over the 2002 Mystery Shopper Program, rewards eyecare professionals for discussing the need for UV protection of the eyes with patients and why Transitions Lenses are the best choice in everyday lenses.

“The momentum is really building for this program,” said Samantha Platt, channel marketing manager, North America, Transitions. “In the first two weeks of March, we more than doubled the enrollment for the entire first month of the promotion. Eyecare professionals are truly excited about educating patients on the eye health benefits of their lenses and are enjoying the fun of participating in a national promotion at the same time.”

Through the Present & Earn Every Day Program, which began Feb. 1, each time an eyecare professional presents Transitions Lenses to a patient, he or she – along with each patient and Transitions Platinum Elite STAR Lab representative – are eligible to win a photochromic T-shirt and an American Express “Your Choice” Cash Card worth up to $2,000. Grand prize drawings will be held four times each year. The eyecare professional, patient and Transitions Platinum Elite STAR Lab representative designated on winning entries will each receive a $1,000 cash card. If the patient purchased Transitions Lenses, the prize amount doubles to $2,000. In addition to the four grand prize drawings, Transitions will hold bi-weekly drawings to award prize winners photochromic T-shirts, and $25 and $50 cash cards.
Eyecare professionals are eligible to join the Present & Earn Every Day Program by participating in training with a Transitions Solutions Team or Transitions Platinum Elite STAR Lab. For more information about Present & Earn Every Day, contact your Transitions Solutions Team representative, Transitions Platinum Elite STAR Lab representative or Transitions Optical Customer Service.

For more information about the company and Transitions Lenses, visit or contact Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506 (United States) or
(877) 254-2590 (Canada).