Marketing Opticianry with help from the OAA [Johnna Dukes]
So, we all know what it means to be an Optician. But sadly, we might be the only ones who do. The unfortunate truth is that our profession has not done a great job with letting “John Q Public” know who we are and what we do. (Seriously, if someone asks me again if I deliver babies….) Anyway, the great news is that the Opticians Association of America has heard us and has begun a marketing campaign to help Opticians send a unified message to the consumer, and let’s face it, the consumer is the group we should be speaking to.
What tools have they provided us? For starters, the OAA has adopted the definition of Opticianry that the US Department of Labor already uses. Please see this definition here:
“Dispensing opticians help fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists. They also help customers decide which eyeglass frames or contact lenses to buy.”
Is this definition perfect? Of course not; however the definition is designed for an everyday consumer. It is not designed to cover scope of practice, certified, licensed, or registered opticians. The definition is designed to be simple and clear to a consumer. ”
— US Department of Labor
Why is this important? For years, Opticians have never been able to agree on any one definition of what Opticianry is. This argument HAS TO STOP if we ever want to make progress as a profession. (In all seriousness, I’ve been in this industry for over 10 years and the amount of back biting I’ve personally witnessed is appalling. If ever there has been a time to leave our differences at the front door as Opticians, that time is now. We are all in the same boat, why not put our oars together and row in the same direction? Let’s progress together. I believe all of us want the same things, we just have different visions for getting there. Let’s put the emphasis on how similar we are rather than splitting hairs over our small differences. Truce, eh??) But back to the program...
So what can you do with these tools? The great news is that the Opticians Association of America wants us to USE THEM OFTEN!! Put them on your website. Put them on your Facebook page. Share them with your friends and especially your optical friends! Let’s create a grass-roots movement where we get the chance to tell our patients who we are and why what we do impacts how they experience the visual world! The OAA has taken it a step further and wants us to make use of all of these tools and is even creating a grant to help those who want to publicly use these tools and who will incur costs in order to do so! Please read through the below email from OAA for grant information and even a grant application! Let’s take this opportunity to spread the message of Opticianry, because how great would it be if when you told someone on the street that you are an Optician, they immediately understood what that means. WE CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN, but it takes all of us to share the same message.