Mark your calendar for this important date in the orthoptic calendar to promote and celebrate the profession internationally.
What is World Orthoptic Day?
The International Orthoptic Association (IOA) is the global voice of the orthoptic profession which internationally is made up of 15 member national professional organisations and 6 associate member organizations. IOA World Orthoptic Day is the opportunity to heighten the visibility of the orthoptic profession and to promote the activities of orthoptists locally, nationally, and internationally.
When is it?
Annually on the first Monday of each June.
The aim is that the IOA World Orthoptic Day will be integrated with other national celebrations and promotions of the mission and goals of orthoptic therapy. Many countries hold an orthoptic week or month yearly. If this does not fit with your country or time frame then individual events can be scheduled to suit any local time frames. This will help to increase the awareness of orthoptists and our association of the truly global impact of orthoptics.
Promoting and Celebrating World Orthoptic Day - Information and Resources
There are many ways to promote and celebrate World Orthoptic Day. Please do share your stories and pictures of how you celebrated World Orthoptic Day by emailing IOA Public Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org
The IOA is providing some resources for IOA members that can be utilised to help promote the event. These items have been designed exclusively for World Orthoptic Day and they can be downloaded from our website within the members section.
About World Orthoptic Day
World Orthoptic Day is held every year on the first Monday in June. It is a day when orthoptists globally can promote the profession and its work.
- showcase the significant role the profession makes to eye health
- raise the profile of the profession
- use this day to campaign on behalf of the profession and its patients/clients to governments and policy makers
The day marks the unity and solidarity of the Orthoptic community around the world. It is an opportunity to recognize the work that orthoptists do for their patients and the ophthalmic community. The International Orthoptic Association aims to support member organizations and individual orthoptists in their efforts to promote the profession and to advance their clinical expertise, using World Orthoptic Day as the focus.
What Materials are Available
World Orthoptic Day logo: to download and get printed locally on national, state, provincial or clinic posters, t-shirts, stickers, caps, calendars, bookmarks, bags, e-cards or that can be added to social media such as Facebook
Download the above resource for free at the members section of the IOA website.
How to Get Involved
Whether you work for a national association, in a hospital department, in a small clinical setting or are still studying orthoptics, you can find ways to mark the day. Here are some suggestions to help you make sure that you choose something that’s right for you, and that fits in with what you want to achieve for the day.
A free vision screening programme in a public place. Shopping centres or hospital lobbies are an ideal places
Talks and seminars in work places
An orthoptic clinic open house with hospital wide or public invite
A roaming information booth, visiting different locations in the day, or over a week
Hold a vision quiz
Hold a seminar for teachers or other health professionals
Mentor a student for the day
Set up an information booth or exhibition in a reception area with information about what orthoptists do
Put up WOD campaign posters on your walls and hand out our ready-to-print flyers and stickers
Launch an email campaign
Create a WOD Youtube video
Celebrate the work of your colleagues by holding a clinic party or use the day to take a respected colleague, mentor or instructor to lunch
Honor the day by making a donation to your association or the IOA for orthoptic education or research
Support orthoptic science by purchasing an orthoptic journal
See if there’s a local celebrity who can support your cause, and participate in any events. This is likely to increase public and media interest.
Offer to be a guest on a local radio show, or to answer questions online
Distribute a press release
Using Social Media
With the increased use of social media, the IOA aims to maximise the impact of World Orthoptic Day through various social networking sites.
Here is how you can follow the campaign and help spread the campaign’s message to engage global support for the day.
Do follow the IOA on Twitter for up to the minute postings on World Orthoptic Day activities from around the globe. Do encourage friends and colleagues to participate. We want WOD trending on Twitter. Please follow @followIOA.
For the latest Word Orthoptic Day updates follow the IOA on Facebook: Share our postings with your friends. See our ready-made postings to put on your wall.
Follow the IOA for campaign updates.
Post your videos of your celebrations on YouTube. Do notify us of any videos you make.
You will get the most out of your events and celebrations by publicising them well. Here are some questions to ask yourself, which will help you put together a publicity plan.
1. Who do you want to get your message to?
Make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve from World Orthoptic Day and who you want to get your message across to.
2. Which media?
Now you have identified your target market in step 1 work out which parts of the media would help you get your message to them.
If you are trying to reach the general public, local and national newspapers, and radio may be your best means to reaching large numbers.
If you want to reach professionals, your best route may be getting publicity in professional magazines and newsletters, and making individual approaches.
Politicians are harder to reach – individual approaches and getting publicity on national radio, television and newspapers is the best (but difficult) route.
Put some effort into researching all the possible media outlets for the audience you want to reach. If you have any contacts in the media, use them – approach them directly and get their advice on what your best route to getting publicity might be.
3. What’s your story?
If you are going to ask editors to give coverage to your activity or campaign you will need to give them a “story” – a simply stated, key message, which sounds as if it will interest readers, viewers or listeners. Few journalists devote time and space to an issue simply because you want them to – there has to be something interesting or newsworthy in it. For example, the fact that orthoptists have a major role in vision screening or work with stroke patients will come as a surprise to many journalists. If you can convince them of this, and make any activity you are planning sound really interesting, you will be well on your way.
4. How should the media be approached?
A press release is the most obvious way to approach the media.
Make sure it’s concise and gets to the point.
If you are sending out an advance press release, make sure you do it well before any activities or launch you are planning.
If you’re sending out a press release reporting on something that’s just happened, do it as soon as it’s happened – otherwise what you’ve done will turn into old news.
Try and give the media everything they need. The quicker you respond to their requests, and the clearer the information you give them, the more chance you have of getting some publicity.
Direct approaches to journalists by telephone or email can also work well if you’re very clear about the story you have to sell, and you don’t take up too much of their time.
Don’t forget to follow up
It’s a good idea to follow your press release up with a phone call or an email to see if the journalist has received it, and whether they’re interested in covering it. But don’t pester them. If they aren’t interested, you can try persuading them – but don’t keep at it, or annoy them, because it might jeopardise you getting publicity next time.
How to Plan for World Orthoptic Day
The main goal of any activities you organise for World Orthoptic Day will be to raise the profile of the orthoptic profession, and to demonstrate what orthoptists can contribute to eye care. Use the day as a platform to promote the profession. Before planning any event, or publicity campaign, you’ll need to ask four simple questions. You may have to think carefully to come up with the right answers.
What do you really want to achieve:
- Increase the public profile of the profession or communicate a particular health message?
It is a good idea to focus on specific issues that are important in your country.
Who do you really want to get your message through to? You may think it’s everyone, but to decide on the right sort of activities, you’re going to have to consider who your main target group is. Is it other health professions, administrators, young people you could recruit as students, or the general public? Or perhaps your efforts might really be best targeted at the policy makers who as yet do not understand orthoptics or its contribution?
When you’ve decided on your message, and who you want to reach, it’s time to decide on the best means to reach those people with your message. It might be an event, or some sort of publicity campaign. There are some ideas in the previous section of this booklet, but you might want to think of your own.
If you’re holding an event, would you like to hold one large event or several smaller ones? Is it better to hire a large space like an auditorium, or hold it in a public place like a shopping centre or visit various small venues? When deciding on a location, do consider parking, transportation, public access, capacity and access for people with disabilities.
Allocate a team of people responsible for planning the activity, each with a clear role. Together, establish targets for what you want to achieve. You may also want to organise follow-up activities.
Set a realistic timetable, bearing in mind the following:
Speakers and contributors may need good notice, and time to prepare.
Venues often need to be booked well in advance.
Invitations need to be sent out at least three weeks in advance.
Publicity materials may take time to get printed.
The media are more likely to cover an event if you notify them in good time
Sometimes it’s best to keep the theme local and relevant to the people in that community. Gather some local data to ensure the message is directly relevant to the audience and have some statistics available to substantiate issues and problems identified. The day provides a great opportunity for creating community awareness of these problems and how they may be tackled and prevented.
Identify local experts, leading orthoptists, academics and celebrities who can support your messages, and can speak on your selected theme at events, or to the press.
Partners and sponsorship
Approach other organisations and companies who you think might enhance your event or campaign, perhaps providing financial support.
The greater the coverage you are able to generate in the press (local, national and professional), the more impact your activity will have.