Reach for Excellence

Patient Education: Offer Sun Protection for the Solar Eclipse

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD
ROB Professional Editors

August 9, 2017

A total solar eclipse isn’t a common occurrence, so you can use the one on August 21, which will affect the entire continental U.S., as an educational tool.

Let patients know the importance of not looking directly at the sun during an eclipse, and where they can find eyewear especially designed to protect their eyes during those extreme conditions.

Then, segue into a conversation on social media, an e-blast, or your practice web site, on why it’s always important to protect our eyes from the sun, and offer information and photos of the sunwear you sell.

Click HERE for information from NASA on eye safety during an eclipse, which you can share with patients as an excerpt or link.

The last solar eclipse in the U.S. was in 1979. There is a new one coming on August 21. The path of the new solar eclipse is shown on the map below.

Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful tools in your practice. You should always be looking for information that has the potential to go viral. When interesting information with your practice tag is spread among more and more people, you get more and more exposure to your practice by people who may not be your patients. The solar eclipse is an event that you can use to make this happen.

The key is to present the information in such a way as to interest people, but not seem as a blatant ad. People are less likely to share information – even helpful information – if it is seen as a marketing campaign. So, your job is to create a marketing campaign that does not look like a marketing campaign.

Present interesting information that engages the reader. If you can make it interactive, then it is even better. Here’s one example of how that might be done by creating a click-through series of slides on your web page:

The Danger from the Eclipse
The light from the sun is powerful. Every time there is an eclipse, people look at the sun and get permanent vision loss. The eclipse draws people to it. It’s not something that is seen every day, so people look. And people get hurt. Unnecessarily.
We can help by giving people information. But it’s not enough to just give people information. They need to read it and act on it. And, if it brings more people to our office, that’s a good thing too.

The Solution
Where to use this information? Let’s make a list of where to use this information:
• In discussions with patients
• On your web site
• In your practice blog
• In a personal story on Facebook
• On Instagram

April 8, 2024, is the next solar eclipse. You’ve plenty of time to plan for that event. On the other hand, August 21 is right around the corner. Use this week to get the discussion going in your practice.

 

References

Library of videos found through Bing search

 

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