Academy's Fourth of July warning to consumers awarded two gold prizes from Bulldog Awards
SAN FRANCISCO – September 23, 2015 – The American Academy of Ophthalmology today won two prizes for its 2015 fireworks safety campaign. The Bulldog Reporter, a leading public relations trade publication, awarded the Academy two gold Bulldog Awards in the nonprofit category for its latest efforts to warn consumers about the blinding dangers of fireworks. Journalists who judged the competition gave the campaign high marks for creativity, strategic and tactical brilliance, quick thinking in the face of breaking news or crisis and campaign results.
This year's campaign centered on the dangers of fireworks to children. The Academy featured stories of young patients suffering blindness or eye damage from fireworks. To help spread the message of fireworks safety to children and families, the Academy created an animated public service announcement and presented compelling findings from a national Harris Poll that illustrated common attitudes and behaviors that can lead to fireworks injuries. More than 200 news stories about the campaign appeared in outlets such as CBS News, USAToday.com and the Chicago Tribune. In total, news coverage generated 250 million media impressions. The animated video also appeared on TV networks nationwide and saw significant viewer traffic on YouTube.
"Educating the public about how easily fireworks can damage the eyes has been a long-time priority for the American Academy of Ophthalmology's 32,000 eye physicians and surgeons," said Renaldo Juanso, vice president for communications and marketing at the Academy. "It is a great honor to be recognized by the Bulldog Awards for our efforts. We hope they encourage more people to protect their vision."
Fireworks caused more than 11,000 injuries nationwide, according to a 2014 report. Roughly 1 in 6 of those fireworks injuries damaged the eyes, with children hurt in 40 percent of all cases. For more information on fireworks eye safety, visit the Academy's public information website.
Fireworks safety is one of the many eye health awareness campaigns the Academy conducts year-round. View the Academy's full calendar of monthly eye health observances online at www.aao.org/newsroom/observances. Health care providers interested in participating in these campaigns should visit www.aao.org/eye-health/resources for more information.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, serving more than 32,000 members worldwide. The Academy's mission is to advance the lifelong learning and professional interests of ophthalmologists to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care. For more information, visit www.aao.org.
The Academy is also a leading provider of eye care information to the public. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit EyeSmart or OjosSanos to learn more.