Transitions Optical Inc., the leading supplier of photochromic eyeglass lenses that automatically adjust in changing outdoor conditions, had its eye on broadening appeal for its lenses. Havas PR North America needed to create a campaign that overhauled its image for a younger audience. Our PR objective was to find a way to change the conversations that eye care professionals are having with their peers and patients around Transitions lenses—and to show more single-vision wearers that Transitions lenses can be just what they’re looking for. Specifically, we aimed to increase the number of positive social posts and blog posts mentioning Transitions lenses among eye care professionals who are millennials or serve many millennial patients.
Appealing to Younger Eyes: Transitions Change Agents
Called the Transitions Change Agents, the 31 eyecare professionals who we recruited practiced across the U.S. and Canada. Rather than having them be a traditional paid influencer group, we incentivized Change Agents by offering free Transitions lenses fittings, inviting them to Transitions Academy (the company’s annual industry meeting) to immerse themselves in the brand, professional networking opportunities, a GoPro for capturing video content, and support for growing their networks. Change Agents’ responsibilities were to:
- Tackle monthly challenges: To keep Change Agents engaged and informed about Transitions’ marketing initiatives—and to share these initiatives on their social channels—we issued monthly challenges for them. In August, we asked them to communicate about safely viewing the solar eclipse, sharing materials provided by Transitions. The April challenge asked them to post a picture of themselves or a patient wearing Transitions lenses in a stylish frame with the hashtag #TransitionsLensLook.
- Produce ECP-focused style content: Transitions asked two Change Agents (an optometrist and an optician) to create a Lens Style Guide, which provided tips for styling patients, emphasizing the importance of discussing frames and lenses, and creating a practice space that emphasizes stylish eyewear.
- Produce trade media content: Havas PR pitched content created by Change Agents to optical trade media (the Lens Style Guide); used Change Agents for advertorial content; and incorporated Change Agents’ social posts into the brand’s Facebook calendar. This helped to draw followers (including editors) to the Change Agents’ individual social networks.
The Change Agents reached 1,581,142 people from October 2016 to September 2017 and have received a total of 19,517 engagements (comments, likes and shares). In the second year, there was a 115 percent increase in engagement.
Two of the Change Agents initiated Facebook “Takeovers” for the Transitions Facebook pages at Transitions Academy and Vision Expo, an optical trade show. The increase in engagement and reach led to more people seeing the Change Agents’ posts and more people interacting with Transitions content.
Sixteen Change Agents participated in the April #TransitionsLensLook challenge. The subsequent Facebook contest received an overall 93,744 impressions, 5,523 engagements and 25 entries.
Change Agent content was featured in 18 articles in key print and online trade publications—resulting in 675,211 impressions. Additionally, Change Agents Dr. Jennifer Lyerly and Dr. Darryl Glover secured a monthly column in INVISION Magazine, which receives 90,354 impressions. We also asked the Change Agents to sign up for the publication’s “Brain Squad,” which is surveyed each month with multiple-choice and open-ended questions that contribute to the content. The key publications Transitions targets with Change Agent content include Eyecare Business, Vision Monday, 20/20 Magazine and INVISION, which serve millennial ECPs. The Change Agents received seven placements in these publications, achieving 318,603 impressions.