Social media and media relations

Social media and media relations

A2.1.1 Members should ensure that they comply with their obligations in this area. Examples of social media include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as the ABDO website forums and other similar online forums.

A2.1.2 ABDO’s Social Media Policy (Appendix K) is available here, and should be read and adhered to by all members.

ABDO Social media policy

A2.1.3 The Optical Confederation has also produced Guidance on Social Media and Electronic Communication, and that is available here:  http://www.opticalconfederation.org.uk/downloads/guidance/Social%20Media%20-%20Guidance%20for%20Optometrists%20and%20Opticians%20-%203%20September%202012%20AG.pdf

A2.2.1 Registered dispensing opticians are occasionally called on by journalists and radio and television reporters to make statements on current issues in the profession, grant interviews or to help in the composition of feature articles, pamphlets or books. While good publicity and a free flow of information to the public through the news media is desirable and potentially of benefit to the public, such activities must be handled with the greatest of care, especially by the inexperienced.

A2.2.2 It is preferable that questions about dispensing practice be dealt with by the ABDO Secretariat, rather than individuals. If there is no alternative but to make a statement on a professional matter of public interest, ideally advice and guidance should be sought from the Secretariat before responding.

A2.2.3 Local newspapers frequently publish feature articles publicising some (usually retail) enterprise, associated with editorial matter and supportive advertisements by retail shopkeepers. Registered dispensing opticians are advised to treat any such requests for interviews with caution and should insist on the right to approve the text of articles before publication

A2.2.4 ABDO takes the view that all registered dispensing opticians who own or manage practices must take responsibility for such publicity even if they can claim lack of knowledge.

A2.3.1 The registered dispensing optician should be adequately prepared for questioning. Avoid ‘off the cuff’ statements to casual callers; insist on time for reflection on questions from journalists if unprepared.

A2.3.2 If unsure of how to handle the interview either refer the interviewer to the Association’s Secretariat or seek the latter’s advice.

A2.3.3 If wishing to express personal opinions ensure that they are identified as such, and do not be harassed into imprudent over-simplification.

A2.3.4 Avoid overt self-advertisement or assertions of superiority of professional services over colleagues.

A2.3.5 Insist on editorial right to vet any material for publication.