Shining a light on the blind

6th October 2014

by Kaizo PR

Context/background
A new bionic eye implant, produced by Second Sight Medical Products, enables blind patients to read short letter strings, marking a major step towards artificial sight.

Objectives
• Communicate benefits and increase awareness of the Argus II, Second Sight’s bionic eye implant
• Raise awareness of retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that destroys light-receiving cells at the back of the eye
• Use PR to stimulate demand for a previously unrecognised category – retinal eye implants

PR implementation
Tailored press releases were drafted for the UK market announcing results of new research, published in the British Journal Ophthalmology – one aimed at mainstream media and another for trade/medical press. Working closely with Moorfield Eye Hospital, patient case studies were secured and a leading optometrist was made available. Media interviews were set up within a tight deadline, including a range of media, spanning broadcast, national and trade outlets.

Results and Evaluation
• The announcement achieved major print, broadcast and online coverage, all highlighting the issue of retinitis pigmentosa. Key items included segments on Sky and ITV News (1.30pm, 6pm, 10pm), half page spreads in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express and Metro, feature on Wired, syndicated radio coverage on Capital FM, Metro Radio, Central FM, XFM, Gold Radio and Sun FM, among others and coverage in key trades, such as Optometry Today and Optics
• Coverage reach exceeded 52 million
• The research paper was ranked the no. 1 most read article in the British Journal Ophthalmology in March
• Second Sight has won 9 prestigious awards for its Argus II implant – including:

o CNN’s 10 innovations of the year
o TIME magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2013 (World-Changing)
o The World Economic Forums’ Technology Pioneer 2014
o Cleveland Clinic’s Top 10 Medical Innovations of 2014

• 200% increase in the number of enquiries regarding its bionic implant
• Web traffic to the company site increased by 1000%

 

Kaizo PR campaign, by Emma Knott

Kaizo PR campaign, by Emma Knott

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