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14 Communications Fails That Left Eyecare Practices Red-Faced

Sometimes there’s really nowhere to hide…

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ALL PRESS IS GOOD press… right? The truth is, few things are as embarrassing as a communications blunder. We asked our Brain Squad survey team members to tell us about their worst marketing, advertising or social media fiascos—be it an auto-correct fail, an unfortunate typo or even a face-to-face verbal blunder—and learned about these 14 memorably mortifying screw-ups.

  • One of our taglines is “Fab Glasses.” We have it printed on T-shirts. One of our staff just mentioned to me that there are a lot of ways that can be read wrong—oops. — Jenna G., Fargo, ND
  • When I first started doing marketing, I was just coming off completion of my MBA program. I remember diving into the fashion world and it’s marriage with eyewear. It was right during the time when Tom Ford came out with his own line … If you know Tom Ford, you know his marketing is a little bolder than most. So, not really thinking about Dr. Bladh’s wholesome, family brand I used a photo of a woman modeling some glasses … The only problem was that the model was ONLY wearing glasses and nothing else. There was no nudity, but it was heavily suggested. I received a call within two minutes of posting the marketing piece to remove it and try again. I’m happy to say that mistake has never been repeated. — Josh B., Diamond Bar, CA
  • A very nice young lady came in to get her glasses adjusted and as I finished and brought them out to her I told her I “twerked” them. Why on earth would I say that? Seems to happen to me often. — Caitlin W., Montrose, CO
  • I had a glaucoma flyer made with my headshot for a community event. Under my photo I wrote “The silent thief of vision.” Probably not the best placement. Luckily, I realized it before mass production. — Paul P., Newtown, PA
  • We had a patient share a text message of a conversation she was having with another patient about how great we are and how wonderfully she could see. A staff member shared it on social media. It said that she was seeing “effin” HD and a patient got angry, saying she would never be back with her teenage kids (who apparently had never heard a curse word before and for some reason frequent business Facebook pages?) But we modified the screenshot so as not to offend others. — Nytarsha T., Zionsville, IN
  • When everything started to happen with COVID-19 there was a video posted in our Stories stating that the virus is a hoax. Still not sure how it showed up and the three people that have access to the account all swear on their lives that it wasn’t them who posted. Needless to say, passwords have been changed and nothing odd has happened since. — Travis L., Logan, UT
  • We sent out a big mailer. The marketing company sorted the spreadsheet and did not include all columns. They had the wrong names on every piece. — Miguel R., Lebanon, PA
  • I sent out an EHR to a specialist using a less-than-ideal word for a sore, red “purulent” (or pus-filled) patient eye. If the word “eye” had been used it would have at least saved me … but it wasn’t. — Zachary D., Saint Peter, MN
  • We had T-shirts printed on the back: “Where Vision and Style Collide.” They printed: “Where Vision and Stye Collide.” — Dave S., San Luis Obispo, CA
  • One time we ran an ad in the newspaper saying we were having a trunk show with a sunglass company offering 30 percent off. When the ad was published, it read: “Truck sale at 3% off.” — Scott K., Dover, OH
  • We’ve been pretty good so far, but we’ve had minor missed auto-corrects such as “piano” in lieu of “plano.” — David G., Newport Beach, CA
  • We sent out a “Use it or lose it!” end of the year email blast about using their insurance benefits and we had many people calling us concerned about their eyesight. — Tiffany F., Jenison, MI
  • I’m notorious for misspelling words. Even when I look them up, I can still misspell them. “Ophthalmologist” is my biggest pet peeve word. I labeled our office on Instagram as being an “Opthalmologist” office for months. – Frances Ann L., Valdosta, GA
  • When staff posted “Come on in today, we would love to see you” and we were closed for quarantine stay-at-home orders. — Sherry M., Lake Mary, FL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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