Posted on November 4, 2009

Eye Surgeons Associates PC from quad cities set new LASIK system record

Interview with program director Julie Berntgen

Q: I understand that you had a large amount of entrants in the contest you developed this past September. How many did you get total?
A: 200 essays were submitted.

Q: Describe the overall experience of seeing the volume of participants that you got from the contest. Did you expect this many?
A: Yes, as we speak to many people who would love to get LASIK, but don’t think that they can afford it. This was a great opportunity for them.

Q: What was the secret to driving all of these people to your website?
A: We have good name recognition in the community, we have a great relationship with a radio station with a strong following, and we used a lot of different media to support the message.

Q: What radio station did you use and how did that work out?
A: We used 97X, Dwyer & Michaels. Dr. Phinney did Michaels LASIK a number of years ago and we’ve had an advertising relationship with them since.

Q: Who was the winner and how many votes?
A: The top 10 had between 100 and 200 votes. Andi VanWinkle won.

Q: Would you do it again?
A: Yes, so far. It was good PR. It drove people to our website. It established a good leads list from which we’ll track the consults and surgeries and see.

Q: What would you do differently?
A: Spend more time on how to make it viral in the QCA.

Q: Did the second place vote receiver get anything?
A: Yes, 50% off LASIK.

Q: What types of things did people write in about now?
A: Everything from poems, to top 10 lists, to nominating a selfless spouse, to stories about how they’ve worn glasses forever and would never be able to afford LASIK.

Q: Do you think the voting system helped out?
A: Yes, it helped narrow the list down, making selection much easier.