Council on Communication Spreading the AAO message

Lauren Vitkus, DDS, MS
NESO COC Representative
Geneva, New York

With everything going on with COVID-19, the AAO Council of Communications (COC) remains hard at work spreading its message to consumers and members alike. 

A Happy Mouth Now parody video campaign launched in May as part of the Consumer Awareness Program. Consumers learn the risks associated with DIY orthodontics in a light-hearted, satirical video series. The campaign contains social media and YouTube ads that drive consumers to a cohesively branded landing page, driving home the messaging that the risks of not seeing an orthodontist in person are very real. In just the first week, the first video in the series garnered over 1.6 million views and 700,000 engagements across Facebook and YouTube. View video here.

Influencer marketing remains a priority for the AAO to ensure orthodontics is top-of-mind for millennial parents. An Instagram campaign is scheduled for May 28 to close out FY20. Influencers will share common bite problems to look for in children and that, when re-opened, it is safe to visit the orthodontist.

AAO blogs continue to be an important feature on the consumer site as they provide new, relevant and easily accessible content for consumers. Throughout FY20, COC developed and published 16 consumer blogs, that have resulted in over 2.5 million web views. Recent posts have ranged from “My Orthodontist’s Office Has Reopened. Is It Safe to Go?” to “Handling Orthodontic Issues at Home.” Blogs are available on the consumer site for members to share on their own social media channels.

Lastly, newly designed Patient Education Brochures are now available for members to download or purchase at

COC continues its work of ensuring members are well-informed. The team keeps members in-the-know on all things Coronavirus with dedicated COVID-19 emails – providing breaking updates as they roll in – and a regularly updated COVID-19 Resource Center that can be found at

To further ensure membership does not miss a beat during this critical time, the team has implemented an email and social media re-subscribe campaign, generating more than 1,500 re-subscribes and increasing the overall email reach to 87%. We are also in the process of rolling out a voluntary opt-in text messaging service as an additional way for members to choose to stay connected.

The council is already starting work for this year’s Anti-Bullying public relations initiative, set for October. Members will be encouraged to participate by spreading an anti-bullying message and joining in on Unity Day by wearing orange. More information can be expected in the coming months. With a wildly successful first-ever Virtual Annual Session, which drew more than 11,000 registrations, the committee is already shifting its focus toward AAO 2021 with initial concepting underway.