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The Making of ‘Worth Saving’

At the risk of sounding elitist, it is time to get the word out to the public about who we are and what we can do for them! Let them know our science is sound and our skills are exceptional! What better way than adding Save Your Tooth Month to the ongoing Worth Saving Campaign? But lest we forget, this month is yet another opportunity to point out the importance of our strategic plan in helping us focus on our goal “The public will value saving their natural teeth and seek endodontists — the specialists in saving teeth — for their care.” As I highlight the Worth Saving Campaign/Save Your Tooth Month, let’s look back to the history of the development of the campaign.

Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Past President Dr. Garry Myers announced at the 2018 annual session in Denver that the findings from our 2017 membership survey showed that the membership was asking and were even “demanding” that we continue to inform the public of who we are and what services we can provide. Dr. Myers also announced that the Special Committee on Media Campaign Discovery, chaired by Dr. Terryl Propper, together with our PR agency, found several key factors in developing the campaign. Dr. Propper noted that the AAE has limited resources and would be unsuccessful in an all-encompassing nationwide campaign. Previous efforts did not define a target audience, but by focusing on a specific group, it would be easier for the AAE to reach the group and measure outcomes. The PPRC, chaired by Dr. Mark Desrosiers, as well as our Marketing & Communications department and PR agency, took those findings and developed the campaign, which consists of a mix of search engine advertising, social media posts and online display advertising directed to a targeted audience. The previous campaign was broader and lacked a social media aspect because it didn’t exist at that time. Subsequently, as Dr. Taylor announced at the 2019 annual session in Montréal, the Worth Saving Campaign successfully launched in January 2019.

One other key feature of the Worth Saving Campaign is the implementation of grassroots activation through member outreach, a series of videos, surveys and social listening. We also metamorphized “Root Canal Awareness Week” to “Save Your Tooth Month” and created a specialty landing page to learn more about the Worth Saving campaign. Save Your Tooth Month included toolkits to help members promote and leverage to ultimately grow their practices. Check out the June issue of the Communiqué for a recap of Save Your Tooth Month.

Hopefully, everyone received the May 20 AAE communications email with one of our latest announcements:

”Most recently, the AAE worked with Illinois State Representative Sam Yingling to proclaim May as Save Your Tooth Month in Illinois. Rep. Yingling filed HR0386 on May 16, and we expect the resolution to be adopted by the end of the state’s legislative session this month! Rep. Yingling’s measure celebrates our specialty and the important care we provide.

The creation and formal recognition of this awareness month helps increase our specialty’s visibility, and we encourage our members to reach out to their elected officials to sponsor similar proposals for our current and future Save Your Tooth Month campaigns!

In addition, did you know that, thanks to member practice Riverbend Endodontics and my home state of Iowa’s State Senator Chris Cournoyer, May is officially Save Your Tooth Month in Iowa? Read all about it in our interview with Riverbend’s Dr. Van Nieuwenhuyzen.

Later this year, I hope to report on what the initial metrics are showing us in terms of the impact of the Worth Saving Campaign/Save Your Tooth Month campaign.

Lastly, I wanted to include three links to our online resources and support that I would encourage everyone to view. They go into much more depth than I can here. These are resources for each one of you that can be used at the grassroots level:

All of this came from our first goal on the 2017-2020 strategic plan, “The public will value saving their natural teeth and seek endodontists — the specialists in saving teeth — for their care.”

Stay tuned for more!