Message from the President 2017

Dear Orthodontic Colleagues,

Happy New Year and Greetings from the Texas Association of Orthodontists (TAO)!  It has come to our attention that you have decided to discontinue your membership with TAO.  I know that one common reason for membership withdrawal is the sentiment that there was not much membership benefit with the recent 2016 TAO dues increase.

By way of background, the TAO membership present at the Annual Membership Meeting in San Antonio last November (2015) voted to increase 2016 dues to $635.00 and that has allowed TAO to fully leverage the funding in the AAO CAP matching program.   Through the support of the members of the Texas Association of Orthodontists and the AAO CAP Matching Grant Program, we were able to launch an aggressive 2016 Consumer Awareness Campaign locally in Texas.  This provided us a unique opportunity to magnify our marketing investment, to reach more people and to make more of an impact at a crucial time as we see many threats to our profession.  We believe that this ongoing local campaign has accomplished our primary objective of building consumer awareness and educating the public of the difference between a general dentist and an orthodontist when considering orthodontic treatment.

In 2016, we earned approximately 23 million total media impressions, which is the number of times our content was displayed.  Our campaign included 16 weeks of paid media advertising in the form of radio, print and digital content.  It was also augmented by public relation efforts, branded content and social media.  We secured 70% reach, which indicates that 70% of our target audience of adult consumers, skewing females ages 35-54, saw our message.  We had 7.2 times frequency, which indicates that our target audience saw our message 7.2 times.  Our campaign produced over 20,000 clicks from Texas to the website, which was an increase of 16% of web traffic from Texas to the AAO website.   One important requirement of our campaign was to include all 19 Texas media markets in the digital/online component of our marketing.  This ensured that every TAO member received this type of media coverage.

In October, we wrapped up a public relations campaign for National Orthodontic Health Month and candy buyback program across the state. We sent a press release to all of the publications, newspapers and TV stations throughout Texas.  As a result of these media outreach efforts, we were able to secure an in-studio TV segment on Fox 26 Morning News in Houston with Dr. Catharine Borders, who represented TAO very well.  Dr. Tito Norris of San Antonio was interviewed on News4 San Antonio to discuss which foods kids can eat during Halloween.   He did an excellent job as well!   Austin Family Magazine also ran a story about our state-wide Halloween Candy Buy-Back Program.

The Texas Association of Orthodontists, with the support of our marketing firm, the Summit Group, hosted a blogger event in November 2016, at a local SoulCycle studio with local TAO Dallas orthodontists.  This was a great opportunity for local bloggers to enjoy a fun night out in exchange for posting about TAO on their blogs and social media accounts.

Cost/benefit – Monthly cost perspective: What does the ADA membership cost & what benefits do you get for it?  Who do they represent?  In 2016, AAO/SWSO/TAO membership at $2,200 was $183.33/month for the only group of peers representing us on every issue in our specialty currently under attack.  Most of this money is going directly to consumer education awareness.  For sake of comparison, the Utah Association of Orthodontists, the first component to implement a local Consumer Awareness Program, has assessed their membership $1,500 each year.

PLEASE NOTE: For 2017, the dues will decrease to $480.00 to continue the consumer awareness campaign and to build a TAO website with a strong presence that will direct potential Texas patients to TAO member orthodontists.   We urge you to strongly reconsider renewing your TAO membership to be a part of this exciting initiative.  Let us choose to be one united voice for our patients and our great profession!

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any comments or questions.   We wish you all the best in 2017.

Best Regards,

Your TAO 2016-2017 Board:

Dr. Jesse Teng, President, El Paso

Dr. Deji Fashemo, President-Elect, Dallas

Dr. Omar Issa, Vice-President, Plano

Dr. Matthew Ng, Secretary-Treasurer, Katy

Dr. Kelly Heetland, Immediate Past-President, Wichita Falls

Dr. Catharine Borders, Member at Large 2017, Houston

Dr. Hardik Kapadia, Member at Large 2017, Sachse

Dr. Les Starnes, Member at Large 2017, Gainesville

Dr. John Wise, Member at Large 2017, Dallas