The college also wants an agency to highlight its contribution to healthcare policy and standards of eye care.
There is also a need to inform the Government, national standard bodies, commissioning organisations and opinion formers about the role of optometry, while recognising the college as the arbiter of professional development standards.
The move comes after the professional body recently developed its strategic plan for the next three years.
Currently 3 Monkeys handles the college’s consumer PR brief and is thought to be repitching for the account.
College of Optometrists head of marketing and comms Zena Wigram said: ‘It is really about taking a fresh approach to our PR and increasing our reach from beyond consumers to healthcare influencers.’
The £120,000 contract will be measured not by media coverage but membership satisfaction, recruitment and retention and by the college’s participation in public health debates.
The college is looking for an agency that has experience in both b2b, preferably healthcare, and b2c, for example an agency with experience in pharmaceuticals.
A maximum of four agencies will be asked to pitch in the week commencing 26 March – with an appointment likely at the beginning of April.
A study commissioned by the College of Optometrists shows half of adults are not aware of age-related macular degeneration – despite the fact it is the leading cause of blindness in the UK.