McDougall Communications & CORE Honored for Mask-Associated Dry Eye Work

Rochester, N.Y., May 23, 2022—For the third time in five years, McDougall Communications and the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) have received the global public relations industry’s top campaign honor—a Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award. The latest recognition resulted from efforts to raise awareness among medical professionals and consumers about increases in dry eye symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as identifying steps to alleviate the discomfort.

The 18-month program is credited with drawing widespread attention to a new condition called MADE, or mask-associated dry eye. This initiative spurred more than 2,500 mainstream news reports on six continents, plus broad coverage by ophthalmic industry journalists. Eye care practitioners worldwide rapidly took note and adopted CORE’s guidance, providing much-appreciated patient relief.

A CORE-bylined feature story written as part of the program was also awarded a Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation, which are given to the industry’s best tactics.

Since 1944, the Anvil Awards have been presented to organizations that successfully address challenging issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity, and resourcefulness. They are often referred to as the Oscars of the public relations profession, owing to their stringent judging process and candidates from around the world.

McDougall Communications has been awarded multiple Anvils in recent years, spanning a range of clients, programs, and categories. For its work with CORE, the firm received the Silver Anvil in 2018 for a launch of the organization’s new brand, followed by a Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation in 2019 for digital innovation. In 2021, the McDougall and CORE received two additional Silver Anvils plus an Award of Excellence for spearheading a worldwide crisis response to COVID-19 misinformation about contact lens wear.

Other 2022 Anvil honorees included St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Delta Airlines, UPS, Royal Caribbean Group, and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office for communications central to its prosecution of Derek Chauvin. The awards were presented on May 19 during a ceremony at Manhattan’s Edison Ballroom.

“It’s a privilege to partner with CORE on some of the timeliest issues in ocular health, helping eye care practitioners and the public gain access to reliable, accurate, and relevant information that affects vision. Congratulations to that incredible team of researchers, clinicians, and educators—and to all of this year’s Anvil winners” said Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, the firm’s president.

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Its basic and applied research collaborations with sponsors, agencies, and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education have been at the heart of prominent eye health advances. The 50-person CORE team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit

McDougall Communications (, founded in 2011, assists clients across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific meet their business objectives through a range of communications services, including strategic planning, media and influencer relations, reputation and crisis counsel, and social media management. It is the most senior standalone public relations and reputation management firm in Upstate New York and its groundbreaking work regularly shapes global communications advancements.