Stagetext is a charity that works with venues across England to improve accessibility to the arts for D/deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing audiences.

Campaign Collective was asked by Stagetext to provide support for its annual campaign Captioning Awareness Week in 2018 and 2019.

Objectives

The campaign provides a focal point for the charity to raise awareness of the issues facing D/deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing audiences, and to encourage arts venues to put on subtitled performances during the week.

The objectives were to: raise awareness of the week in the media; engage venues to publicly support the campaign; and encourage attendance at events that are celebrating the week.

Tactics

Over both years, we developed a PR and stakeholder approach which focused on messaging, press releases, case studies and media sell-in. Through this, we worked with host venues to help disseminate the campaign messages through their own PR and social media channels.

We also used the opportunity to position the CEO Melanie Sharpe as an expert on championing deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing access in the arts. And we worked with case studies to tell the story of why it is important for venues to be inclusive and provide subtitled performances for its audiences.

Results

Over the two years we have secured around 360 pieces of coverage secured including one national newspaper (Daily Telegraph) and TV appearances on ITV London, which included two morning news bulletins and an in-depth news feature on the evening news. 

We also secured coverage in key regional key regional titles such as the Manchester Evening News and the Yorkshire Post. Coverage was also secured on Yahoo! and BT.com.

Working with the venues was important, and we secured an opportunity with National Theatre showing Joey (of Warhorse fame) supporting the campaign – which was subsequently shared widely on social media. Public support was also secured from likes of Donmar Warehouse, Salisbury Playhouse and Royal Exchange Manchester.

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