Marketing Audio Description

Reaching Target Markets

Biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge in targeting theatregoers who are blind or partially sighted is that the vast majority is unaware of live audio description and how it works in a theatre setting. At an event we held at a venue in the East of England only 1 visually impaired person out of 20 had experienced a live, described performance. About 50% had experienced television description; the other 50% had experienced neither.

For many people across the UK who attend theatre but are experiencing a gradual and increasing sight loss their last theatre visit may well have been so disappointing that they ignore messages about future events, thinking that theatre is no longer for them.

For those who have never experienced any form of theatre before, the challenge is to persuade them that it has something to offer and give them a sense of what attending a performance is like.

We’ve listed here the target groups we think will bring the biggest return on your investment of time, energy and money.

Market segmentHow can we get hold of them?What should we say?
Our existing attenders’ who may have friends and family who are blind or partially sightedSeason brochure; posters front of house; direct mail; show print; ticket wallets If you know someone who uses a magnifier or large print books, or someone who is blind, then here’s a way they can enjoy coming to the theatre with you.
Existing arts enthusiasts who are visually impaired and averse to identifying themselves as disabledMainstream press; arts media; lapsed ticket buyers on our box office systems; U3A (University of the 3rd Age)If you enjoy theatre but sometimes have difficulty seeing the action on stage then here’s something you may be interested in.
Here’s a way you can enjoy a theatre outing with your friends or family again.
Mainstream press; arts Existing arts enthusiasts with who are visually impaired and do self identify as disabled (may be members of specialist groups)Via specialist groups; talking newspapers; mainstream press; other venues; arts and specialist media; U3ABlind or partially sighted? Here’s a way you can enjoy coming to the theatre.
Enjoy a theatre outing with your friends and family or meet other blind and partially sighted people who love going to the theatre.
Members of blind societies, groups or clubs - people who are looking for an interesting social event rather than being arts enthusiastsDirect marketing to specialist groups and links on relevant websites; presentations to meetings;
telephone calls
Theatre is stimulating and fun.
Come and enjoy a night out with your friends.
Emphasise social aspects, opportunities for discussion – what will you think about the show?
Focus on promoting high profile, mass appeal events for the first visit.
Think about offering something extra – backstage tour or pre-show reception.
Blind or partially sighted people who would enjoy a night out but who think theatre is not for themMainstream press, specialist groups and media;
gatekeepers;
health services
Theatre is stimulating and fun. Emphasise social aspects, opportunities for discussion etc. At first, focus on promoting high profile, mass appeal events for the first visit.
Organisers of support groups or workers in specialist organisationsSpecialist groups and media;
direct (e) mail; presentations at meetings, exhibitions and conferences; telephone calls
Audio described performances mean that your members/clients can enjoy a theatre trip / theatre outing together.
Explain what audio description is and how it works.
Emphasise social aspects and opportunities for discussion.
Highlight potential discounts.
Local authority officers involved with the delivery of community servicesSpecialist groups and media; presentations at meetings and conferences (initial email contact not effective); direct mailAudio described performances mean that clients can enjoy a stimulating and fun theatre trip/day out. Emphasise social aspects and opportunities for discussion.
Explain what audio description is and how it works.
Highlight potential discounts.
Schools – Special Educational Needs, residential, specialist colleges and mainstreamLocal Education Authority and specialist directoriesPerformances of set texts that are accessible to everyone in the class.
Some children on the autistic spectrum have benefited for audio described performances.
Learning Support staff at colleges and universitiesUniversity websites and staff listsAudio described performances mean that your blind and partially sighted students can enjoy theatre.