There are many ways you can develop your audiences for captioned shows. First, you need to consider ways of publicising the service to your existing audience members, most of whom will probably know someone that could benefit from the service. You will also need to look at ways of reaching new audiences that haven’t previously considered that theatre is for them.
For more information on marketing your captioned performances, please visit www.accessibletheatre.org.uk.
Promoting the service
Here are some ideas to help you promote your services to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people:
Always include information on captioned performances on all your existing marketing materials; this won’t cost you any more money as you are already producing them. You could also highlight the captioning service on the inside front cover of your theatre brochure, on production flyers and posters, on the billboard outside the theatre, and in any direct mail letters announcing new productions.
Include information about captioned performances in national or local newspapers, arts magazines and press listings.
SMS marketing is a particularly effective way of letting deaf people know about the late availability of tickets for captioned performances.
Ask your Box Office to tell people about the captioned performances when they book tickets. A prompt on your Box Office system will serve as a useful reminder.
Contact local deaf and hard of hearing clubs and organisations that offer services to older people. A good way to start can be to Google ‘key’ words like ‘deaf’, ‘deafened’, ‘hard of hearing’, ‘libraries’, ‘audiology departments’. Stagetext can also help you to identify local organisations, so do contact us.
Make sure the information about captioning is easy to find on your theatre’s website.
If you are able to invest in additional marketing materials, you could produce flyers specifically for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people which list each season’s captioned performances.
It is not always helpful to just say you have a captioned performance on a particular date as many people won’t know what captioning is. You can help raise awareness by adding the following description on any marketing tools you use to promote your captioned shows and in your theatre foyer on the day of the captioned performance.
This evening’s performance of [name of show] is being captioned.
In captioning, the words appear on a display unit at the same time as they are spoken or sung giving deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people access to the performance.
Captioned performance icon
While there is no internationally recognised icon to indicate a captioned performance, we recommend that you use the letters ‘CAP’ in a box on any publicity materials, particularly in your ‘at-a-glance’ diary to help audiences identify your accessible performances.
Please contact Stagetext for a copy of the icon.