Voluntary Sector: Autism benefits from a fresh dimension

Dimensions, a not-for-profit organisation supporting those with learning disabilities and autism, wanted to spread awareness of its activities while improving cinema access for those with autism.

Campaign: Autism Friendly Films
Client: Dimensions UK
PR team: In-house
Timescale: August 2011-January 2012
Budget: £500

Objectives

  • To generate an audience of 1,500 people for the Odeon pilot scheme in August 2011
  • To engage families of and people with autism through social networking.

Strategy and plan

Odeon Cinemas had decided to show a new release as an 'autism friendly' screening, where lights were left on low, the volume was down, no trailers were shown and people were free to bring their own food, move around and make noise. Spreading the word though its website, Facebook page and Twitter, the team also provided press releases and local case studies for local and regional media.

Measurement and evaluation

Media coverage for the first screening included more than 140 individual articles, ranging from Guardian.co.uk and the Daily Express to BBC online. Twitter followers increased fourfold, to 800, while Facebook likes increased from 200 to 750.

Results

The first screening across 40 cinemas drew an audience of 3,222 people. In January, Odeon committed to the scheme, which now runs in 89 cinemas.

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