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  1. #100days100stories reviewed

    • By Victoria George, Scope Communications and Campaigns Officer

    In the lead up to this year’s General Election, Scope wanted to get politicians thinking differently about disability.

    So for the 100 days leading to the election we shared 100 compelling, moving and at times, shocking stories from disabled people and their families.

    We worked with our story-tellers to share their stories with their local candidates – reminding politicians of the big and varied issues disabled people are facing in the UK today.

    No ‘typical disability story’

    Disabled lawyers, actors, models, travel writers, campaigners, entrepreneurs and politicians were among the 100 who shared their stories.

    We heard about attitudes, volunteering, communication aids, finding work, going to festivals, hate crime and what it’s like getting older.

    We also shared stories about hearing dogs, working with disabled people in the community and fostering.

    An overwhelming response

    Our aim was for 100,000 views of our stories by the end of the campaign, and we were able to beat that target, with 140,000 views of our story blogs and videos.

    The campaign drove a huge amount of traffic to our blog – in 2014 our blog views overall were just over 200,000. And in the first five months of 2015, they were nearly the same.

    We would normally consider a blog popular if it gets 800 – 2,000 views – and this campaign blew that out the water. Our top viewed blog from Carol about life with an invisible impairment had nearly 30,000 views!

    Our other really popular stories came from Alexandra, about being offered a termination while pregnant, and Jean’s story about getting a job with the bus company she made a complaint to.

    Social media

    We had an overwhelming response to the stories on social media – nearly 60,000 people liked, clicked, commented or shared the stories on Facebook and the hash tag #100days100stories was tweeted nearly 4,500 times.

    One Facebook supporter wrote: “This series is just brilliant. I have used several of the blogs as part of my MA research project. Keep sharing stories everyone. People need to hear them.”

    PR

    In an article about charities’ pre-election campaigns, The Guardian wrote “we’ve especially liked how Scope has put its service users at the front of the campaign and enabled them to tell their story in their own words”.

    We also had coverage on the BBC and in the New Statesman.

    Getting political

    The campaign allowed our story-tellers to connect with politicians in a very direct and personal way.

    About half our story-tellers contacted their local candidates with their stories, and of those about half had responses from their candidates, many extremely heart-felt.

    The three main things we learnt

    1. We needed to work across Scope’s whole External Affairs Department for it to be successful – and it was a real team effort across our Stories, Campaigns, PR, policy, digital and marketing teams to get those results.
    2. The power of headlines – about halfway through the campaign we realised the blogs with really attention-grabbing headlines were getting more views so we put a lot of effort into trying to get headlines right.
    3. A bit of Facebook ad spend goes a long way – just a couple of hundred pounds behind a few of our stories really boosted our blog views towards the end of the campaign

    You can see all our stories at www.scope.org.uk/100stories and do get in touch if you would like to find out more at Victoria.george@scope.org.uk

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