Scope, Help for Heroes, RNIB and Sightsavers say the Games has provided an opportunity for them to talk to people about wider issues around disability. All are preparing activity to engage with with the millions of people watching the athletes for the first time on television and at events.
Scope will extend the social media activity it has been running so far this year around stories of “everyday people with disabilities in the UK”. The charity also hopes o broaden its work with journalists across the country in a bid to raise greater awareness.
Daniel Mazliah, head of media relations at Scope, says: “The Paralympics have been an opportunity for us to not only to talk to people about amazing athletes but also about disability in every day situations. This is what we’ll look to focus on once the Games end.
“This is key to the event having a lasting legacy on perceptions towards disability in the UK,” he adds.
Help for Heroes will use brand ambassador and British Paralympian Derek Derenalagi more prominently in its post-Games marketing as it looks to inspire recovering soldiers to use sport as part of their rehabilitation programmes.
Additionally, it will roll out more campaigns on Twitter, where its followers have grown by 5,000 since the Olympics started in June.
Daniel Apple, marketing and communications director at the charity, says the Games have strengthened the brand association between Help for Heroes and adaptive sports.
Both Sightsavers and RNIB are also planning to intensify marketing activity post-Games.
Sue Adams, director of fundraising and marketing at Sightsavers, says: “Because disability is not always prominent on the public’s radar. Any quality opportunities that we do create from the Games will be a great boost to the future perception of disability in the UK.
She adds that it will, however, take its time developing an appropriate message. “We want to see what others are doing and then look at how we can help bring about a lasting change to perceptions towards disability in the UK.”
Rupert Pratt, managing director at sponsorship agency Generate, warns that charities cannot rely on the legacy of the Games to drive an increase in donations.
He adds: “The Games will turn a lot of disabled people into celebrities, which is great because consumers feel far more comfortable with that and they will feel more comfortable with disability. The great thing is that prior to the Paralympics, when did you ever see a disabled person or athlete being heavily promoted. The real winner of the Paralympics is the opportunity to shift perceptions.”