Focus: Communications - Three minutes with ... Lara Yude, Citizens Advice

Why did you commission the film A Glimpse of the Future?

We had two objectives, the first of which was to use it as part of an internal communications strategy. Citizens Advice is a network of charities - we wanted to bring people on board and tell them about where Citizens Advice is going. We also wanted the film to attract more partnerships and funding. The film has two slightly different endings - one for staff and one for presentations delivered to encourage funding.

What happens in the film?

It's a standard Citizens Advice Bureau client scenario. A young woman who has been made redundant because she is pregnant is coached by Citizens Advice to give evidence in an employment tribunal. She is shown receiving reminders of appointments with the bureau by text message. The film also shows a touch-screen kiosk to which people can go for advice. We wanted to show the different ways in which we can reach people.

How was the film made?

It was produced by the Edge Picture Company, but we were involved from the beginning and gave clear ideas of the character and technologies we wanted to show. The character had to be true to the clients we have, otherwise the staff wouldn't have believed it. It took about two months to make. We have a Welsh version too.

Why did you choose to use a film for your message?

We wanted something that would have an impact - film was a graphic way of conveying our message.

Was it successful?

It's been very successful - I've had grown men saying they've cried. I've watched it about 30 times and it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. We've had good feedback, both externally and internally. We were also happy that the film was given a gold award at the International Visual Communication Association awards last month.

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