Genomics England: Develop a 'step change' communications strategy

Develop and implement a content-led communicationss strategy to boost awareness of the potential impact of genomic medicine in the UK
A girl smiling at the camera. A still from a film produced for Genomics England by Restless Communications
In: Communications strategy, Content creation and social media, Content planning, Projects

Genomic medicine is moving very fast from that laboratory to the mainstream. And the UK is leading the world.

Genomics England had been tasked by the NHS and Government to sequence 100,000 genomes to start to build a database of genomic data, to help provide more accurate advice and support to cancer and rare disease patients.

As the 100,000 target approached we were brought in to help shape and implement a communications strategy which recognised the significant milestone reached, and, at the same time gave the Department of Health a clear ‘jumping off point’ to take genomic medicine mainstream over the next few years.

Working alongside creative strategist Julian Borra at Toolshed, we developed a content strategy premised on the insight that the future of healthcare is people-powered.

This enabled us to ‘hero’ all of the people involved in hitting the 100,000 target - the people who had given up their precious genomic data and their families, the researchers, clinicians, charities and commercial partners.

We used the PESO model to develop a content-led (owned) communications campaign including building a new website, creating new (and re-editing old) films to reach policymakers, participants and the general public, developing new social assets and creating a ‘toolkit’ of (earned and shared) content for partners to use in their communications.

By the time the target was reached in December 2018 our ‘100,000 ThankYous’ campaign was ready to launch.

The results

  • Over 1400 people used our #100KThankYous hashtag, reaching 4.1M people
  • The BBC 10pm News ran a feature on hitting the 100K target as the second item that night
  • Both the Chief Medical Officer and the Health Secretary shared our content on their own social channels
  • Later that month the Government announced a significant increase in the role for genomics in the NHS
The team
🧐 Strategy and film production: Chris Reed
✍️ Brand strategy: Julian Borra
🎨 Filming and Editing: Jim Harrison
Written by
Chris Reed
I set up Restless Communications in 2011 to create strategic and integrated campaigns for brands I believe in. Away from work I shout at Arsenal, listen to loud music, and walk my dog.
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