Genomics England
Creating a ‘step change’ comms strategy

What was the brief?

Develop and implement a content-led comms strategy to significantly boost interest in the role for genomic medicine in the UK.

How did we do it?

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 DoH 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 communications campaign 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 developed 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.

What were the results?

1154 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.

Both the Chief Medical Officer and the Health Secretary shared our content.

Later that month the Government announced a significant increase in the role for genomics in the NHS.

Who did it?

The team involved

Chris Reed, Julian Borra, Jim Harrison