CAMPAIGNS: Public Awareness - Citigate sets pace for HGC positioning

Client: The Human Genetics Commission (HGC)

PR Team: Citigate

Campaign: Positioning HGC as authority on genetics

Timescale: October - November 2000

Budget: Undisclosed

The Human Genetics Commission (HGC) is a government advisory body

providing an overview of the development of human genetics and advising

on the possible impact human genetics will have on public health and



To encourage national debate on issues surrounding genetic information

and position the HGC as an independent, open and inclusive public


Strategy and Plan

Citigate planned a press event at the International Centre for Life, a

science and genetic information centre and research facility in

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, targeting national and regional news, current

affairs and other print and broadcast media.

MORI, which was conducting a survey into public attitudes about the use

of human genetic information on behalf of HGC, gave journalists a

preview of their interim findings.

One hundred school children were also called in to watch a video about

human genetics. Afterwards, they were engaged in a discussion, chaired

by HGC members.

The Independent on Sunday was given an exclusive the day prior to


Measurement and Evaluation

Chairman Baroness Helena Kennedy and other members of the HGC conducted

broadcast interviews throughout the day, gaining coverage on the Today

programme, Sky News, the BBC and most regional media.

An article by vice-chairman Sandy McCall Smith, was placed in the

comment section of The Guardian. The British Medical Journal also ran a

substantial piece.


Media interest tripled during the night after the campaign, gaining

attention across a broad spectrum of media including a mention in the

Labour Party manifesto.

As interest continues to climb, the HGC looks well on the road to

becoming the most authoritative body on human genetics in the UK.

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