Client: The Human Genetics Commission (HGC)
PR Team: Citigate
Campaign: Positioning HGC as authority on genetics
Timescale: October - November 2000
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
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.