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From lab bench to cover story.


  • Strategy
  • Media Relations
  • Content
  • Social

In late 2011/early 2012, the global market for next-generation sequencing reached a tipping point, media darling up-and-comer Ion Torrent was making a play for a leadership position, and Roche was attempting a hostile takeover of Illumina. Illumina had achieved business dominance and was known and revered in research circles, but for all of its success the company was virtually unknown by mainstream business media audiences and the public. Illumina needed to act fast to maintain its lead and fight off the threats. They turned to Seismic to grasp the moment by activating strategic storytelling in the media to become the undisputed leader in genomics.

The Solution

Our team worked closely with Illumina executives to create the company messaging and narrative, assess the competitive media environment, harness visibility opportunities based on the company’s roadmap and set to work engaging with media targets on a regular basis. A key element to our success was identifying and media training an entirely new bench of people at both executive and scientific levels, so we could offer expert resources to the press on an almost daily basis. In addition to earned media opportunities, we pursued high profile awards in Forbes, Fast Company and MIT Technology Review. We initiated a program where we identified media MVPs and offered whole genome sequencing trials, landing major full-length features on TODAY and in BusinessWeek, Bloomberg and The Guardian. The earned media flywheel reached a state of rotational inertia!

The Results

The number of articles and impressions speak to the success of the program, but the most compelling result of the multi-year campaign was that Illumina truly used the influence of its platform to unlock the power of the genome to improve human health, a mission that continues to this day.

unique articles secured
earned media ad equivalency

“Seismic has been my go-to communications agency collaborator for the better part of a decade. They have significantly amplified the visibility of Illumina Ventures, several of our portfolio companies and key health and life science industry innovators.”

Nick Naclerio, Illumina Ventures' Founding Partner