Longitude Prize – Cancer and AMR Report
The Longitude Prize is a £10m prize fund run by Nesta Challenges, with an £8m payout, that will reward a team of researchers who develop a point–of–care diagnostic test that will conserve antibiotics for future generations. The test must be accurate, rapid, affordable and easy to use anywhere in the world.
The prize launched in 2014 following a public vote supported by the BBC in which they chose to focus the prize on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In 2019, Seven was asked by the Longitude Prize to begin supporting its PR and communications.
At the time it had a modest but positive track record of achieving international coverage, particularly in India, however its media profile in the UK had declined since its launch. Seven was charged with raising Longitude Prize’s profile in the UK, particularly among the AMR and medtech communities and to increase public awareness of antibiotic resistance.
Seven ran a series of workshops with the Global Health team at Nesta Challenges to understand the challenges the Longitude Prize was intending to solve and the wider AMR landscape at the time. It became apparent that there was anecdotal evidence about the threat AMR poses to future cancer treatments. This provided an opportunity for Longitude Prize.
Seven recommended commissioning a survey by a specialist medical market research agency among British oncologists, to understand the impact of AMR on cancer patients and the treatments available to them.
Seven cut the data to draft a five chapter report: Effectiveness of Cancer Treatments Threatened by Rising Antibioitic Resistance. We commissioned infographics to illustrate the report and to use on social media. The report was launched at a media breakfast in February 2020, held at Nesta Challenges’ offices.
The report launch campaign secured coverage across mainstream print, online and broadcast media in the UK as well as internationally – including BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music, The Times, The Daily Mail, MailOnline, Newsweek and Metro. As well as consumer media, Seven secured coverage in key medtech trade media, as well as social media support from the highly influential Wellcome Trust.
In total the campaign generated 53 pieces of coverage, with estimated online coverage views of 1.04 million, a print circulation of 3.15 million and a broadcast audience of 31.4 million. Remarkably, this happened as Covid-19 began to dominate news headlines.
The report has had a lasting legacy and influence. The WHO’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) saw the Longitude Prize team invited to present the data at a number of AMR conferences and the report has prompted multiple requests for interview since its launch.