Spitfire partnered with Simons Searchlight, an international research program within the Simons Foundation working to accelerate scientific discovery to improve the lives of people and families with rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorders. We worked with Searchlight to build upon the program’s brand identity and assess how it engages with priority audiences, including families, researchers and partners. Our findings informed the creation of a two-day branding and Smart Chart training session in March 2022 to refine Searchlight’s brand identity as a connector between families and researchers to create better futures for people with genetic disorders.
Together, we identified a brand promise for Searchlight, as well as personality traits and guiding beliefs for the program to internalize, and created a strategic communications plan for Searchlight to more effectively engage with key audiences and maximize future impact of its program.
We further solidified programmatic objectives for Searchlight to expand engagement with families, participants and the research community and developed concise, tailored messages to recruit them to the program over time. We also identified tactics to consider in the near term, including developing new communications collateral (e.g., targeted e-blasts, one-pagers for researchers, welcome packet swap for participant families and researchers, targeted social media ads), creating infographics for translating the Searchlight research application process, fostering more family support groups online and more.
Following our partnership, Searchlight is working to implement and socialize the communications plan with its Community Advisory Committee, which guides research and community activities on behalf of all Searchlight participants and gene groups.