case study: allen institute for brain science

Public Relations

health care


The Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science is a non-profit medical research organization committed to understanding how the brain works through open science and shared data. With these core values, it hopes to ensure a positive, long-lasting impact on neuroscience. The Allen Institute’s inaugural project, the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, as well as the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas were groundbreaking in brain science research. The Fearey Group was tasked with announcing these pioneering efforts to the media and prospective partners.


Given the complexity of neuroscience language, The Fearey Group worked to create clear, precise, audience appropriate messaging about the institute and its initiatives that are easy to understand by mainstream audiences. Through media outreach, The Fearey Group explained the vast potential of the Allen Brain Atlas to further the understanding of various brain diseases and disorders. Interviews with well-known scientists and researchers who use the Atlas—including a Nobel laureate—added credibility. To prepare the Institute’s spokespeople, we provided in-depth media training. While orchestrating media outreach in Seattle, we simultaneously facilitated media tours in New York and Washington D.C.


Hits to the Institute’s website increased dramatically, increasing from 6,000 unique visitors in the month before the announcement and media launch, to nearly 10 million hits. Media interest was abundant—placements were secured in top-tier media outlets, including PBS NewsHour, TIME, The New York Times, WIRED, Scientific American, The Seattle Times, NPR, CBS, and Wall Street Journal. Following the campaign, the Institute established strategic relationships with government agencies, advocacy groups, media and scientists throughout the world.