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open quotation marks close quotation marks Not only were we thrilled with the results of our Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE award announcement, but we were also really happy with how much we could rely on the Merryman Communications team. Their strategic and creative contributions were really valuable, plus we had many moving parts and players and the Merryman team helped us stay on track throughout.

Katherine Schelbert
Manager, XPRIZE Public Relations

XPRIZE, a nonprofit global leader in incentivized prize competitions, and the Qualcomm Foundation awarded the top prizes of the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE – a five-year global competition that encouraged the development of a device much like the medical Tricorder of Star Trek® fame. Merryman Communications worked hand-in-hand as an extension of the internal PR team to maximize international media attention and social media engagement around the award ceremony held in Hollywood.

Photo from the XPRIZE award ceremony Photo of a technician operating a medical testing device Photo of a patient self-monitoring with medical devices

Orchestrating the Reveal with the Media

Because the top prize winner would not be revealed until the evening award ceremony, we orchestrated pre-briefings under embargo with both of the two finalist teams, XPRIZE and Qualcomm executives, and the interviews took place by phone and in person in New York and Los Angeles. Just hours before the ceremony, we shared the final results under embargo with the media that conducted interviews.

We invited media to attend the award ceremony, and the embargo lifted immediately after the top prize was announced. The next morning, we issued a press release and conducted broad-based, international media outreach.

To ensure the media captured the significance behind this groundbreaking XPRIZE award, we:

  • Educated the media on each team's unique journey, the challenging and rigorous competition benchmarks they met, and the revolutionary innovations their Tricorder devices represented.
  • Emphasized how the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE bridged the gap between science fiction and reality – two centuries ahead of schedule.
  • Highlighted the unique path that lay ahead for the commercialization of their Tricorder devices.

Widespread, International Coverage

As a result of our embargoed and broad-based media outreach, we generated extensive, positive coverage surrounding the award ceremony and prize announcement – much of which was amplified more than three-fold via social media.

Image of EnGadget article Image of Tech Crunch article Image of Business Insider article
Image of C-NET article Image of Fast Company Article Image of Forbes article

Articles appeared in more than
countries, in addition to U.S. coverage reaching
19 million +

people through outlets such as The Doctors, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, BBC.com, Business Insider, Engadget, Fast Company, Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Quartz, Science Magazine, The Verge, Washington Post and many others

Our outreach resulted in
original online articles

pick-ups of original articles

Original TV stories reaching
3 million +

80 million +
saw the news from original Tweets and Facebook posts

Key Success Factors:

  • Through our embargoed outreach, we specifically targeted high-reach outlets whose articles often get picked up by other outlets and have a high rate of social media sharing.
  • We ensured an array of images and b-roll were available to the media, including Star Trek Tricorder images, images of the teams and their Tricorder devices, and images from the event. Most of the resulting coverage included visuals provided by XPRIZE – adding interest and value to the coverage.