If you research Case Studies on the Internet, you will find many different types, from academic proofs of concept to legal case studies. For the purposes of Media Relations, case studies are short (500-word) descriptions of how your product or service is used by a customer.
Case studies can be used along with other company collateral, but are more powerful. While other documents — such as sales sheets or advertising collateral — are in “your voice,” a good case study is in the “customer’s voice,” which always has more credibility with media and other customers.
In fact, many times when you send out a press release or conduct a media pitch, the media will want a case study to learn more about how a client is using your product or service. They will also want to know if the customer is willing to be interviewed. When gathering information on the case study make sure you have the customer’s permission, preferably in writing.
Finally, ensure that your case study solves a general business problem (makes money or saves money, time, etc.) and use a consistent format. It makes them easier to understand – and also easier to write.
Sometimes case studies can lead to byline articles that help your client gain further attention. We often use case studies for our time and attendance client, Lathem Inc. We recently wrote one about how one of Lathem’s customers is saving time and money with their new cloud-based time and attendance system.
As part of our media relations efforts, we secured a placement with a leading construction trade magazine that now wants a 900-word article written about the time-tracking concerns of a mobile construction industry workforce.
Case studies, while not new, are still a mainstay in the PR tool chest. While years ago, they were part of a paper press kit, today they can be included in a company’s online press room, shared via social media channels and further leveraged as video testimonials.
What do you think about the importance of case studies; do you agree, disagree? Can you add anything from your own experience?
Tags: Case Studies, Customer's Voice, media, Media Pitch, Media Pitching, media relations, PR, PR plan, PR professional, PR Tool Kit, press release, public relations, publicity, social media, Testimonial, Wendy Alpine