Don’t Overlook the Power of Case Studies in PR Campaigns
When a public relations firm is working with a client to craft a PR strategy, it can be easy – for both the firm and the client – to overlook the value of case studies.
Of course earned media coverage, guest columns in high-profile publications, widely read blogs and speaking appearances at popular industry conferences are the understandable goals of most PR campaigns.
But case studies can be extremely effective at what, in the end, still matters most to clients: growing their business. When a potential customer of a PR client can see the positive impact the client has had on a similar company, that’s powerful stuff.
At LTM, we recognize what good case studies can do, and we believe they should form a fundamental part of any PR campaign. We work hard with our clients to identify their customers who have compelling success stories to share and who have relied on our clients to address common challenges. And we strive to produce case studies regularly, whether that is once a month, once a quarter or whatever makes the most sense for our clients.
One of the great things about case studies is that they can reach their target audiences in any number of ways. They can be housed on a website, blasted out via email and/or used as leave-behinds after meetings with potential customers.
When building case studies, PR firms should keep the following in mind:
Sprinkle them with stats. Words are great, but when it comes to case studies, numbers pack the real punch. Ultimately, a case study should convey to the reader some sense of what the financial and operational effect of using your client’s product would be. If the subject of the case study can provide statistics and data points that show these kinds of benefits, you have the makings of a truly impactful piece.
They don’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows. Clearly, the point of a case study is to show your client in a positive light. But that doesn’t mean that every word of one has to be relentlessly positive.
If the case study subject has had some issues here and there with your client’s product, but your client has listened to the subject’s concerns and improved the product accordingly, that’s definitely worth including. A potential customer should see that your client will respond with care and is willing to modify whenever issues and challenges arise.
Keep them fairly short. No one needs reminding that we live in an ADD world these days – I’ve checked my email three times while typing this sentence – so War & Peace-length case studies are bound to be difficult for today’s readers to navigate. Of course, they have to provide some level of detail. It can be a tricky balance to strike, but at LTM we’ve found you be both substantive and provide an optimal reading experience in 800 words or so.
Bottom line: PR firms and their clients shouldn’t forget about case studies. They may seem slightly old school at first glance, but they have in fact stood the test of time because of their demonstrable benefits.