With ever increasing frequency, we are asked by journalists if we can provide case studies of the work that our clients do. This is not always the easiest of requests to fulfil for many reasons, from clients not wanting to spill the beans about how they operate, for fear of the competition stealing their ideas, to their own customers’ reservations or policies about speaking publicly, or being seen to endorse a particular supplier.
Nevertheless, just why are case studies so important and, if achievable, what benefits can they bring?
From the journalists’ point of view, a real-life example of a company that specialises in the area about which they are writing helps to bring clarity and make what can sometimes be complex subject matter understandable.
For the company who can put the journalist in touch with a case study, the resulting media coverage is infinitely more powerful and credible than any comments they could provide on the topic themselves. It helps to position them as an expert in a particular area and as a company who can provide a solution to a particular need, issue or problem, thereby instilling confidence in others who may have similar requirements and perhaps influencing the purchasing decision.
Often the mere mention of case study can have all those involved all of a flutter, but they don’t need to be vast, time-consuming documents. Often journalists simply ask if there is a client’s customer that they can speak to and, if this is agreed to, the onus is then on them to extract the key information and deal with any requests for copy approval. Of course, the benefit of putting together a written case study is that it has uses far beyond the media such as in marketing collateral and as something that can be shouted about via social media channels. But either way, good case studies are a win-win result for journalists and clients.