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Securing editorial coverage – the role of the case study

April, 2015

Case studies can be the perfect way to demonstrate the value of your product or service, explains Andrew Metcalf, Director of Kent PR agency Maxim

When talking to a journalist about the merits of a possible story we often get asked: do you have a real life example of how it’s helping to make a difference?

The ability to quickly produce a case study, or put up someone for interview, is as powerful as when a celebrity chef takes a dish out of the oven and utters the immortal words: “here’s one I made earlier”.

There’s nothing better than a client’s customer who is willing to share a positive experience. A third-party impartial endorsement is priceless and in the eyes of the journalist sits well alongside a comment from the chief executive or MD who will inevitably sing their own company’s praises.

Straightforward process

However, not everybody likes to be interviewed by the media, whether it’s pre-recorded or live, hence one of the many reasons we often get called upon to write a case study. With many of the team being former journalists or seasoned PR pros, the interview is straightforward if the preparation is put in beforehand, and we’re used to writing in a variety of styles.

Equally, some companies may feel a little uneasy about their customers talking directly to the media in case they get carried away and aren’t as positive as everybody thought they might be. Worse still they might praise a competitor, whereas a case studies will focus only on your product or service.

The sheer logistics of securing a face-to-face interview with a reporter, the company and its customer, can often be impossible to organise too, whereas putting us in contact with your customer for a case study is relatively straightforward.

So how do you prepare a case study? There are a number of clear and distinct steps:

  • Desk research – develop a profile of the business that’s the focus of the story
  • Prepare your questions – consider how the company links to the story and what to ask in order to demonstrate that: who, what, why, where, when and how?
  • Write it through the eyes of the customer and not the client
  • Source good images, or better still hire a professional photographer
  • Present the draft case study for approval to everybody concerned – the company and the client
  • Send it to the journalist
  • Regularly review your case studies to keep them up-to-date

And with video content increasingly a popular vehicle for case studies, you can combine the written interview with video and double the opportunities for exposure and your website.

Andrew Metcalf - Director

Andrew Metcalf

Maxim / Director

posted in: advice, media relations,

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