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Are case studies for public relations are important?
Demonstrating the value of public relations to management has always been challenging. Many public relations people tend to gravitate towards metrics that are easy to capture and report, but CEOs, CFOs and CMOs don’t brag to investors about Instagram likes or retweets on Twitter. Top executives want to see proof that investing in public relations will provide results that impact the bottom line.
Tracking the right metrics, linking public relations efforts to key business objectives, and showing how public relations contributes to company’s bottom line is the way public relations can impress C-level executives (and this is what will gain larger PR budgets).
What are the advantages of a case study:
- Case studies allow a lot of detail to be collected that would not normally be easily obtained by other research designs. The data collected is normally a lot richer and of greater depth than can be found through other experimental designs.
- The case study method puts data into a usable format for those who read the data and note its outcome. Although there may be perspectives of the researcher included in the outcome, the goal of this method is to help the reader be able to identify specific concepts to which they also relate.
Build brand trust
Case studies are extremely effective in building trust because of the very fact that they represent the viewpoint of your previous customers. Instead of you telling your audience how great your brand is and how effective your products or services are, you’re having your customers do it for you. Not only do audiences trust other consumers more than they trust companies, but by allowing your previous customers to tell their stories, they are basically endorsing your brand, which gives your business more credibility.
Engage through storytelling
Simply having customers tell the audience that your product is great is just a basic customer testimonial. It’s not that interesting, nor is it very engaging. Case studies are more concerned with telling the story of the customer. The customer is the hero, their problem is the conflict and your brand’s solution is the resolution. The use of storytelling helps to make a brand much more relatable and will allow your audience to see how you fulfilled that customer’s need at every stage of the buyer journey.
Identify brand evangelists
To find the subjects of your case studies, you’ll need to speak to several clients or customers and request that they participate. Those that are willing are your brand evangelists. They are offering to tell their story because they believe in your brand. Knowing who your brand evangelists are is helpful because they can help improve your brand reputation through word-of-mouth marketing.
Turn Your Product into a Story
If you think about it, case studies are a lot like stories. A typical format introduces your customers or clients (your characters), fills you in on the conflict they experienced, and then wraps it up with the resolution. Your customers are the heros of these stories and your product or service is what helps them save the day. This makes case studies both engaging and relatable. And even better — they always have a happy ending.
One of the most obvious benefits of using case studies is that they represent the view of your customers and clients, not your company. Blog posts, webinars, white papers, and other types of content that come directly from your marketing team are often viewed as self-serving, meaning that people tend to be slightly more skeptical of them. Case studies come from the mouth of the consumer, so they act as a third party endorsement of your brand. Including direct quotes can add even more credibility.
Create Helpful Resources for Sales
Case studies make great collateral for sales. If you use a marketing automation system, you can incorporate case studies into drip campaigns to send to your prospects so that they can see real examples of how your product is being used. They’re also helpful when sales members are dealing with prospects that have very specific problems or needs. If you have a library of case studies to pull from, sales can point the prospect to the case study that most closely resembles their situation. Often, working a case study in at the right time in the sales cycle can help sales members close deals.
Types of public relations case studies do vary, below are a few examples:
- Launching a new brand/ company
- Crisis management
- Brand awareness
Do you have a public relations case study?
PR In Canada is currently looking for public relations case study, if your company has one and/ or content to create one let us know, we are in the process of adding a case study library to our site. Some of the details we’d be looking for include:
- Client name
- Campaign Brief (Purpose for the Campaign)
- Results (any specific results the client allows you to share – the “meat”)
- Client Testimonial – how they felt it was a success
- Agency Quote – any key learning along the way (more than just the standard “It was great”)
- Photos from the execution