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Five things... that make case studies vital

Updated: Feb 6

By Mimi Granell:

Whether it’s news, a feature or something in-between, journalists always want to know what’s happening to who, where, when, why and how.

Academics and practitioners have repeatedly defined and redefined what makes a story newsworthy, but one omnipresent element is human-interest. As ex-editor at the Daily Express, Arthur Christiansen put it, “Always tell news through people”.

So, it comes as no surprise that we often receive requests for case studies. As fundamentally, they’re an in-depth look at an individual or organisation that’s experience can be used to form a bigger picture of a complex issue in a real-life context.

For businesses, case studies are a unique look into your company, your operations and the positive results you deliver. We’ve talked about what makes a great case study, but here are five reasons it’s important to get it right.

1. Give your figures a face

In the abstract, it can be hard to comprehend the relevance of some numbers. It’s tricky to relate to large statistics, and often this switches us off to the story at hand. But, faces and human-led stories make us engage and bring narratives to life. For businesses, adding a name, face or organisation to your research shows the tangible, beneficial impact you have.

Woman reading a case study at a desk

2. Add credibility

Case studies increase credibility for all involved. Firstly, it enhances your legitimacy amongst existing and potential customers by evidencing how and why your service or product was chosen. Accumulating a handful of well-written case studies with customer input testifies you’re a trusted organisation. Sharing a case study with a journalist, works to substantiate through statistics and narrative that you as an individual or organisation are an expert in your field.

3. Spotlight a wide range of voices

Diversity of opinion is vital, so much so the BBC have it embedded in their guidelines. Packaging together a case study that incorporates different voices, eases research and writing for journalists. This answers the questions how are different people and organisations impacted by your business, before the journalist asks. Encompassing a wide range of voices in your case study, creates a more telling big picture and contextualises your business through the eyes of different groups.

4. Show your expertise in action

Show don’t tell. Actions speak louder than words. Both terrible cliches, but there’s truth to them. With budgets being cut and bills rising, people want to be certain about the businesses they’re investing in. Case studies provide prospective and existing customers with tangible evidence of your expertise and success. Our client Intradiem’s award-winning partnership with Virgin Media O2 was featured in Raconteur, after its case study highlighted how the company’s intelligent automation solution resolved inconsistencies and knowledge gaps amongst Virgin’s contact centre agents.

5. Positive media exposure for all!

A great case study doesn’t just show your business in a good light, it garners positive exposure for your customers. As they’re seen to be investing in the success of their product or business for the benefit of their own customer.


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