10 Sep

You Need a Great Case Study. A Few Tips on How to Create One

By Erika Turan, APR

Senior Account Executive

Having a few case studies at the ready can come in mighty handy these days.

A case study provides a summary, analysis and results from a marketing or public relations campaign. They can be used to:  illustrate to your leadership team what you’ve found to be effective (or ineffective) in your efforts, make the case for requesting additional dollars at budget time, make more informed decisions about where you and your team should be spending your time, or even to help you stand out among a crowd of applicants for a new job*.

At Rasor Marketing Communications in Cincinnati, we often use case studies to demonstrate our approach, implementation process and results to clients.

So, here are a few tips and tricks to creating a great case study:

1. Do it while it’s fresh. Don’t wait months or a year to write a case study. Make it part of the tactical process. A nice little epilogue to the project, if you will. Putting it off will only make it easier for you to forget the details and for other work to take precedence.

2. Numbers count. Go get some numbers. Sometimes it’s enough just to describe what you did, but not usually. Numbers should be front-and-center in a case study. Don’t be afraid to look under rocks to find them. Include: how many people you sent a mailer to, how many people came to your event, how many people became customers (the holy grail of ROI), how many people read the article or saw it on TV, how many pieces of collateral you produced, how much of an increase you gained in social media followers.

3. Less is more- most of the time. No need to be verbose. Life’s short, everyone’s busy.  Fortunately, most of the time a succinct case study will have more impact than one that goes on and on and on. The chances of it actually being read go up as well, so stick to only the most meaningful words.

4. Pretty it up. We’re humans. We like pictures. It makes things easier to understand, and easier to describe. Plus, it makes things more interesting. So use charts, graphs, graphics, photos, scans of the actual work or create an infographic.
Now go forth and study that case!

*If you’re sharing a case study as part of a job interview process, be smart and don’t share any confidential or proprietary information.

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