Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

in case study hell

Expand Messages
  • lrgittleman
    I m writing a series of case studies on our clients experience with our software solution. I m trying to keep them brief -- easier for media to print, easy
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 20, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      I'm writing a series of case studies on our clients' experience with
      our software solution. I'm trying to keep them brief -- easier for
      media to print, easy for me to throw in a press or sales kit, etc. My
      boss told me last night that he thinks they're weak and too short (he's
      the prez and a sales guy, not a PR guy). He says there's no "oomph!"
      but I just can't figure out how to charge them up without making them
      too salesy.

      Add to that that our clients are mostly sole proprietors with a small
      staff if any at all (read: VERY busy people wearing many hats) so they
      didn't give me a ton of information so part of it is also making due
      with what I have or trying to fill in the gaps with research.

      Feeling totally incompetent today -- any advice would be much
      appreciated.

      Thank you,
      Lisa
    • alvin.hattal
      Lisa, ask each client for their most single most outrageous, funny, exciting, strange--you can think of some other adjectives--incident or experience they ever
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 20, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Lisa, ask each client for their most single most outrageous, funny,
        exciting, strange--you can think of some other adjectives--incident or
        experience they ever had involving your product, preferably involving a
        client of their own--or, failing that, with anyone or any organization. No
        matter how trivial. Use those incidents in your lead--just as a hook (as the
        media regularly do)--and find a way to segue into how they impacted or
        influenced the client's operations. Then get into the duller stuff.

        Alvin Hattal
        Business Writer/Columnist
        al@...
        www.hattal.com
        425-576-1950

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "lrgittleman" <lrgittleman@...>
        To: <prbytes@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, October 20, 2006 8:57 AM
        Subject: [SPAM] [prbytes] in case study hell


        > I'm writing a series of case studies on our clients' experience with
        > our software solution. I'm trying to keep them brief -- easier for
        > media to print, easy for me to throw in a press or sales kit, etc. My
        > boss told me last night that he thinks they're weak and too short (he's
        > the prez and a sales guy, not a PR guy). He says there's no "oomph!"
        > but I just can't figure out how to charge them up without making them
        > too salesy.
        >
        > Add to that that our clients are mostly sole proprietors with a small
        > staff if any at all (read: VERY busy people wearing many hats) so they
        > didn't give me a ton of information so part of it is also making due
        > with what I have or trying to fill in the gaps with research.
        >
        > Feeling totally incompetent today -- any advice would be much
        > appreciated.
        >
        > Thank you,
        > Lisa
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Ned Barnett
        Lisa Interview the clients; get them to offer sizzling quotes they ll stay behind. Write them up not as case studies, per se, but as if they were 450-word
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 20, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Lisa

          Interview the clients; get them to offer sizzling quotes they'll stay
          behind. Write them up not as case studies, per se, but as if they
          were 450-word sidebar articles in the kinds of publications you're
          targeting (i.e., in a style where an editor could literally
          cut-and-paste the whole thing into his rag/mag - not that they would,
          of course <g>, but along that line). In doing this, make each case
          study do just one thing (one thing that sales likes). Perhaps find examples of:

          a. Specific types of clients for specific case studies (i.e., one
          e-retailer, one heavy equipment manufacturer, one street drug dealer,
          etc. [ok, I'm kidding about types - but one for each kind of client you have])

          b. Specific types of benefits or features, with one benefit or
          feature per case study

          c. Specific types of "oh my god, it's better than sliced bread with
          barbecue or cold beer on a hot day" kinds of quotes from clients,
          each quote ranting about one specific benefit or feature

          Another approach - write them as if the clients wrote them -
          first-person testimonials (of course, you'd write them).

          I'm doing this exact thing right now. I'm a partner in a project to
          produce and sell a Christmas Carol DVD (with companion CD) that
          features a singing Santa and four terminally-cute elves. What I'm
          doing is having different people who have different angles write
          reviews (if they can write - since many of my friends are in PR, they
          can write); I picked them to represent:

          1. A parent of a Santa-believing kid

          2. Jewish parents (whose kids still like to watch Christmas specials on TV)

          3. An aunt

          4. A grandmother of three young'uns

          Etc.

          I'm also showing it to some non-writer folks I can write reviews for
          (I'll interview them, then write the reviews in their "voice" for
          their attribution) - for instance, the oldest daughter (17) in a
          family of five girls, including an 8 year old - the family is devout
          (she's going to a faith-based college when she graduates from HS) and
          I'm sure will love the DVD because there are four religious songs out
          of 16 total songs, and because Santa briefly tells the elves the real
          meaning of Christmas (he also explains what "bells on a bobtail" and
          "figgy pudding" both mean).

          Each review will reach a targeted demographic; it will be released
          only to those media focused on that demographic (seniors,
          Parents/family, religious, etc.).

          Anyway, that's how I'm doing it, right now (I just picked up the demo
          DVDs this afternoon) for a product launch on November 10th - and
          that's how (based on the limited info you provided) I'd do it.

          Bottom line - your case studies can support targeted sales without
          sounding "sales-ey" - and you can do that by focusing them narrowly
          on specific markets and/or on single benefits. Get your sales-guy
          CEO to see them as credible sales support tools, either in print
          (media) or as printed sheets the sales team can use as leave-behinds, etc.

          Remember, he may not be right, but he's the CEO - and if he's sales
          oriented, meet that need for him and he'll like what you do.

          All the best, and good luck!

          Ned

          At 02:45 AM 10/20/2006, you wrote:

          >I'm writing a series of case studies on our clients' experience with
          >our software solution. I'm trying to keep them brief -- easier for
          >media to print, easy for me to throw in a press or sales kit, etc. My
          >boss told me last night that he thinks they're weak and too short (he's
          >the prez and a sales guy, not a PR guy). He says there's no "oomph!"
          >but I just can't figure out how to charge them up without making them
          >too salesy.
          >
          >Add to that that our clients are mostly sole proprietors with a small
          >staff if any at all (read: VERY busy people wearing many hats) so they
          >didn't give me a ton of information so part of it is also making due
          >with what I have or trying to fill in the gaps with research.
          >
          >Feeling totally incompetent today -- any advice would be much
          >appreciated.
          >
          >Thank you,
          >Lisa
          >
          >



          Ned Barnett, APR
          Marketing/PR Fellow, AHA

          Barnett Marketing Communications
          Exceptional Marcom Services for Exceptional Clients

          420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3 - 276 - Las Vegas, NV 89110
          Phone: 702-696-1200 * FAX: 702-696-1211
          ned@... - http://www.barnettmarcom.com

          Barnett on PR: http://barnettmarcom.blogspot.com/
          Barnett on Marketing: http://barnettonmarketing.blogspot.com/
          Barnett on Book Promotion/Marketing/Publishing:
          http://barnettonpublishing.blogspot.com/

          BMC - A Sound Investment in Exceptional Success

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Sherbeam Wright
          Hi Lisa, I feel your pain! I ve been there with a number of CEOs. One thing I would do is ask a few key clients what they would want to see in a case study. It
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 21, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Lisa, I feel your pain! I've been there with a number of CEOs.

            One thing I would do is ask a few key clients what they would want to see in
            a case study. It involves a little leg work, but will pay off. You want to
            know what would make a case study valuable to them?

            You are writing for them, not the president. When you develop case studies
            based on customer feedback, and your president says "I want, I want" you can
            say...yes, but this is what your/our customers want.

            It gives you a stronger leg to stand on and isn't your preference or style
            versus that of someone who has more internal clout + less/no PR experience.

            Good luck!

            Sherbeam
            AndaCommunications
            andapr.wordpress.com


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • kezia_jauron
            I think the problem is you re trying to be all things to all people. A piece you submit for publication would naturally be very different than a piece a
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 23, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              I think the problem is you're trying to be all things to all people. A
              piece you submit for publication would naturally be very different
              than a piece a salesperson will use out on calls.

              Let the CEO have his slick jazzy sales piece, then quietly edit out
              the hyperbole for journalists. If something appears in print, blame
              the editor for having to cut it to fit.

              To stretch the content, you can use analyst or research data either
              about your industry or the industries your end users are in. ("Like
              many small mortgage service providers, ABC Loan Inc. processes loans
              for first-time home buyers, growing families trading up to larger
              homes, and blah blah.")


              --- In prbytes@yahoogroups.com, "lrgittleman" <lrgittleman@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm writing a series of case studies on our clients' experience with
              > our software solution. I'm trying to keep them brief -- easier for
              > media to print, easy for me to throw in a press or sales kit, etc. My
              > boss told me last night that he thinks they're weak and too short (he's
              > the prez and a sales guy, not a PR guy). He says there's no "oomph!"
              > but I just can't figure out how to charge them up without making them
              > too salesy.
              >
              > Add to that that our clients are mostly sole proprietors with a small
              > staff if any at all (read: VERY busy people wearing many hats) so they
              > didn't give me a ton of information so part of it is also making due
              > with what I have or trying to fill in the gaps with research.
              >
              > Feeling totally incompetent today -- any advice would be much
              > appreciated.
              >
              > Thank you,
              > Lisa
              >
            • Marc Snyder
              Lisa, Although I agree with Kezia s first comment, let me disagree wholeheartedly with second part. Yes, edit your case studies depending on the audiences
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 24, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Lisa,

                Although I agree with Kezia's first comment, let me disagree wholeheartedly
                with second part. Yes, edit your case studies depending on the audiences
                you're trying to reach. No, don't BS him by saying the editor cut it (or
                made you cut it; same difference). A) It's false and B) your boss could just
                turn around and call the editor and chew him/her out which would land you in
                even deeper trouble.

                Marc Snyder
                514.244.5228
                http://emm-ess.blogspot.com

                On 10/23/06, kezia_jauron <kezia@...> wrote:
                >
                > I think the problem is you're trying to be all things to all people. A
                > piece you submit for publication would naturally be very different
                > than a piece a salesperson will use out on calls.
                >
                > Let the CEO have his slick jazzy sales piece, then quietly edit out
                > the hyperbole for journalists. If something appears in print, blame
                > the editor for having to cut it to fit.
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • lrgittleman
                You guys are just terrific! It s so nice just to have the support but the suggestions are fantastic. I m still trying to walk the tightrope but I think it s
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 24, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  You guys are just terrific! It's so nice just to have the support but
                  the suggestions are fantastic. I'm still trying to walk the tightrope
                  but I think it's just going to be a matter of incorporating a lot of
                  your suggestions and reiterating to my boss that it's a case study not
                  an advertisement but that it IS communicating to prospective customers.

                  Thank you SO much!

                  Lisa
                • alvin.hattal
                  Lisa, if you think it would help to see a few published case histories like the one you re aiming for--e.g., Microsoft, Boeing, and a few other, smaller
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 24, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Lisa, if you think it would help to see a few published case histories like
                    the one you're aiming for--e.g., Microsoft, Boeing, and a few other, smaller
                    corps., assns., and orgs.--click on www.hattal.com.

                    Good morning and good luck.

                    Al

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "lrgittleman" <lrgittleman@...>
                    To: <prbytes@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:16 AM
                    Subject: [SPAM] [prbytes] Re: in case study hell


                    > You guys are just terrific! It's so nice just to have the support but
                    > the suggestions are fantastic. I'm still trying to walk the tightrope
                    > but I think it's just going to be a matter of incorporating a lot of
                    > your suggestions and reiterating to my boss that it's a case study not
                    > an advertisement but that it IS communicating to prospective customers.
                    >
                    > Thank you SO much!
                    >
                    > Lisa
                  • kezia@jprcom.com
                    OK, a baldfaced lie is optional (yes, it s BALDfaced, not BOLDfaced) - but I stand by my point that you as the PR/media specialist have to stick to your guns
                    Message 9 of 9 , Oct 25, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      OK, a baldfaced lie is optional (yes, it's BALDfaced, not BOLDfaced) -
                      but I stand by my point that you as the PR/media specialist have to
                      stick to your guns about what's appropriate for press purposes.

                      My agency was asked by a new client to revise their "backgrounder." We
                      did. After several weeks and three drafts it finally became clear that
                      they wanted copy for an "About us" page on their web site. None of our
                      drafts were salesy enough for them because while we believed we were
                      writing for an audience of journalists, they wanted something for
                      their site visitors, the public at large.

                      After clearing all this up, with much relief and laughter on both
                      sides, we pretty much told them to get scr&@#&ed. Writing web copy BS
                      is not in our bag of tricks - but at least we have a greatly improved
                      corporate backgrounder for press.

                      My point is, there's a difference, and all parties have to understand
                      it and trust the one who has the expertise in that arena. You would
                      certainly trust the CEO about what sells his products and what doesn't.


                      ________________________________________________________________________
                      >
                      > 1a. Re: in case study hell
                      > Posted by: "Marc Snyder" snyder.marc@... emm_ess_consultants
                      > Date: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:33 am (PDT)
                      >
                      > Lisa,
                      >
                      > Although I agree with Kezia's first comment, let me disagree wholeheartedly
                      > with second part. Yes, edit your case studies depending on the audiences
                      > you're trying to reach. No, don't BS him by saying the editor cut it (or
                      > made you cut it; same difference). A) It's false and B) your boss could just
                      > turn around and call the editor and chew him/her out which would land you in
                      > even deeper trouble.
                      >
                      > Marc Snyder
                      > 514.244.5228
                      > http://emm-ess.blogspot.com
                      >
                      > On 10/23/06, kezia_jauron <kezia@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >> I think the problem is you're trying to be all things to all people. A
                      >> piece you submit for publication would naturally be very different
                      >> than a piece a salesperson will use out on calls.
                      >>
                      >> Let the CEO have his slick jazzy sales piece, then quietly edit out
                      >> the hyperbole for journalists. If something appears in print, blame
                      >> the editor for having to cut it to fit.
                      >>
                      >
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.