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Re: [prbytes] in case study hell

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Oct 20, 2006
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      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 2 of 9 , Oct 20, 2006
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        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 3 of 9 , Oct 21, 2006
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          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 4 of 9 , Oct 23, 2006
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            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 5 of 9 , Oct 24, 2006
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              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 6 of 9 , Oct 24, 2006
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                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 7 of 9 , Oct 24, 2006
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                  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 8 of 9 , Oct 25, 2006
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                    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.
                    >>
                    >
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