The power of the case study

25 March 2022  |  Insights
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Laura Nelson Media Relations

Stories are powerful – they capture our imaginations and connect with our emotions. A well-crafted story delivered with candour and vulnerability, allows the audience to be a part of a person’s experience, in a way that no other form of communication can.

In PR we refer to these stories as case studies. Case studies are excellent for PR. Journalists love them and better still, they publish them.

Writers, editors and journalists regularly ask for case studies as they inject colour and stir emotion in people, creating a captive audience.

A case study can be used by the media in various ways: it may accompany a feature, be used to personalise a news story or can be published on its own.

You may think you don’t have a good case study within your charity or organisation. It’s likely that you do – it just takes looking in the correct places and speaking with the right people.

So, what makes a good case study?

The ideal PR case study should contain these five elements:

  1. Meet the requirements of the brief. What is it the journalist/outlet is looking for?

  2. Ask yourself, is it an interesting story? Is it remarkable? Is it of human interest?

  3. Images and video – do you have high quality images of the person/people in the story that you could provide the media with?

  4. Make sure that your case study is available for an interview. If they aren’t, are you able to provide the journalist with a transcript of their story instead?

  5. Name your organisation or charity. A journalist will unlikely accept your story without a brand/charity/organisation name attributed to it.

What does success look like with these case studies?

Ultimately you want your charity/organisation's story to land in the media. Why? This might look differently depending on your charity or organisation.

One of Jersey Road PR’s clients, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), has formed many of its campaigns around case studies to encourage others to seek debt help. Since landing some national or local media coverage with their clients’ stories, there has been a significant rise in the number of new referrals to their charity. One woman in Scotland contacted CAP after reading an article in a local newspaper, and is now on a journey to becoming debt free herself.

For other clients, success might look like a rise in giving for a recent campaign, an increase in website hits, or higher engagement on their social media.

So look now for the stories you have within your charity or organisation, you could uncover one that makes a big impact, over and above what you expected.

Written by Laura Nelson, PR Account Manager, Jersey Road PR.

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