How to use case studies to turbocharge your PR campaign
A key difference between PR and Marketing is that in Marketing its often the company explaining that their product or service is great, whereas PR is all about getting other people to say that your product or service is great. A journalist or a blog is never going to write a story that your product is fantastic. That’s not a story. That’s just a debatable theory. You need to create a story around your product or service with a narrative. A great way of doing that is via a human interest story.
Great Case Studies = Great Human Interest Stories
Sometimes the human interest story is located within your business (e.g. this story about an entrepreneur who was a wannabe hollywood actor, but after his career hit the doldrums he gambled all the money from the sale of his flat on the stock market and launched a yoga studio – bet you want to read that story now don’t you?!!) . But unfortunately most of us entrepreneurs don’t have such a click-baity back story to sell. However we do hopefully have an idea which is solving people’s problems, and therefore making people’s lives better. If you can demonstrate that your product and service has helped out a 3rd party, and they can testify to that fact, the media is going to be interested in that story.
For example, let’s say you’ve created a productivity app and you want to get it publicised in a tech blog like techcrunch. The fact that you’ve created an app isn’t very interesting. But if you could say your app was used by an Olympic athlete to make herself more focused – resulting in her going from no-hoper to winning an Olympic medal, that suddenly becomes interesting.
Make sure your case study appeals to the audience of the media outlet you are pitching.
It sounds obvious but a story about a man taking a health supplement isn’t going to appeal to a media outlet aimed at women. The more the subject of the case study fits in with the readership or audience of your media outlet, the more likely they are to use it. So make sure you’ve done your homework on the media outlet you are pitching before you go ahead and email over your story.
Don’t have great case studies? Not necessarily a problem
If you’re just starting up and you don’t have great case studies to pitch to the media yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use this tactic to get some media attention. You can use existing stories where people have used something similar to your product or service, or have achieved the end result that your product or service leads to.
For example when I was promoting my media training product, I decided to propose myself as a guest on a series of podcasts. My basic pitch to the podcast producers contained two elements: 1) a free bit of training that the audience could use as a ‘take away’ and 2) the story of how one solo-preneur had used a broadcast PR strategy to build a 7 figure business. This story, all about a property expert called Henry Pryor, was something I’d already documented in this blog and on my podcast. He never used my product to achieve this success, but the fact that someone had achieved success using a method not everyone would automatically think of demonstrated the value of using something like my product and allowed me to talk about and promote the product in a less salesy and more media-friendly way.
Watch an expert explain how it works
In this clip Kevin Maxwell, an SME PR expert from Maxwellcomms, reveals just how a quick win with journalists can be to search for the best stories from your current clients or customers. We often teach here at Deal With The Media that your best chance of getting in the news is by riding on the coat-tails of a bigger story. Here Kevin expands on that theme by saying if you can collect anecdotes and stories, and even get your best customers to be available for interview on your behalf, suddenly the story of your product or service isn’t just a list of benefits that you’ve come up with, it’s a tale of powerful changes to people’s actual lives. From the journalist’s point of view you’ve gone from pitching a dull press release about your product, to pitching a powerful human interest story.
Make a list of human interest stories based on your case studies now
So the lesson is clear – make sure you are continually in contact with your best clients or customers, and collect the most meaningful anecdotes you can about how your product or service has had a powerful impact on their lives. When you get a good one, try pitching it to the media!
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