Using Case Studies to Achieve Communications Objectives

The Case Study – An Effective Communication Tool

A case study is one of the most effective communications tools available. Case studies work because they tell a story that people can relate to and learn from. People like to see how a product or service is used by others. A case study is often a good way to show that.

A case study can be written to lead the reader (or listener) on a narrative, guiding the reader to specific objectives, such as to fill out a form, take a survey, attend a webinar, etc.

Communications Objectives – Education and Raising Comfort Level

Companies need to communicate with lots of different people: potential customers, customers, their own sales people, their development teams, their investors, influencers, and others. The communication objectives often have several things in common. Educating readers about some topic is a common objective. Case study narratives can be very good at achieving this objective with these diverse audiences.

Even if the readers are generally familiar with the topic of the case study, a case study can still be used to raise the reader’s comfort level with the product or service. This is an important objective, not necessarily for the earliest adopters, but for those coming later. Developing a comfort level can be a critical factor for many people, whether they be buyers, influencers, or for those selling to others. Increasing the reader’s comfort level can allay fears of failure that hold people back from making a purchase.

Communications Objectives – Introducing Terminology

A third objective for a case study can be to introduce the reader to terminology and concepts they may not be familiar with. Introducing terminology within the context of a case study is a good way to convey how that terminology applies in real-world situations.

Using Early Adopters as Case Study Subjects

Early adopters are people who buy a product or service when it is first introduced. Often, early adopters are loyal customers who trust the company, and the promised value of the new product or service. Whatever the case may be, early adopters can be the best subjects for a case study.

People relate to the stories of others. When a narrative reveals a person making a decision that shows intelligence and leadership, readers are more likely to follow suit. The challenges faced by the early adopter, and the rewards and successes to the adopter by making a good decision can be inspiring.

The reader may develop an affinity for the product or service by recognizing similar challenges faced by the adopter in the narrative. The affinity grows stronger when the case study shows how the subject of the narrative successfully overcomes those challenges. The experience of the early adopters can become a template for the approach of the reader toward the product, service or solution.

Two-way Learning from Case Studies

A surprising benefit of writing a case study is that there is often two-way learning happening. Writing a case study is a process of learning about the customer, and interviewing that customer about his or her challenges, failures, and successes. The study process helps the writer understand the customer better. Just from going through the process itself, valuable realizations and insights can occur.

That two-way learning should factor in when weighing the costs and benefits of the case study. That two-way learning can be hard to measure, but is unquestionably beneficial. You can start by asking yourself if you’ve learned anything from your completed case studies. Then ask your salespeople, marketers, customer-service representatives, and others if they gain value and insight from the case studies. If the internal benefits are great enough, the case study can be entirely justified from that back-flow of knowledge.

Case Study Help

Let Think of Whiting help you with your case studies. From planning, to interviewing, to writing and editing, image acquisitions, and formatting, Think of Whiting can help with every step of the process.

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Speechwriting, and the making of a good speech

Through the ages, mankind has motivated, enlightened, moved and inspired audiences large and small with the power of speech. A speech can be just as powerful today as ever. It takes organization, focus, well chosen words, and good oration skills.

Great speeches can carry through the ages. We still hear of historic speeches such as Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”, John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, and countless others. Your speech may not have quite the same impact, but then it just might have a big impact on a few people at least. Think about making that your goal.

What to include in your speech

To begin with, always think of the audience. Speechwriting should take into account the demographics of the audience (age, subject knowledge, etc.), and the audience’s expectations (humor, education, wisdom, etc.). What could you tell them, from your own unique experience, that might benefit them? How can you convey that to them in words and tone so that the speech is well-received?

What makes the difference between a good and bad speech? In short, its all in the words; which words, how they’re organized and how they’re presented. Make sure there’s a central idea that you want to convey, and focus on conveying that idea effectively. You can develop that idea with stories, anecdotes, insights, humor, or other devices.

What to avoid

Sometimes, speeches can be dry, boring, and soporific. Rambling speeches, stilted vocabulary, stumbling oratory might get to be remembered by the audience, but for the wrong reasons. Organize well, and don’t try to cram in too much. Make sure you’re well prepared. Few people are successful when they try to “wing-it”.

Make sure there’s some life in your speech, even if the topic is technical or covering a complex subject. Even with an audience where you expect familiarity with jargon and acronyms, it’s often best to use a less jargony word or phrase to introduce a concept. Consider also breaking out an acronym into its individual words the first time you use it. If your speech is hard to understand, you will risk losing or alienating some of the audience from the very beginning.


Oration skills are important for conveying the message. Practicing the speech can be very helpful so that you get pronunciations, pauses, and pace correct. Make sure you know how much time you have and make sure, through practice, that your speech has an acceptable length. Avoid stooping over, staring at the paper, and stiff posture. Rather, stand up straight, and practice speaking so that a person seated in the last row can hear and understand you.

It helps your cause if the audience is providing their full attention. If they’re not paying attention at the start, it will be harder to get their attention later. Hold off with the formal part of the speech until you have their attention. Make eye contact with people in the audience. If you can, try to lead with some remarks that give them some confidence they can expect something worthwhile.

Speechwriting Services

Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help if you need it. The ideas can still be yours, and the speech is still yours to give. If you just don’t have the time, or you need a second pair of eyes to help with organizing and editing, then reach out to a professional. Think of Whiting would be glad to help with speechwriting services.

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Editing: Like Baking a Cake

Writing without editing is like mixing cake batter but not baking it. You might have all the right ingredients but you don’t have a finished product.

The goal of all your writing is not to fill a page with words, but rather, to communicate effectively with your audience. By giving you their time and attention, your audience should be at least a step closer to reaching the objective you have in mind, whether that be making a purchase, attending an event, or valuing your thought leadership.

The Cake Batter

The process of writing involves gathering thoughts together, and perhaps mixing in data, quotes, metaphors, and some descriptions of one kind or another. Words become sentences, the sentences become paragraphs, and the paragraphs become sections. Within this amalgamation of words and paragraphs are the kernels of the the finished product, but chances are there are loose ends, jagged edges, and inconsistencies of one kind or another. Possibly even some misspelled words that slipped through the spell-checker because they are real words but used in the wrong grammatical context (e.g. there, their, they’re). It is common to see inconsistencies in time (e.g. past participle, perfect participle, present), inconsistencies in writer’s perspective, and so on. Left as-is, you will have some disappointed readers. Your chance to communicate will be wasted.

The Baking

Once you have your “batter” ready, you then must bake it. Careful editing is the process that bakes the cake so it is delicious to look at and taste. The editing process is one that rearranges thoughts to make them more coherent. Editing looks at organization and reorganizes where necessary. Editing trims out excess words and jargon, eliminates duplicate statements and extraneous paragraphs, creates better focus, and facilitates flow.

The Tasting

You may have heard the old adage “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. The same goes for our cake.

After completing the editing process, the content is now ready for your audience to spend time on. It’s presented in a way that is interesting and informative. The content is well organized and flows easily. It’s easy to understand and hopefully memorable as well. Your readers will appreciate the extra effort, and will hold your communications in higher esteem than they might have otherwise. The objectives you had in mind at the beginning of this process should be met or at least in closer reach.

Give it a try and see how you like it. Chances are, you will want to keep on baking!

Editing Services

Contact Think of Whiting for professional editing services.

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Writing about Business Services

Writing about Services – The Challenges

Writing about services often has challenges not faced when writing about products. Services don’t have “features”. Services aren’t “photogenic”. They are intangible, and because of that they can be harder to describe. Add the complex nature of some services, and you have a real challenge to communicate effectively.

Services are the sole source of revenue for many companies. Product-oriented companies are expanding into services because the revenue streams can be more consistent; products tend to be driven more by business cycles whereas services are less cyclic. For all of these companies, there’s a need to have service offerings communicated effectively to potential customers.

Writing about Technical Services

Technical services can be hardest of all to describe. There is jargon and there are acronyms. Technical services can be complex. People may or may not have heard of these technical services before, and even if they have, they may not have a clear idea of what the technical services are, how they may be of value to them, and if it’s even possible to integrate these new services with pre-existing services.

Create Content that Serves Reader Types

Like teaching to a group of students who are at different levels of proficiency, writing about a technical service should cover a range of proficiency levels from basic to advanced. Technical service subjects should be written about in a way that unwinds complexity. It’s important to keep in mind that many different non-technical people may be looking at the information, from customer executives, to interns, to the people who may be using the service someday. If a newcomer is reading, that reader should be able to learn about the subject step-by-step, and not be turned off by jargon. For those more proficient in the subject, navigating past more basic descriptions and should be made easy to do.

Something else to watch out for: technical subjects can make for dry reading. Lists of service areas have their place, but to engage the readers at various levels, some other writing strategy is needed.

Storytelling Case Studies

A “storytelling” style can be a very effective way to awaken the imagination of the reader. People naturally relate to stories, especially when the person in the story faces similar challenges to the reader. Stories can pick and choose details to emphasize. A good story will show how the company’s service offering found and implemented a solution to a customer need. Showing the problem-solving ability of the service company can give the reader some confidence that issues he or she faces can be dealt with effectively in a similar fashion.

Remember, the reader might be looking at the story from one of several perspectives. She might be a prospective customer. She may a current customer who could benefit from the new service. The reader may even be a salesperson who needs to be familiar with his own company’s solutions.

Story Structure

The story should be a true one, based on a real customer experience. The story might start with a typical customer need, perhaps expressed in the “voice” of a customer. Describe the need. Describe why the service company was well-suited to address the need. Describe the approach taken to solve the customer issue, and how the customer benefited. Once again, in the voice of the customer.

Summary – Consider reader proficiency, and a story-telling approach

To summarize, writing about services, especially technical services, should invite readers of different levels of proficiency to read and learn. A good approach is to include customer stories which can awaken the imagination of the reader.

Think of Whiting Can Help

Think of Whiting can provide the writing services you need to communicate your service offerings to your various audiences, both internally (within your company), and externally, to your business partners, investors, and clients.

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Biography and Autobiography

Many people today are interested in writing an autobiography. Others are interested in having a biography written about themselves or someone they know. There are so many people deserving of this honor. Many are notably famous, and many others are living lives underneath the radar, so to speak. They all have stories that are worth telling and preserving.

Interesting People

The progress and vast changes experienced over the last 100 years could not have made without the hard work, good fortune (and bad), great sacrifices, love, and commitment of many people to their causes. Families, communities and nations have benefited in innumerable ways. People shape, and are shaped by the world around them. The rapid pace of change is a driver of interesting stories, from virtually every walk of life.

Our Interesting Times

The times we are living in are very special indeed. People living through these times have a great many unique experiences worth sharing. Think about world events that have shaped people living today; events too numerous to mention occurring in every decade of the last 100 years. Progress has made great strides in transportation; cars, trucks, ships, trains, planes, and rocketships. The advent of radio, television, computers, mobile phones and the internet all within the last century. Great advancements in science, medicine, and agriculture. A proliferation of music in entirely new genres. Explorations where man had never been before. Industrial-scale changes in production of products. Services that change lives for the better. People have personal connections with these great advancements. These connections make great stories which can be shared for friends, family, and future generations.

Making a Story

A biography can be about a lifetime. It can also be about an episode of a person’s life. A childhood. Or perhaps a wartime experience, a relationship with a special person, or an entrepreneurial endeavor. Putting these thoughts and experiences down on paper can be a good experience in itself. These episodes can reveal a narrative thread that brings experiences together into who that person is today.

Think of Whiting can help work through ideas, help with writing, or editing, and even facilitate the process of publishing and distributing the finished piece.

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