A business case study requires integrity and a nose for pertinent facts. Make your point without overstating the case.
Step 1: Research the story Look for the best story for your audience, concrete numbers, and results.
Step 2: Structure it Structure the case study by presenting the situation, problem, solution, and evaluation. Make sure you capture the customer's principal concerns or issues, the overall challenge, the personal journey, and the practical implementation.
Step 3: Provide clear benefits Organize the case study with attention to clear, easily understood benefits. That focus will make circulating key information on websites and through social networking sites more effective.
Step 4: Use pertinent details Use pertinent facts and quotes that potential customers would want to know. But also, connect the numbers and results to a personal benefit for the customer. This could encourage team members to become heroes by using your examples to achieve the same results for their company.
TIP: This is a soft-sell document and will be undermined by formal verbal posturing, or cliches and jargon.
Step 5: Write it well Write the case study as a brief and detailed sales document. Focus on who, what, why, when, where, and how, rather than the more slanted or generalized hyperbole of the corporate press release. Give it personality through simple, factual, intelligent English.
Step 6: Provide legal reassurances Provide the client with a legal case study release, containing the right to approve content. Do nothing without their knowledge.
Step 7: Deliver it Get it out there right away, to beat the short shelf life typical of case studies. Expedite this through the people inside whom you've been able to interview, who can get more done faster than you at this point.
FACT: In 2007, a major study by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills reported that nearly 81 percent of employers found high school graduates deficient in writing skills.