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Community-made content which you can improve Case study from our community

How to develop case studies

This short guide provides an introduction to developing strong people-based case studies, built on informed consent and a ‘duty of care’.

Things you'll need

  • Informed consent
  • Well thought-out interview questions
  • Good quality photographs
  • Well kept records of case studies' details and consent
1

Informed consent

It is vital to follow the process of 'informed consent' when you are approaching a potential case study. 

This means they fully understand the role they will play and the ways in which their story may be used, before giving written approval via a consent form.

Start by explaining what you’re trying to achieve and how they can help by sharing their experiences with you.  Reassure them that none of their contact details would be shared with a journalist without their consent.

Check if they are happy to use their real name.  Using a pseudonym may impact on filming/ photography opportunities. 

Ask them about which types of media they would be happy to be featured in, and explore the possible impacts of this with them - having an ex-partner or a family member see their story in the press, for example.

Make sure they are happy and that you really understand their story. Get their written approval on the notes you prepare and a consent form, to confirm what’s been agreed.

2

Interview questions

Prepare your questions beforehand

Think about:  

1. The key messages you are trying to communicate
2. The story your target audiences will be interested in
3. How you will approach any sensitive questions/issues

The basic information journalists will need

1. Name or pseudonym
2. Age
3. Location (which town or city they live nearest to and what their local paper is, to help inform media planning)
4. Former and current occupations
5. Children? How many and how old?

You’ll also need to ask

1. Which sections of the media are they happy to speak to?
2. Are they happy to be photographed?
3. When is the best time to contact them, and how much notice would they need for an interview opportunity?

Other than that, keep questions open to encourage the case study to talk in their own way about things.  Make sure you give them the opportunity to ask you any questions they have, and leave them your contact details in case they want to discuss things at a later date.

3

Creating an easy to use library

Style and format

  • Write up the case study information using the style of your target media and in a way that will engage your audiences 
  • Include some notes on how the individual comes across, how confident they are, any sensitivities or issues, and any support they may need, for internal purposes
  • Keep it short, but detailed - a few paragraphs will usually suffice
    Include quotes throughout the case study to add authenticity and bring the story to life

Photography

  • Get a copy of any high quality photos the case study is willing to share with you (if they don’t have any, check whether they’d be happy to be photographed for the media)
  • Save pictures as captioned jpeg files, less than 1MB in size and 600 pixels wide so they can be easily emailed, and keep a high resolution version on file suitable for print reproduction.

Further information

For a full version of this guide, or further information on how we could help you to develop a case study library, please visit AmazonPR's website.

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Page last edited Jul 20, 2017 History

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