Writing case studies: sometimes more is more

Marketing writing is often about compression. How quickly and succinctly can we get our message across? But these speedy, smooth sentences can some times leave out the kind of detail that specialized audiences connect with. Case studies can provide the platform to expand on your offering and show how your solutions works in real world application.

For an architecture firm, we’re currently writing a series of case studies, each describing a different project they have designed. We chose the projects to illustrate the depth and breadth of their work and to get into the nitty gritty of what makes them effective. This is vital for a service-oriented organization where success is in the execution – not just what they do, but how they do it.

We’ve all seen the standard format for case studies a thousand times: Challenge, Solution, Results. This works to organize the narrative into clear sections for readers. It also helps ensure the writer is telling an effective story. But sometimes, the challenge portion is not particularly impressive. Or the solution may be identical to a previous case study. Or there may be no quantitative results to report, only anecdotal ones. So rather than calling out these areas of narrative weakness, it can be advantageous to avoid this formulaic structure, and simply tell the story straight through, while summarizing key info in bullet points.

As one of our writers put it, sometimes we need to be more Charles Dickens than Earnest Hemingway. That is, sometimes we need to write more to communicate more. Potential clients doing their due diligence will be more than willing to spend a few additional minutes to read the details. Especially if it gives them greater confidence in selecting such a key resource as the right architectural partner.

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