Ten Secrets of Commissioning Great Video No:4

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Blog, Business

Have a good case study

Having spent years in TV news, I now help companies who want to improve their chances of success when sending press releases to the media. As well as explaining the best time to get in contact and how to write a ‘top line’ on the release to make the story irresistible to a TV planning desk, one of the first things I always ask clients is ‘do you have a case study?’

A TV news story hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. The key word is ‘story’ – in order to distill down an often long-running and complicated issue into a minute and a half, a reporter needs a vehicle in which to do it, and it’s usually a case study. This is a person who personifies the issue being discussed, whether it’s house price rises, school places or hospital shortages, they need someone to tell their story, so that you can understand how it relates to real people and identify with it at home.

Let real people tell your story

A case study can also be your best weapon when planning a corporate video. Think about your satisfied customers, your staff or your CEO – which one of these is telling the ‘story’ of your company? Let me give you some scenarios:

– Satisfied customer
“We really wanted to find a company that thought the way we did about tea. We couldn’t find a brand that suited the way we ran our tea and cake shop. But then we found Tea Masters, and they’ve been by our sides ever since”

– Staff
“I thought I’d never be able to find a company where my workmates felt as excited as I did about accounting. I know that sounds mad, but I love what I do, and I wanted to share that enthusiasm with other like-minded people. So, when I came to John James Associates, I knew I’d found a firm that really cared about people’s businesses, and was focused on helping people understand their tax liabilities”

– CEO
“I set up ‘It’s Your Funeral’ because I realised there was nowhere for people to go if they wanted to set out their wishes in case something happened to them,
and then update those preferences online as their circumstances changed. I felt passionately that the funeral business wasn’t keeping up with modern ways of doing business”

Make case studies your cheerleaders - from Dream a Big Dream shoot

The beauty of a case study is that it’s a way to say wonderful things about your company without sounding as if you’re blowing your own trumpet. If you’ve achieved amazing customer service feedback, use your customers. If your sales have rocketed, use your salespeople talking about how proud they were when it happened – real people’s stories are what matter when you’re trying to engage any audience with a video. Make it personal, and people will want to watch to the end to see what happens.

For an example, watch ‘Richard’s Story’, which we made for the Imperial College Healthcare Charity, to use alongside their fundraising video. As soon as we met Richard, we knew we’d struck case study gold. This man could not love the Major Trauma Unit at St Mary’s Hospital any more if we had paid him!