5 Steps to Effective Success Stories
Interview two or three people at a company and use quotes from all of them—not just the top executive or managers. Ideally you want someone at a management level to speak to business issues and others further down the food chain who have their hands on the jobs to cover the operational side. This way you tell a more complete and credible story that is more likely to resonate with readers.
Talk about the benefits (not the features) of the technology and services your company provides and what they meant to the company featured in the story. Whenever possible, quantify labor and cost savings, improvements in efficiency, greater throughput, faster turnarounds, greater accuracy, better staff utilization and so on.
Don't beat the company drum too loudly. It's a story about what you can do, but not an advertorial or a sales pitch. Your message is far more effective and credible if the customer in the story is the winner (more efficient, more profitable, etc.) by working with your company or by using a given technology. Throw PR and advertising agency policies aside and don't use your product or company name more than two or three times. Readers aren't stupid; they know what you're talking about. (And don't put any company/product names in bold type, either.)
One of the key upsides to this format is that a trade magazine editor is more likely to be willing to run the story (after relieving it of any product pitch) because it requires minimal editing. This is not the case with stories using the formulaic approach that are too structured around a product to be used in a magazine without serious editing or rewriting—for which magazines have only thin budgets.
Finally, include some relevant photos to dress up the page and create both print and electronic versions. This gives you the same content for both media. The print piece makes a nice leave-behind and can also be included with other marketing collateral materials.