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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

April 20, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

…So they say. And, quite frankly, they are correct.

The other day, an acquaintance asked me, “What is the point of writing case studies for the various reconstruction projects your company completes?” He continued to add the many excuses we receive each day – It takes too much time. Is anyone actually taking the time to read every bit of the story? Blah, blah, blah…

While documenting your work through notes and photos can appear tedious and take up time that you may feel you do not have, the outcome of said documentation is significant to the success and efficiency of your present and future services. Case studies are important to build and hold onto for a multitude of reasons:

  • They serve as a reminder of how the tasks were completed, what problems arose, project completion times and more.
  • They create exposure to your company, team of experts and the services you offer – through personal snapshots of identifiable, real-life situations.
  • They offer a cheap, if not free, form of advertising your services.
  • They build leads by providing potential customers concrete examples of your range of services, expertise and knowledge of the field.

As I tried to explain the importance of case studies, briefly touching upon each of the above statements, my acquaintance nodded along as if in agreement.

But, then, he said something that struck my attention – “Why not just post pictures of the work through social media? I hate reading all of that jargon and rambling on posts, but I always look at photos, whether or not I even mean to.”

While I still believe in the importance of writing case studies, and I believe I was able to persuade him as well after our conversation, I truly agree that a picture of an event speaks volumes of the story. Looking at the latest trends on social media now – Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Vine, infographics – You almost cannot get away with only posting copy now, at least not if you want people to read and remember your posts.

As Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development said, “Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about 7 bits of information. Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.”

Look at the examples of case studies below. Which one are you more likely to read? Which makes you more interested in the company?

1

Example A

2

Example B

If you chose Example A, you are not alone. Example A offers the exact same content as Example B, but features photos, giving the viewer a visual description of the event, instead of requiring him or her to read the entire synopsis to discover what happened.

Case studies can be informative and a cheap way to advertise your business and services. However, exclusively telling your story through words can go unseen or “in one ear, out the other.” If you want to tell your story and allow your customers to visualize the situation, a picture really is worth a thousand words.