Each and every client I work with is different, as are the problems they are trying to solve. To give you some idea of the types of work I have helped with, here are a few case study examples:
Case study 1 – Keeping up-to-date on fast-moving environmental issues and good communication of research
The situation: Position of ‘researcher’ on a freelance basis, looking into alternatives to ‘business as usual’ thinking for a charity. Subject areas for research including resource use, energy, food and water security, monetary systems, climate change, and related issues.
The client’s problem: Keeping up-to-date in a fast moving area of debate and knowledge; communicating with and educating people often unfamiliar with this highly interdisciplinary area of ideas and concepts; and, storing an ever-increasing volume of research in a way it can be referred to easily in future.
My role in solving the client’s problem:
Assisting the client by:
- keeping up-to-date with current knowledge by monitoring the media, professional press and academic journals;
- carrying out research projects in specific topic areas to further the client’s knowledge;
- facilitating the engagement and education of professionals and laypeople with subjects unfamiliar to them, through carefully structured documents such as research compilations, written descriptions and glossaries;
- acting as an intermediary between a subject matter expert and external professionals to achieve specific results; and
- creating and maintaining physical and electronic systems for convenient storage and retrieval of research materials.
Case study 2 – A professional presentation document
The situation: To produce a research document that would convince high-level professionals to value a particular set of ideas in the course of making a commercial decision worth several million pounds.
The problem: The client did not feel confident that they could communicate these ideas verbally themselves, and wished to rely on the document to project a professional image in the first instance.
My role in solving the client’s problem: I produced a short professional document, laying out some of the client’s key ideas, and quoting from several experts in the field to support these. The document was praised by those who received it and was assumed to be the work of several professionals; they were respectful of the concepts it contained, and the client was successfully able to influence the final decision in their favour – an outcome that had previously been judged unlikely.
Case Study 3 – A keepsake historical book
The situation: I had previously copytyped a collection of letters and historical manuscripts, and scanned over 400 photographs from the late 1800s, which as a collection told the life story of a Christian missionary, and his journey abroad to complete missionary work alongside his wife.
The client’s problem: The grandson of the missionary wished to record the story in a short keepsake book of limited production.
My role in solving the client’s problem: I selected photographs and extracts from the letters and manuscripts to illustrate the story being told. I then wrote the link text for and designed the layout of a 72-page A5 landscape book, and arranged for it to be printed.
Case study 4 – Successful research for marketing purposes
The situation: I was given a brief to seek potential new clients for a contractor in the trades, to whom a mailshot letter would be sent.
The client’s problem: The client and their office team did not have the time to produce this research, and so it was outsourced. The mailshot was timed to maintain a suitable flow of work for the business.
My role in solving the client’s problem: I identified several sectors from which to select potential new contacts to meet the client’s brief, and sought contact details from them. In particular I identified contacts for whom the timing of the contact seemed highly appropriate (i.e. end of the tourist season approaching, or where a business had recently been sold). My client received a high response rate which paid for the research many times over in a short space of time, and has since completed repeat and long-term contracts as a result of this initial contact.
Case study 5 – An academic research project into the visual communication of climate change
A year-long 15,000 word original academic research project into the visual communication of climate change, consisting of:
- an extensive literature review seeking all existing and relevant research and studies in my area of interest;
- designing a structured research instrument in order to conduct a content analysis of the visual data collected; and
- detailed analysis of collected data leading to discussions and conclusions.
For further information on the study, visit my page on environmental communication.