What is a Case Study? Part 2 of 3 (Clone)

Question: What is a case study and how can a story about the bathrooms at Loews Hotels garner 40 million impressions for a public relations' client's key messages?

Answer: It's more than a case study or a customer testimonial. It's a good story. One that a journalist recognizes as a good story. Which is defined as a story that people want to read.

A good story starts with asking the right questions of the right people. In the case of Loews, uncovering the story that Champion 4 toilet from American Standard reduced maintenance calls from overflowing toilets by 80% at their hotels and resorts took dogged pursuit of story leads, led by O’Reilly DePalma account director Joel Williams.


It started with a story lead, from the savvy American Standard sales executives who introduced Joel to three facilities managers associated with Loews. “I know what type of details editors are going to want to cover this story, so it’s my job to get the full scoop as efficiently as possible,” Williams said.

The glory is in the details, which means finding the best sources to tell your story. Calling sources and following leads brought Williams to Tony Rodrigues, Regional Director of Engineering for Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando.

Rodrigues was dealing with nearly 120 service calls each month that required a toilet plunger. As chief engineer overseeing three of Loews’ properties on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, multiply this plunger exercise by three and you can see where Rodrigues was ready to blow his lid (sorry).

Williams scored the money quote from Tony Rodrigues, after he put the American Standard Champion 4 to the test:

Maintenance calls at the Loews Portofino Bay property plunged more than 80 percent after replacing 750 Kohler® brand toilets with the American Standard Champion® 4 toilet.

Quantifiable results that measurably improved the guest experience. Of course it was a great story for the USA Travel Section.

Social media helped amplify the news:




Seasoned brand journalists, Joel Williams and John O'Reilly receive the GA PRSA 2011 Phoenix Award for Best Feature Article. 

Scoring media cover such as this will always start with a great story.  


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Nora DePalma

Principal of the O'Reilly DePalma agency. Native Jersey Girl now living near Atlanta, GA. On planes a lot. Able to see life as amusing roughly 80% of the time.


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