White Papers In Your Future
- What they are and aren’t
- Why they’re important to you
- How to compose the rough draft
- Presentation Goals
- Definition of White Paper
- Importance of White Papers
- Composing the Rough Draft
- Goals Summary
- About Beau Cain
- Understand what white papers are
- Understand their importance to managers
- Recognize their potential importance to corporate writers
- Demonstrate a method of drafting white papers
- Introduce you to white paper resources
Definition of White Paper
- What’s a White Paper?
- Two of the 6 “W”s
- What Do White Papers Do?
- What’s Not a White Paper?
What’s a White Paper?
- For the purposes of this presentation, a white paper is…
- …an essay…
- …about a problem (or a few very closely related problems)…
- …and it’s (or their) probable solutions…
- …and designed to entice the reader to embrace a particular perspective.
Two of the 6 “W”s
- Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How
- Most tech writing focuses on how
- Marketing communication (MarComm) and white papers in particular focus on why
- If procedures or processes are important considerations for a business decision, how supports why
What Do White Papers Do?
- White papers lead decision makers…
- by identifying a problem (or a set of closely related problems)
- the problem or problems may be requirements
- then describing solutions
- and possibly critiquing those solutions
- including the preferred solution.
What’s Not a White Paper?
- Product Brief
- May be an essay, but can also be other narrative form
- All MarCom, rarely technical
- Focus is on product's capabilities, not on solving problems or satisfying requirements
- Rarely an essay
- Usually relies on emotional appeal rather than rational argument
Importance of White Papers
- Why Are White Papers Important to Corporate Writers?
- What Else Do White Papers Do?
Why Are White Papers Important to Corporate Writers?
- Tech Comm is mostly post-sale how-to documents
- White Papers help make the sale
- Influences decision-makers
- Refines why-to (or why-not-to) arguments
Writing white papers
- Writing white papers
- makes you
- to management and to other decision-makers!
What Else Do White Papers Do?
- Provide concise marketing statements for datasheets
- Serve as foundation for product briefs
- Guide the focus for advertisements
Composing the Rough Draft
- How To Compose a White Paper
- Seven Kinds of White Papers
- Eight Kinds of Essays
- A Method For Composing Essays
How To Compose a White Paper
- Decide what kind of white paper to write
- There are seven kinds of white papers
- Decide what kind of essay it should be
- There are eight kinds of essays
- 7 X 8 = 56 varieties of white papers
- (Your mileage may vary…)
Seven Kinds of White Papers
- Pricing and financing discussions
- Provide a framework for evaluating the return on the investment.
- Position the company and define its strategy.
- Clarify the organization’s position on an issue relevant to the purchase, such as a standard or regulation.
- Position product and differentiate from competitors.
- Establish the reasons why the organization needs this product.
- Establish the organization or product as a leader, define the playing field, set the agenda, and specify decision criteria. Establish the credibility and authority of the organization.
- * These five can be combined into a Marketing Requirements Document
Eight Kinds of Essays
- Comparison/ Contrast
A Method For Composing Essays
- Develop the thesis
- Develop the conclusion
- Write either the opening statement or the closing statement
- Write the other
- Choose the supporting points that will be discussed between the opening statement and the closing statement
White Papers Inform Decisions
- Technical Communication Professionals can insinuate themselves into each of these areas by writing white papers for each phase of product development and sales
- Contact Me!
- References, slides 1 through 3
- Beau Cain
- My thanks to STC NorthBay for hosting my presentation August 17, 2006
- and to STC Orange County for hosting my presentation November 14, 2006
References, slide 1 of 3
- Society for Technical Communication
- Silicon Valley Chapter
- NorthBay Chapter
- Orange County Chapter
References, slide 2 of 3
- Writing White Papers, Stelzner, Michael
- www.writingwhite papers.com/book
- White Paper Source, Stelzner, Michael
- The Art of the White Paper, Gordon, Manuel and Gordon Graham
- The Free Online Dictionary of Computing
- How to Write a White Paper, Perry Marshall
- Accelerating the Production of High Quality White Papers: the Benefits of the FastDraft™ Methodology, The Appum Group
References, slide 3 of 3
- Writing White Papers, Forrest Warthman, Warthman Associates
- Guidelines for Writing White Papers, Ivan Walsh
- Mastering the Requirements Process, “So What Is a Requirement?”, Robertson, Suzanne, and James Robertson, Addison-Wesley, 1999, page 5
- The White Paper White Paper: How to Produce a Successful White Paper, and Why, Radding, Alan, Larry Marion
- Using White Papers to Market Healthcare Products, Delatorre, Tammy, HealthLeaders News
- Do you understand what white papers are?
- Can you recognize similar documents that aren’t white papers?
- Do you understand their importance to managers?
- Do you recognize their potential importance to corporate writers?
- Can you demonstrate a method of drafting white papers?
- Do you know some white paper resources?
About Beau Cain
- Taught Writing White Papers for Product Development and Sales at San José State University’s Professional Development Center
- Taught Presentation Skills at San Jose City College’s Institute for Professional Development
- Developed SJSU-PDC’s Advanced Technical Writing and Tools Certificate
- STC’s last Region 8 Director 2004 – 2007
- Community troubleshooter, Leadership Resource Community
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