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Anyone Write White Papers for Marketing Purposes?

I am in the process of developing a series of informational handouts targeted to end users, in order to bootstrap a general computer support business.

I debated with myself over this awhile and I decided that an informational white paper format would probably have much more bang for the buck than more classical self promotion paper - such as brochures, etc.

Has anyone done this? Are there any style guides or examples that you've run across? What have your experiences been? How have you distributed this stuff?

Thanks.

Bored Bystander
Saturday, January 17, 2004

I have written several of them.  We usually follow a very
simple format that is basically an academic paper format,
with an abstract, body, minimal non-textual graphics, minimal
use of different fonts, and a bibliography.  I've always
followed the "online" form for footnotes, ie

Prof Soandso said that this is very cool (SOANDSO93)

SOANDSO93: "This is very cool", Communications of the ACM,
1993.

as opposed to the traditional form.  Also, when distributing
them, PDF's are best.

foobarista
Saturday, January 17, 2004

fwiw, i've written several for our business including one that was picked up by several major outlets ("A Standards-based, P2P Approach to Marketplaces and Exchanges" - copy at http://www.badblue.com/w010205.htm ).

couple of good things about it:

- forces you to define a position and then defend it, which often causes you to rethink your approach to business
- helps exercise "english" writing skills, as opposed to our mad c/java/cobol skillz

marketing value is debatable, but varies wildly based upon product or service.  i don't think napster or microsoft had any white-papers when they were starting out...

dir at badblue dot com
Saturday, January 17, 2004

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