Companies can’t be making front page news all the time, but when the iron isn’t hot to strike, it doesn’t mean you can’t advance your PR program between larger news announcements. Sometimes the most interesting aspect of your company may be sitting right under your nose, and a well-written whitepaper can help you showcase it.

Recently, we issued two whitepapers with one of our public sector clients. We were able to engage influencers and promote thought leadership in ways we hadn’t before. A whitepaper may help your PR initiatives in a few ways.

  1. Give outsiders an in-depth look at your business and industry. A well-written whitepaper can introduce your company and your industry to stakeholders who are unfamiliar with the specifics of your trade. Whitepapers give readers an in-depth analysis of your area of expertise and take a forward-looking stance on industry trends. All-encompassing summaries of a business can help your stakeholders understand how their own objectives are related to your business.
  2. Gain credibility within new audiences. Use a whitepaper as an introduction to a partner company, analyst firm or reporter to foster a relationship. For instance, our client recently attended the 2013 CES Innovation Policy Summit and sat on a facial recognition panel with a reporter from a congressional daily and staff from a consumer privacy organization and the FTC. After a healthy discourse on the panel, two informative biometrics whitepapers were shared with session participants to learn more about the issues discussed. Since then, the company has been able to expand its rolodex of industry contacts, especially in the policy sector.
  3. Influence D.C. policy communities. Sharing a whitepaper with legislators during a year you know relevant legislation is being drafted may help government organizations better understand your industry and take those facts into account when drafting legislation. For instance, last year our client testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law regarding facial recognition and civil liberties. Many speakers at the hearing only viewed facial recognition from the perspective of consumer electronics and could learn more about how facial recognition is used for national security in the public sector. As a result, the company published a whitepaper detailing how facial recognition technology is used in the public sector for public awareness and congressional consideration.

In summary, whitepapers can establish a company or person as a thought leader in its field. Remember that drafting a whitepaper takes as much planning and strategy as it would to create a feature news article or a speech and, therefore, it is important that you enlist subject matter experts and professional writers to produce a whitepaper your audience will want to read. In addition, take time to define your objectives, gain perspectives from many different experts within your business and look for opportunities to predict future business trends. Finally, consider making your whitepaper a stylized piece with photos and graphics to illustrate your story.

If your company is looking for PR expertise in Seattle or Washington, D.C. and would like our assistance in creating a whitepaper, contact us. As a marketing and PR firm based in D.C. and Seattle, RH Strategic prides itself in approaching government relations from a tactful perspective.

Photo credit: By Security & Defence Agenda – Magnus Ovilius