A white paper is generally defined as an authoritative report or guide that is intended to inform readers about a complex issue, including the author’s perspective on the topics covered. White papers typically rely upon expert knowledge and research in support of a solution or recommendation.
White papers aren’t the same as an article that is published in a scientific journal, heavy with specific jargon, methods and statistical analyses. Neither are white papers sales brochures that pitch the features and benefits of a product or service.
A well-written white paper must often distill complicated concepts into an informative narrative that the average reader can understand while ensuring that stated arguments and their conclusions are based in objective sources of evidence. Achieving this balance of facts and simplicity can provide a powerful communication tool for both technical and non-technical customers. Consider the following example of a white paper that supports other communications on a new medical device.
Rapid Oxygen Company is the developer of the unique R15 Portable Emergency Oxygen device which enables the citizen-responder a safe and simple way to offer emergency support until EMS/paramedics arrive on the scene.
Having obtained FDA clearance for their R15 device, Rapid Oxygen sought support materials for their marketing and sales efforts which included:
BNNano of Burlington, NC is one of only two firms in the United States that manufacture high-purity boron nitride nanotubes, a very rare material with virtually unlimited applications from industry and the military to medical technology.
In less than one year, the BNNano founders started the firm, funded their venture through a private raise, set up manufacturing and closed their first customer orders. They had created a great product in record time and were ready to get the word out and support their sales activities.
A startup company with a new product and restricted resources, BNNano was facing challenges that are typical of many such firms today.