White papers have been a mainstay of the corporate ghostwriting work that I do. I've written approximately 100 white papers during the past 20 years. Recent, on LinkedIn, Tim Moyle asked if the term 'white paper' was still fashionable among corporate marketers.
The best response to the question came from a professional writer named Robert Pease. In part, Robert wrote: "White papers are an important part of any technical industry. Conferences hold 'white paper; sessions and any company's marketing team that's worth their salt is busily producing a 'white paper' library to sing the praises of their products and technologies. Of course, many people have many ideas about what actually constitutes a white paper in terms of technical level, structure, and use. All that said, referencing these entities by any other nomenclature would, in my view, be a huge mistake…"
I agree with Robert.
At the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Summit, it was suggested that "hipper" alternatives to white papers are eBooks. However, I believe the term "white paper" will remain viable even as eBooks emerge as a technically astute delivery method. Using eBook technology, white papers can be distributed as an HTML email or posted to various related blogs and social networking sites. Even if an eBook is created from a white paper, calling the document an ebook is a mistake since any book that can be downloaded is known as an eBook.
"White paper" remains the valued term for these documents among business readers regardless of how they might be distributed. A search on Google news of the term "white paper" results in tens of thousands of results for these professionally edited pieces.
In the final analysis, the term "white paper" carries with it an impression of gravitas that says to business readers, "here is some useful information that is not simply a marketing tool." (Even if fundamentally it is one).
My name has been added to the masthead of Area Development magazine, the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation.
I began contributing to the magazine last year, and the editors have honored me by including my name among their valued contributors.
My first feature for the magazine Electronics: High Demand for High Tech appeared in the October issue.
Recently, I was asked what my publishing goals were for 2009. For the most part, I plan to continue pursuing the goals I set when I started freelancing 20 years ago. I aim to write as many magazine features as humanly possible. Of course, the exact number will depend on how many assignments I’m able to coax from my editors (I currently contribute to roughly a half dozen trade journals).
Further, during the first half of 2009, I plan to promote the book I released in the fourth quarter of 2008. The book, A Year in Asheville, contains images shot during my first year as a resident of Asheville, NC.
I also plan to continue to publish my blogs. I recently published my 1,000 post on ephemera, a blog that explores the world of old paper. And, of course, I plan to write compelling content for this blog, which is devoted to my freelance writing endeavors and insight into developing content for new media.
The editor of Food Processing has once again asked me to analyze and report on the capital expenditures of the world's largest food manufacturers. My feature appears each year in the magazine's April issue.
Venerable Food Processing magazine is one of the oldest trade journals reporting on the food industry.
My 2008 CapEx article can be found at the following link: http://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2007/339.html
Happy 2009! With the coming of the New Year, I've relaunched Weil.net with a new look and more content, including a blog component.
The brand new Weil.net blog will primarily serve as a means to keep associates, editors, publicists, and clients updated on my publishing activities. The blog will also provide tips and commentary on subject matter related to copy writing, journalism, editing, online publishing, social networking, and other related topics.
The newly redesigned Weil.net site includes an array of new pages, including a bibliography page to track all of my published works. So far, I've listed most of my works published during the past two years–with links to the pieces if they appear online. In the coming months, I'll be culling through my archives to add all of the articles I've published during the past 20 years.
I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2009.