What is a White Paper?
A white paper is an authoritative guide that discusses issues on a certain subject, along with a proposed solution for handling them. The term, “white paper”, came about after the government color-coded reports to indicate who could access them, with the color white referring to public access i.e “white papers” originated in England as government-issued documents. One famous example is the Churchill White Paper, commissioned by Winston Churchill in 1922.
In Canada, a white paper is “a policy document.The “provision of policy information through the use of white and green papers can help to create an awareness of policy issues among parliamentarians and the public and to encourage an exchange of information and analysis. They can also serve as educational techniques.”
By contrast, green papers, which are issued much more frequently, are more open-ended. Also known as consultation documents, green papers may merely propose a strategy to implement in the details of other legislation, or they may set out proposals on which the government wishes to obtain public views and opinion.
Examples of governmental white papers include, in Australia, the White Paper on Full Employment and, in the United Kingdom, the White Paper of 1939 and the 1966 Defence White Paper.
In Israeli history, the White Paper of 1939 – marking a sharp turn against Zionism in British policy and at the time greeted with great anger by the Jewish Yishuv community in Mandatory Palestine – is remembered as “The White Paper” (in Hebrew Ha’Sefer Ha’Lavan הספר הלבן – literally “The White Book”).
Several variations on the color theme exist:
* The green paper is a proposal or consultative document rather than being authoritative or final.
Two others are much less well established:
* A blue paper sets out technical specifications of a technology or item of equipment.
* A yellow paper is a document containing research that has not yet been formally accepted or published in an academic journal. It is synonymous to the more widely used term preprint.
White papers are commonly used today in the fields of business, politics, and technology to discuss challenges, issues faced, and solutions on how to overcome the challenges.
TYPES OF WHITE PAPERS IN COMPANIES
There are three types of white papers that are commonly used by companies:
* Benefits of the business – A case study of how a business process or specific technology can increase productivity
* Technology – Discusses a specific technology and its benefits.
* Hybrid – Addresses the benefits to the business along with some technical details on the product/service.
While choosing a topic for the white paper the following pointers should be kept in mind:
Audience, Expert Analysis(The white paper must be written by someone with extensive industry knowledge of the product or service and a thorough understanding of the subject at hand), Problem Solving(While the white paper provides detailed information about the company’s product/service, it should also address problems faced by customers and how the product can solve the problem).
The layout of a white paper should consist of the introduction, problem statement, information, solution, conclusion.
OBJECTIVE OF WHITE PAPER
The objective of a white paper is to advocate that a certain position is the best way to go or that a certain solution is best for a particular problem. When it is used for commercial purposes, it could influence the decision-making processes of current and prospective customers.
Since they are well-researched and authoritative, whitepapers make great incentives for users to convert to potential customers or clients on your website. … So, yes, whitepapers are still useful and will always be.