Have White Papers lost their value?

What makes a White Paper valuable? Jonathan Goodman of the HRmarketer.com blog recently asked that exact question (via LinkedIN Answers) in the “Hiring and Human Resources” category.

Answers rolled in, not all from HR professionals, but a variety of “industry folks” voicing their opinion on the topic.

Here are a few outstanding quotes:

“The value of vendor white papers to HR officials is inversely proportional to the amount of vendor promotion in the white paper.”

“The pros will be exaggerated and cons will be omitted. The bias never goes away in any white paper…I always feel that I am told half truth.”

“White Papers are only valuable if they contain information that is otherwise very hard to find.”

“I believe that, white paper[s] should never be written just for the sake of writing but always for the sake of answering somebody’s query or dilemma.”

You can read all of the answers on the LinkedIN Answers page.

The conclusion – most professionals read White Papers with skepticism, asking “What are they trying to sell me?” in the back of their minds. But, the responses also show that White Papers still hold communication value, especially on the Web.

Through experience, Goodman advises to take pride in everything you publish. He also reminds us that credibility is something we earn from our readers and their trust should never be taken advantage of.


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