Should we use white papers for brand communications?

Businesses always have challenges and most often these challenges directly affect their customers making an impact over the top lines and the bottom lines. Many times, companies face specific problems or market issues, which need to be addressed in the public domain. This is usually done by disseminating in-depth and detailed information. Most often the traditional way of advertising or promotional messaging doesn’t work in such cases. Well, that’s white paper!

The eye is always in the details and the brand communicators often stand a chance to miss out on critical details in communication, not that they always do so. It is not uncommon for companies to find themselves surrounded by crises, controversies, calamities, and catastrophes, which make a huge impact on brand image. Most of the time, brand communicators are caught off-guard and aren’t prepared enough to address adequately when such situations arise, and the reactions are immediate, off-the-cuff, or simply knee-jerk leading to the creation of further confusion around the issue.

Sometimes, there may not be any unwanted situation or a crisis to be addressed, and instead a company may have certain specific agenda to serve. It is possible that the company may want itself to be positioned as a thought leader and therefore would like to come out with relevant business whitepaper. Alternatively, another company may just want to share some research study being undertaken by them, which could impact their customers and the overall market.

Research plays an important role in developing whitepapers for communication. Statistics, data, research inputs always fill the content gap through the whitepaper and ensure the objectives are met in terms of communications. Certainly, white papers are written by experts, and insights on issues that are not usually addressed in routine communication are incorporated, around the interest of the audience. Audience interest can be negative or positive, but the white paper deals with it effectively through detailing and providing comprehensive content.

Whitepapers have their own advantages, of delivering credibility and trust to the brand image. Something, almost all brands vie for, all the time despite bombarding customers with heavy advertising and other promotional campaigns. On one hand for customers, the brands can offer generic and research-based inputs, much worthy of reading, and on the other hand brand mentions and messages can be subtly, ethically, and unequivocally in whitepapers.

How about the cascading effect of social media when your whitepaper simply goes viral enriching the lives of many other users who haven’t had a chance to ever experience your brand offerings? In the world of virility, brands can capitalise greatly by using whitepapers effectively to strengthen their existing brand image, generate further interest, garner additional customers, break the brand loyalties of competing brands, and embolden their market presence.

Brands can use whitepaper as an important tool in the whole communication if it is in line with the overall content strategy and it is delivered to the audience in a systematic manner for the best possible impact. Releasing the abstracts or snippets or teasers in advance to generate some interest among the audience followed by a detailed whitepaper can be one of such impactful strategies, that brands can adopt.

In fact, any content offered by any brand that adds any value to the customers’ lives would be always welcome by them. And, if the whitepaper does this job, there is no doubt that customers are going to lap it up and facilitate making it viral in due course. 

Eventually, brand communicators always plan their content, messaging, and delivery of the same keeping in mind how their audience will derive maximum value from their communication. And that’s a white paper that has the potential to deliver the most!  

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

Be the first to comment on "Should we use white papers for brand communications?"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.