Reason #4 – Lack of Commitment
Nothing hampers the ability to create a successful white paper more than the inability to make the necessary resources available. It’s like any other project, there has to be buy-in from all levels.
Resources can mean a lot of things. Here are a few examples:
1. Not allocating any budget. We’ll just save a few bucks and have our engineer write the paper. While you might save some marketing budget by creating the white paper internally, you lose elsewhere. What would that engineer be doing if somebody else were writing the paper? If that something else the engineer would be doing is more important, then the white paper will get back-burnered, and perhaps ultimately forgotten completely. In some cases, a window of opportunity closes before the document is even written.
2. Lack of technical support. If an outside writer is hired and that person needs information from an individual in your company, it’s in everyone’s best interest if that person is occasionally available for consultation. No writer wants to guess, and no white paper without accurate information should ever be used. Sometimes, lack of a simple answer to one quick question can mean days or even weeks of delay.
3. Not including certain parties with a vested interest. Marketing, sales, and engineering all have a stake in a white paper, and each has a different perspective on the document. While a white paper should never be all things to all people, stake holders should get a say on what information to include or exclude. Getting that input up front saves everyone headaches. Nobody wants to redraft a white paper because engineering only discovers factual errors during the final review stage.
All stake-holders should be present in any sort of kick-off discussion so the writer can accommodate everyone’s concerns. Whether the paper is written internally or externally, the writer still needs the cooperation of the subject matter experts like engineers. Resistance leads to failure, and sometimes, a white paper fails before it’s even written.
This article originally appeared in my LinkedIn account.