Breathe New, Prolonged Life into White Papers

by Blattel Communications

Even though the content we consume is getting more and more concise, short and direct, white papers play an important role in professional services marketing – and particularly in the AEC industry.

Generally, an AEC white paper takes a deep look at how a design, engineering or construction methodology, process or product addresses and solves a particular issue. Its development can be a tedious, daunting process. Research-based white papers are authoritative, with conclusions drawn from experience and evidence. They are used to influence the decision- making process and/or establish credibility within the industry.

Traditionally, white papers are developed and submitted to present at technical conferences, published in journals or used in response to RFPs or client interviews. Furthermore, these papers typically tap multiple talents to create, including project managers, copywriters, analysts and graphic designers.

Considering the investment of time and resources a white paper requires, it’s important to think of how it can be used beyond the initial intent – making it all the more worthwhile. These papers can be repurposed in many ways to support a company’s marketing, communications and business development strategies.

Newsletter Article or Client E-Blast (content + infographics)

A white paper can be condensed, or a single section may be expanded, to create an article that educates clients on how the  findings might benefit them. The intended audience can spend 10-15 minutes reading a high-level, but still authoritative, summary of the paper’s topic, instead of only learning about the subject through a technical paper or formal presentation. Despite getting a shortened version of the original, the reader still walks away with the idea that the company is a thought leader on the subject. Newsletter or e-blast templates can be adjusted to allow for both content and supporting infographics, giving them visual appeal.

Byline Article (one or a series)

Many industry trade publications publish articles contributed by experts in the field, and a white paper’s subject could be a great topic to pitch to a publication that reaches a target audience of decision-makers or referral sources. Do NOT send a white paper to an editor wholesale and ask him/her to review it. Rather, send a summary of a segment or two of the paper, ensuring that the article you are proposing can be easily pulled and edited from the white paper to a piece that fits within the publications’ editorial guidelines. Most publications have requirements around word count, tone and format. It’s also possible that an editor would be open to an article series, allowing for maximum use of the existing content.

Blog Post(s) (content + photos)

Blogs are typically shorter than byline articles or newsletter pieces and a bit less formal, while still containing the sophistication required in AEC marketing communications. Research suggests that online readers have short attention spans and prefer less than 600 words in a post. This format allows numerous leverage options for the subject of a white paper. For instance, take one aspect of the paper and connect it to a specific project, person or story. Then, pair it with a photo or image that supports it. Rinse and repeat with another theme.

Award Submissions

The subject a white paper tackles could be a profound addition to an award nomination – for people, projects or the company as a whole. A white paper illustrates an expertise or area of specialty, so use the content to your advantage when going after industry awards. Think about how it will help illustrate a successful outcome on a nominated project, or how it was conceived under the leadership of an executive being nominated.

Proactive Media Pitching

The subject of a white paper is typically responding to a problem with a new, innovative solution, so why not pitch the subject to the media as a compelling story worth covering? The key here is targeting the *right* media. If it’s a technical subject, then the content is probably best suited for an industry trade publication. Publication editorial calendars can be beneficial in planning story pitches. For example, a “Technology” focus in ENR could benefit from a story idea pitched from a white paper on the application of newly developed software.

Social Media Posts

With any communications piece, the question should always be, “How can we package and share this with our social media networks?” If a white paper is presented at a conference, share the event, topic, experience and photo (within the various format requirements of social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram). Short stories or experiences that give the subject matter real-world relevancy are all excellent post considerations.

Looking at a white paper with a new lens provides ample marketing communications and public relations opportunities. Maximize those efforts!

Written by:

Blattel Communications

Blattel Communications on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.