Recently, I sat in front of my boss and we discussed new marketing, the use of the internet, email campaigns and what actually would be the best way to tell people about what we do. I love my job, I love what we provide and I am always eager to tell anyone about it. That doesn't mean I want to shove it down anyone's throat or paint my car green.

What is does mean, though, is that it is my job to figure out the best way to shout it from the roof tops..., other than actually doing that, of course. We are all in positions that require us to tell others about what we do, why we do it better, why we should be selected for the work and, ultimately, driving business. Preferably to one's own site, to one's own phone. The drive away is not so pretty.  And frankly, I like pretty.

Therefore, I am asking for a bit of help/feedback - if at all possible. There was the suggestion that perhaps a white paper would be the way to go, perhaps sharing information about a particular topic of interest to recruiters and hiring managers just might drive that precious traffic to our site, to our business, to motivate a potential client to pick up the phone and make it ring on our end. Given that we live in a big, fat time of permission marketing, maybe - perhaps - I am being over-critical...

So my question is this... do you, the recruiter, the hiring manager, the HR professional, want those white papers - are they important to you? Do they determine vendor selection? Do they change your business practices or increase your output or input - as in cashflow? Or do you see most white papers as something different, something other than an offering - a knowledge share from a company/vendor in your space?

Perhaps you see it as a bribe, as a quest to gain biz, as a blatant attempt to drive traffic... Please help me on this one. Innovation not only lies in technology. It also lies in our thoughts, in our processes, in our evolving practices. Maybe I am too hard on myself, on my practice, maybe I shouldn't read too much into the bait that is thrown in front of me as a professional in this arena - perhaps I am too suspicious. What do you think?

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Rayanne, a white paper is both..it's a knowledge share, and a blatant attempt to drive traffic. the trick is making sure the knowledge share part actually adds value..value is added when you increase knowledge, or prompt a new way of looking at an issue...and the attempt to drive traffic is nothing more than saying : "if this white paper speaks to you, we have a solution to the problems"..and that's not being sinister if it's honest.

I love white papers..i have written some, and they worked because I designed them to be teaching tools and discussion prompters..think of them as a way to be a resource for your market.
Hi Rayanne!

I actually WROTE white papers that induced people to buy..or at least consider our products in light of problems they needed to solve.

I didn't do this as a recruiter..there was about an eight year span in my life when I was working to help get a friends company off the ground..we had a line of products that solved fuel and equipment cost issues for diesel powered fleets..among those products was a line of lubricants that extended the life of hydraulic systems..so. one paper I wrote discussed problems with hydraulic systems, why they had these problems, and why the expensive products they were buying in an effort to solve these issues weren't working...I then brought up our solution, and discussed one of our many successful client stories.

I sent the paper to our distributors, and one of them landed a contract for our hydraulic fluid, with a BIG construction firm in the carolinas.

Now to be clear, i researched the heck out of every one of my assertions, and demonstrated my grasp of the issues..I also had a different paper on industrial lubricants published by a steel industry trade association before I wrote this paper, AND my products worked, so I was unassailable from a technical standpoint, and ethical from a solution standpoint.

I also wrote a bunch more white papers that taught fleet managers things they needed to know from a fuels and emissions standpoint, and again, everything was researched five ways to sunday before I released them.

thing was, like recruiting, the common perception of our products was that we were a commodity..and the way to change that perception ( in my view) is to educate the prospects and get them thinking.

We functioned like nothing else ( we were literally 20 years ahead of our time ) but we had to elevate the discussion to a place our competitors feared to tread, and as the senior tech officer, i did that with white papers.

You mentioned permission based marketing..a white paper is just that..the only obligation on the part of the prospect is to read the thing, and if it's pertinent, he will.. if it matches his vision, or answers a question, he'll pick up the phone.. you aren't tricking anyone, honest.. you know a lot about recruiting, and you know about your company's offerings, right? just put the two together, and solve someones problems.

if you want to see the stuff I wrote, shoot me a PM with an email, I can let you check it out.

T

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