A SIMPLE STRUCTURE FOR WHITEPAPERS

Someone recently asked whether whitepapers are not dead? Maybe, this is the natural end of whatever marketing touches. What’s a whitepaper all about?As a marketing tool, many companies publish whitepapers. They are given as takeaways (after filling out a form). Press releases are sent out to tell the world that a new whitepaper has just been published. They are supposed to bring in leads and sales (serious buyers), support new product launches, display thought leadership, or simply generate goodwill. Traditionally, a whitepaper explores a problem situation from all perspectives, goes in-depth, and comes out with a reasoned solution or recommendation. What typically forms a whitepaper subject?Churchill wrote a whitepaper on Palestine. And there has been a whitepaper on the use of five words in contracts that can harm closure of construction projects – a whitepaper on why not to use those five words. Usually complex issues form the ideal subject for whitepapers. That means the writer will begin with a broad topic, and then zero-in...
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A good whitepaper

Whitepapers are hard to write, and even harder to read. But I really got engrossed with this one: WhitePaperNo52-TheEndofHistoryAgain The language is terrific, easy to follow, fun to read, and carries loads of insights, easy encapsulation and structuring. The headlines add their weight as well. Either we should write like this, or not write that whitepaper at all. ...
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Project status, tracking template in Excel for content management

Messy and garbled Excel sheets are a nightmare for content writers and managers. To make project tracking simple, I created this flexible and responsive project tracking template Excel sheet. Content writers and project managers sometimes handle loads of documents. A lengthy and multi-point content review process adds to the complexity of knowing the exact situation of each article or content piece. There are many project templates available on the internet. Some are simply timelines templates. But few come close to tackling the details and complexities that exist on the ground for writers and content creators. The Excel project tracker is divided into three neat areas: Writing, Review and Final Status. This makes it easy to switch and check the status of each stage, and prevents the tracker from getting cluttered. The project status template is meant to be maintained by writers, though reviewers too can add their status updates. The tool uses automatic field update features of Excel to reduce manual entry in multiple columns. So when a writer enters a status...
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Jargon Density Checker: Optimize your language to drive conversions

I know, its a lowly Word macro, but it also comes adorned with your ultra favorite, old styled windows message box. Presenting the Jargon Density Checker macro for Word 2007 and later versions, with all my pride. No one knows how or when it began. I suspect technology had a hand in it. Or may be business owners wanting to say something as well as not say it. After all, everyone had to have a ‘core’ competency. Not less or more. Core, as in core. Jargon isn’t always ‘blue sky thinking’, but it was ‘scaled’ high enough to shake some grounds of sanity when words like ‘predictors of beaconicity’, ‘coterminosity’ and ‘double devolution’ were heard. Your friendly jargon density checker is ‘driven’ by a custom list of 200 words to avoid in formal business and corporate writing. Maybe not avoid, but at least know that you are using terms that can switch off minds as fast as one could possibly do to those designer bulbs of innovation...
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The not-webby website rankings – India industry

Remember the 1990s style websites? Hyperlinking then was the equivalent of today’s social sharing. And proud felt the sites that displayed blue underlined text. 2015 is a far distance from then, and I thought it would be befitting to take a glance at how websites look and feel in the Indian corporate space. (About the Webby, only 344 websites made it to their list this year, out of a total of 926,530,422 sites worldwide. I wonder if they actually had a look at all of them.) So here are my perceptions, taken in a breeze, of some of the websites in India’s manufacturing, capital goods and heavy industry sectors. The companies are from the current list comprising the respective BSE/NSE sector indices. As will be obvious, the review comments are an outcome of very brief, fleeting impressions, as doing a detailed review was beyond scope. The perspective is of a general, educated reader (not the prime target audience of these websites who would...
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