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My firm does a lot of marketing-oriented technical writing, mostly in the
form of white papers. A white paper is a fairly extended briefing on a
technical subject, usually intended for management and decision makers.
The idea is to show that the company that published the paper is doing
some leading-edge thinking on how to solve a technical problem with
You need to wear your marketing hat when you're writing one of these. But
it's also true that the marketing value only materializes if people
really want to read the paper. So it has to contain good, accurate,
useful information. It's not so different from being a journalist
(although you have to remember who the customer is). It is different from
writing the grotty sections of a technical manual, but not so different
from writing the introductory chapters (which ought to tell what the
product is really good for as a higher-level overview).
David Carr <davedcs -at- pcnet -dot- com>
Digital Communications Services
Phone: (203)591-1801 Fax:(203)756-4387