The Appum Group's new "short attention" marketing white paper and newsletter pitch the benefits of cutting the crap out of the ponderous papers typically used to position companies as leaders in their fields.
Having written a few of these myself, I have to admit it's tough to get buy-in from all the internal stakeholders if you don't talk about all their points of view in the paper. I am relieved to see a few helpful pointers from white paper expert Jonathan Kantor on how to focus a paper so that it actually gets read.
"Ensuring That Your White Papers Appeal to Busy Executive Readers" illustrates six techniques -- in both content and visual design of this paper. In short, the six principles are:
- Start with a one-page executive summary.
- Conclude with a summary of key take-aways.
- Use callouts and pull quotes to emphasize key points.
- Let graphics explain complex concepts.
- Itemize the components of ideas in bullet lists.
- Wrap up each section with a boxed recap.
This approach assumes business readers skim, speed read or fully digest an article based on how rewarding each step is. By making it easy for readers to see the highlights, Kantor's short, visual approach improves the odds that a white paper will be consumed with gusto.
(Join the Short Attention Span newsletter mailing list to download the paper.)