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Public Sector Marketing: White Papers

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Jun 27, 2023

What are White Papers?

White papers are highly effective tools for establishing authority and thought leadership in the public sector. These comprehensive documents provide valuable insights, solutions, and data on specific topics, allowing organisations and individuals to showcase their expertise and gain credibility with their target audience.

In this document, we will delve into the process of creating an authoritative white paper that aligns with your expertise, addresses key challenges or trends in the public sector, and helps you build strong relationships with public sector entities.

How to choose a topic for public sector white papers

Selecting the right topic is paramount when creating an authoritative white paper. It should align with your expertise, allowing you to leverage your knowledge and experience, and resonate with your target audience.

Identify key challenges or emerging trends in the public sector that are of interest to your intended readers. For example, if your small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) specialises in renewable energy solutions, you may want to write a white paper on the importance of adopting sustainable energy practices in government facilities. This topic would not only showcase your expertise but also address a pressing issue in the public sector, making it relevant and valuable to your audience.

How to conduct research for public sector white papers

To create an authoritative white paper, you need to conduct thorough and meticulous research. Explore various reputable sources such as government reports, academic journals, industry publications, and expert opinions.

Keep your research up-to-date to ensure your white paper reflects the latest insights and developments in the field. Incorporate relevant statistics, data, case studies, and examples that support your arguments and recommendations. Properly cite your sources to enhance credibility and enable readers to further explore the referenced information.

How to organise your white paper for your audience

Organising your white paper in a clear and logical manner is essential for maintaining reader engagement and comprehension. Typically, a white paper includes the following sections:

  • Introduction to clearly define the problem or challenge you will address in the white paper. Provide context, background information, and an overview of what readers can expect to gain from reading it

  • Problem statement, which articulate the specific challenge or issue faced by the public sector and highlight its significance. Back up your claims with relevant data or real-world examples to strengthen the problem statement

  • Analysis and solutions, which present a comprehensive analysis of the problem, supported by research and evidence. Introduce your proposed solutions, highlighting their benefits and how they address the challenges faced by the public sector. Offer practical recommendations and actionable steps that can be implemented

  • Case studies and examples that demonstrate how your proposed solutions have been effective in the public sector. Provide concrete evidence of the positive impact of your solutions, showcasing your expertise and the potential benefits for potential buyers.

Encourage readers to take action or seek further engagement with your organisation.

Writing your white paper

  • Before even starting the development of your white paper, consider the target audience and how to tailor it to be valuable to this audience
  • Use clear language that your audience will understand and don't overcomplicate or add jargon
  • Have a clear structure - organising your white paper clearly with headings, sub-headings and sections means the reader will be more engaged
  • Use infographics and additional data where possible. Adding these elements breaks up text and offers a more visual perspective on the topic
  • Be concise - White papers are typically very focused documents that present information in a very logical way. This is for good reason, to avoid tangents and keep the reader absorbing the information
  • Leave the reader with clear take-aways from your white paper. Summarise key findings, use bullets and offer recommendations if possible.

In summary, when writing your white paper, strive for clarity, conciseness, and accessibility. Use language that is easy to understand for your target audience, avoiding unnecessary technical jargon or complex terminology. Break down complex concepts into digestible sections, utilising headings, subheadings, and bullet points to enhance readability and organisation. Incorporate visuals such as charts, graphs, or infographics to illustrate data or present information in a visually appealing manner.

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How can Thornton & Lowe help with your public sector sales and marketing approach?

Let our public sector-focused sales and marketing team:

  • Research your competition

  • Understand your buyer requirements and their ‘hot buttons’

  • Propose white paper topics that will generate interest and have a high search volume from an SEO perspective

  • Structure and develop the content, interviewing your technical team or subject matter experts to add further value

  • Design and finalise your white paper

  • Create a public sector marketing campaign to allow your business to maximise from the benefits of the white paper. See our Ultimate Guide to Public Sector Sales & Marketing, which can be found here

  • Help your business win more public sector contracts.

If you are considering whether you need a public sector sales & marketing strategy, see our recent blog - The Ultimate Guide to Public Sector Sales & Marketing.

Or maybe your business has successfully been awarded onto a public sector framework but wants to sell more through it. We've produced a whole range of services to help you with this - our Public Sector Sales & Marketing services!

By carefully selecting a relevant and compelling topic, conducting thorough research, organising your white paper effectively, and writing in a clear and concise manner, you can create an authoritative white paper that establishes your business as a thought leader in the public sector. Such a white paper will help you build strong relationships with public sector entities, demonstrate your expertise, and gain credibility among your target audience. Remember, the ultimate goal is to provide valuable insights and solutions that address the challenges faced by the public sector, positioning your organisation as a trusted partner in their endeavours. And once you have done and one and seen how effective it can be, we think you may just want to do it again!

Summary of key stages required when writing white papers to increase engage with the public sector, build authority and build relationships:

White Paper Development Stage


Stage 1: Choosing a Topic

Select a topic aligned with your expertise that addresses key challenges or trends in the public sector. Identify a subject that resonates with your target audience and offers valuable insights or solutions.

Stage 2: Conducting Thorough Research

Gather data, statistics, and information from reputable sources such as government reports, academic journals, and industry publications. Ensure your research is current, relevant, and properly cited.

Stage 3: Organising Your White Paper

Organise your white paper in a clear and logical manner. Include an introduction, problem statement, analysis and solutions, case studies and examples, and a conclusion that ties everything together.

Stage 4: Writing Your White Paper

Use clear and concise language accessible to your target audience. Avoid jargon and technical terminology. Employ headings, subheadings, and bullet points for readability. Incorporate visuals to enhance understanding.

You can find full details of our B2G, or public sector sales & marketing offer, by clicking here.

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