White papers quote experts for many reasons and doing so is often a good idea. There are a number of advantages to quoting experts in your white papers, including these:
White papers quote experts internal and external
You may have subject matter experts (SMEs) within your organization and quoting them within your white paper is a way to share their knowledge and perspectives on key issues affecting your customers and prospects. There are also SMEs outside your organization who may be well-regarded in your industry and who won’t object to having their quotes used in your white paper.
Quoting experts lends credibility
Anyone can make a statement and people may or may not believe it. But when readers see a statement attributed to someone they recognize and trust as an expert, it gives that statement more credibility. That’s especially true when the SME you’re quoting is widely acknowledged as an authority on the subject your white paper is exploring.
You benefit from their reputation
If the SMEs you’re quoting are well-known in their industries, whether that’s because they’ve published key articles or research or frequently speak at conferences and workshops, quoting them in your white paper creates a “halo effect” through which their reputation enhances yours. The fact they’re willing to be quoted in your white paper tells readers they have respect for your organization and are comfortable associating themselves with you.
Experts benefit from exposure
When you quote SMEs in your white paper, you enhance their reputation by sharing their messages with a wider audience. That’s particularly beneficial for SMEs within your organization, who may be invited to speak at conferences or other events because of the expertise they demonstrate in your white paper. As your internal SME’s industry profile grows, your company’s reputation will also benefit.
Links your organization with others
Even if your organization doesn’t have a formal working relationship or affiliation with the SME’s employer, quoting them in your white paper creates the impression your organizations are strongly connected. If the SME’s employer is well-regarded in the marketplace, that perceived connection will enhance your organization’s value.
Get permission first
It’s critically important to get permission from SMEs before quoting them in a white paper to ensure they don’t have a problem with it. It also gives you the opportunity to ensure you’re quoting them accurately. Even if they’ve been widely quoted elsewhere, they’ll appreciate the courtesy of your request. One way to get permission is to send them a brief email along these lines:
Mr. Jones, we’re developing a white paper about radish production alternatives, and we’d like to include a quote from your recent presentation at the Rochester Radish Roundup, as follows: “We’ve found that cross-cutting produces 63 percent less waste than spiral coring,” noted Chuck Jones of Perky Produce at this year’s Rochester Radish Roundup. He added, “Less waste ultimately leads to lower production costs.”