If your company or organization is trying to influence a political issue that isn’t well-understood, advocacy white papers can provide a concise review of the alternatives with a clear case for the advantages of your stance. That’s especially true when the people who are making decisions about what matters to you don’t know as much as they should about the topic or are being bombarded with misleading information from the “other side.” You can use a white paper to educate them, so they look at the issue with a fresh perspective.
When advocacy white papers can help
As an example, some time back, our state’s governor and several key legislators made claims that school districts were spending too much on construction. They pointed to the average cost of schools in surrounding states, along with what it cost to build other types of buildings, and proposed legislation that would put severe limits on local districts. Many in the media were repeating the legislators’ claims as though they were facts.
Creating advocacy white papers
A group of architects, contractors, engineers, and others who were involved with school projects came together to create an organization to oppose the legislation and educate legislators, reporters, and other key stakeholders about the reality of school construction. We worked with them to create a white paper that explained why apples-to-apples comparisons with other states were impossible and misleading.
Advocacy white papers share key facts
The paper was written in layman’s language and included charts comparing the state to surrounding states. It shared statistics from independent sources proving that what the state’s districts were spending was actually less than their counterparts in many areas of county. It also explored the complexities and challenges associated with school construction, detailing why, for example, a 100,000 square foot school costs significantly more to build than a 100,000 square foot warehouse.
Armed with that information, legislators were better able to evaluate the proposed legislation and create less-restrictive alternatives.