Content guidelines

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Posted by APM on 22nd Nov 2013

APM Blog
The APM blog aims to trigger discussions within the APM community. It does this by inviting bloggers to discuss topics of interest to the project management profession.

Bloggers wishing to join the APM blogging community will be assessed against the following criteria.

Posts should be relevant to the project management community.
Posts should aim to further discussion, debate etc.
Posts should be logical and have a coherent argument.
Posts should be interesting to read.

Creating blog posts

Structure
Every blog needs a structure – and there are key pieces of information it should include.

As a guide typical blog might include the following elements:

1. Headline – keep it brief; think of a catchy title that will catch the reader’s eye.
2. First paragraph – 35 words ‘selling’ the main interest of the article: who? what? when? why?
3. Following paragraphs – a natural progression of information.
4. Final paragraph – a summary of your central argument or theme.
5. Further information – include links to further reading, author biog etc.

Length – minimum 300 words, maximum 1000 words.

Style
Use plain English. Make sentences and headlines short and to the point and include keywords.
Try to write in a friendly and informal style. Use a personable style – use ‘I’ rather than ‘we’.

Choosing a topic
Before deciding whether something is worth writing about, consider what you are trying to achieve. Every story should serve a purpose and, in this particular case, answer one or more of the criteria listed above.

Always write with your audience in mind. Good blogs deliver a message in a way that strikes a chord with the reader.

The key question from the reader’s perspective is: What’s in it for me? It pays to keep on referring back to this when writing your blog.

The post should present a single idea rather than trying to fit in multiple arguments – these can be used to form future posts instead.

Content ideas
Here are some guidelines on possible subject areas:

  1. Give your spin on the latest news.
  2. Pull some interesting facts from your analytics or other market research
  3. Highlight new industry trends, new ways of working etc.
  4. Debunk a myth or misconception about your company or industry.
  5. Express your opinion on a controversial topic, or disagree with a commonly held belief.
  6. Write about changes you’re making to improve the profession, delivery of projects etc.
  7. Give a sneak preview of an upcoming product launch eg white paper, book etc.

Things to avoid
Provide your analysis of others’ content don’t repurpose it. In other words, don’t take credit for other people’s hard work.

Opinions should always be stated as opinions and must never be critical or demeaning of another person. Content should be responsible, fair and accurate.

Avoid overt commercial messages. No one wants the hard sell.

Direct promotional links.

Don’t waffle; keep it short and to the point.

NEVER lose sight of your audience. If it’s not relevant, interesting or thought provoking – what’s the point!

Dialogue after the blog
When the blog has been published it will be promoted on APM’s social media channels:

If you use Twitter and would like us to mention you then please send us your Twitter username.

If you are a member of the APM LinkedIn group and would prefer to post your blog yourself as a discussion rather than for us to do it then please let us know.

The promotion will be used to direct web traffic to the blog post on the APM website to encourage comments. In the LinkedIn forum it may also attract comment.

Blog comments
Please respond to blog comments in a timely manner, and also encourage colleagues or fellow committee members to chip in and help get the conversation started.

Get in touch if you would like to contribute.


Commercial content 
Commercial content is sometimes produced with funding from outside parties. One of two labels will appear on this content: ‘Sponsored by’ or ‘Supported by’.

Sponsored by – APM accepts paid-for content written by advertisers providing it is relevant to the project management profession and meets APM’s blog and style guidelines. All content is reviewed by APM to look at its suitability and APM has the final say on whether the content is published. APM may also have a say in suggesting the types of topics covered. 

Supported by – ‘Supported by’ is used to describe editorially independent content. We accept funding from third parties both for new projects and for content we are already producing. Before funding is agreed with a client, APM will assess its suitability and have the final say on whether a funding deal is accepted.

Comments on this site are moderated. Please allow up to 24 hours for your comment to be published on this site. Thank you for adding your comment.
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