Thought Leadership Writing & Style Guide for Exclusive Content on FE News
With a maximum of 10 articles in a week, our Main Feature articles are all exclusive to FE News.
As commissioner of the works, FE News will retain “all rights reserved”. FE News encourage you to share your article across your social networks, but to publish it in full on your own site, please credit FE News as the original source of the article, and include a link to the original article. Google encourages republished material to make use of canonical, so they can better identify the original content and credit it appropriately.
Non-exclusive thought leadership / Op-Ed articles can be published in our Featured Voices section, this is still at the top of the site, “above the fold,” but articles can be shorter (from 400 words), less editorial than feature articles, and include non-exclusive content such as corporate blogs, speech transcripts, sector responses, podcasts etc.
We will need a supporting image (landscape, at least 750x570px), the Name, Job title, and company of the author, ideally with a short bio.
400-600 words: Exclusive content that is less than 600 words can be published in the featured voices section.
600-2000 words: Feature articles need to be 600 - 2000 words and be exclusive to FE News.
You will be able to share the article on social networks, but to publish it in full on your own site, please credit FE News and provide a link to the original article.
2000+ words: If your article is longer than 2000 words), we recommend breaking the story up into multiple parts to run as a mini-series. A Mini-series is also recommended for several articles covering the same theme, such as a newly released report.
As commissioner of the works, FE News will retain “all rights reserved.” If you prefer to retain the copyright for your article we can publish it as non-exclusive content under our FE Voices section. We will need a supporting image (landscape, at least 750x570px) the Name, Job title and company of the author and ideally a short bio.
Titles & Formatting
Titles: Your Headline and first paragraph are especially important in digital publishing. This will be the only text that the audience sees when they first encounter your article. Try to make these self explanatory, but enticing enough to encourage the reader to click through to read your article in its entirety.
Subheadings: Use subheadings to break up the text and make your article easier to read by having a subheading for every two or three paragraphs. Using <h3> headers is ideal. Make these bold.
Social Meta: We recommend making sure any relevant tags, such as #HashTags or @TwitterHandles are included in your first line of text as a subtitle, this will maximise your social engagment. Since implementing this technique FE News has seen our Twitter impressions more than double from 500,000 impressions per month to over 1 million impressions per month.
References: Please use appropriate links to research or other references. Links that are already available on the FE News site will be prioritesed.
Hyperlinks: When using links within your article, choose the option to open the link in a new tab where possible.
Meta Description & Keywords: If you are using the article upload form there is the option to include your meta data. If you are submitting you article via email, the default meta data is the title and / or the author of the article, but you can request specific meta data by including this clearly in your email.
Lead images: All articles need to have an accompanying image, usually a head shot of the author. These need to be landscape, and at least 750px by 570px.
Inline images: Inline images can be included in your article. These can be either embedded via a web link url, or uploaded to the FE News website. If you upload images, please make sure that you have the necessary License and the appropriate permission to share them on our site.
- Credits and Captions: Please include image caption, credits and / or license details under your images.
- Format: Images need to be less than 1mb, and can be .jpg or .gif (Only inline images will animate, not lead images).
- Size: Provided they are less than 1mb file size, lead images will be resized to 750px width, and inline images will be resized to 100% screen width.
- Alt text: Include alt text for images that describes what is pictured.
- Social Tagging: If you wish to include inline videos, tweets, or podcasts, add the full url into the text and these can be embedded.
For the sake of consistency, please aim to:
- Spell out acronyms the first time they are used
- Write out numbers below 10 (i.e. nine, eight, and seven)
- Place periods and commas inside quotation marks and outside of brackets
- Use capitals after colons
- Use capitals after bullet points
Solution Based Articles
People can be tempted to focus on their own products or organisation, however we have found that your relationship with the audience is strongest when you share something useful that showcases your perception and understanding of the relevant issues.
Building brand trust and authenticity is a natural by-product of establishing individual expertise in relevant subject areas. This is an excellent content marketing strategy, which motivates the audience to do their own further research into your company by demonstrating your competence without blowing your own trumpet.
Having a solution based perspective, we do have articles aimed at prospective students, or employers new to apprenticeships, but the majority of our content is geared towards peer to peer thought leadership pieces in education and employment strategy and policy.
One approach to producing a solution based article is to use SPIN:
- Situation – Explain a situation that affects many people
- Problem – Explain why this is a problem in particular
- Implication – Explain the longer term implications if this problem isn’t resolved
- Need – Suggest a solution, or course of action that could be put in place to work towards a resolution
About the FE News Audience
FE News has 79,874 unique monthly visitors (Oct 2019), and over 2.5M page views per year (2019), mainly key decision makers, senior management, executives and policy makers in the FE, HE, Skills, Apprenticeship / Work Based Learning and Employability sector. We have over 31,000 followers on social media as well as 25,000 LinkedIn connections, and over 3500 Newsrooms registered on FE News.
Specialising in peer-to-peer, thought leadership analysis of current affairs and recent development within the Training, Skills and Employability sector, in 2018 FE News was included in the top 90 most influential STEM publications in the world!
Publishing & Deadlines
If there is an embargo you would like used, write it clearly at the top of the text.
We don’t have deadlines at FE News, instead we schedule news for publication as it becomes available.
We can pencil in articles in advance if you have a specific publication date in mind, for example to coincide with an event, announcement, or research publication.
Otherwise we usually schedule the publication date for 5 to 10 days after we receive it, depending on the forward features list at that time.
Here is the FE News outline Editorial Calendar, this is very flexible and we are very happy to take other topic suggestions:
- January - Skills gaps / mismatch and the power of data and business intelligence to drive growth and unlock value
- February - T Levels, STEM Skills and Technical Education / National Apprenticeship Week
- March - Mentoring, Coaching, Incubators and Entrepreneurship
- April - Disruptive Technology, EdTech and the Fourth Educational Revolution
- May - The Global Skills Agenda - also at a Regional Level, Adult Education Budget (AEB) Devolution, Industrial Strategy etc.
- June - Vocational Training, Adult Learners, CPD, and the Value of Education / lifelong learning
- July - Productivity, including 20% Off The Job Training / 4 day week
- August - Exams and reducing the attainment gap - Inclusion, Equality and Diversity, including Social Justice / mobility
- September - Careers Information Advice & Guidance Policy / The Future of Employment and an Ageing Workforce
- October - The role of education in the community, widening participation and SEND
- November - Skills Shows, Competitions and Celebrations
- December - Wellbeing in the workplace, and in education