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June 10, 2008

MEETINGS REVIEW STYLE GUIDE




 

Welcome aboard MEETINGS:review

We think it's great that you and your colleagues are providing content for one of our regions and would like to help you to get the most out of the :review brand.


A FEW STYLE POINTS…

By looking at the features and news stories currently on the channel, you will get an idea of the style of headline and standfirst that we use.


News
News stories simply need a classic 'active' headline, and the 'intro' text is the same as the first paragraph of body text and requires a full stop at the end – the intro only appears on the home page.

If possible, these pieces should be no more than 500 words and ideally closer to 300. As is usually the case, all quotes should be in the past tense.


Features
Feature headlines have two parts. First there's a short tag in caps, followed by a colon and a short snappy descriptive line. For example:

EGYPTIAN  SHIFT: Egypt to embrace luxury brand values
GULF WATCH: Middle East embraces the meetings culture
SECURITY CONSCIOUS: Looking after number one
SHORT HAUL SHOCK: Why Canada is closer than you think

The 'intro' text in the case of features should do the job of a traditional standfirst,  introducing the piece, and should not be repeated in the first line of the 'main' text. It is also essential that features are written as prose and not as Q&As, as this style is covered by the video interviews.

It is also important that features should be no more than around 1,000 words. This is due to the attention span of online viewers.

For features that have been written for magazines and are longer than this, we suggest you either cut them back or carefully split them over two or, at most, three pieces, which can be run over consecutive weeks. For example, the main piece could be followed by the case studies. Or the concept can be introduced, the approach described and finally examples given.
 
This is possible on the internet because each piece is can be interlinked and also flagged up clearly on our weekly e-alerts. Finally, quotes in features are always in the present tense and subheads (bolded up) can be inserted where relevant.


Opinions
Finally, we'd be happy to receive opinion pieces from any of your industry contacts in the region. These must be around 500-750 words, and can be on a subject of the writer's choosing, as long as it is an issue facing the company in the region or their clients. It should not overtly sell the writer's company.

When these are uploaded, they are flagged as a feature, and the headline is previewed by OPINION, which is inserted in the 'Mark Optional' section in the 'title' line. The title then consists of the writer's name and then a short, snappy  headline describing the article.

The intro then acts like a standfirst, but only includes the job title of the writer and not their name. At the end of the main text, is always a line crediting the piece, consisting of the writer's name, their job title and company name such as: John Smith is the managing director of ME events (and this should be in italics).

Opinion pieces are always in the first person, and subheads (bolded up) can be inserted where relevant.

Here’s an example of an Opinion headline and intro:
OPINION Matt Storey: Late booking is the least cost-effective approach to event planning
One of Eventia’s board directors looks at the pitfalls of leaving booking event facilities to the last minute and suggests ways suppliers themselves can help.


Uploading protocol
The channel consists of a global home page and regional sub sections. You will control your region’s content, but nothing should be uploaded onto the global home page. We will dip into the region pull out news stories and features for the global home page.

It is important that when populating your region with content, that you carefully plan the articles over a period of time, so that articles appear at regular intervals, rather than popping up in one lump.

Furthermore, news stories should be timed to appear for one week before being archived, and features one month – this can be controlled using the date fields in the CMS article loading page.


General :review house style
No US spellings (no 'z' for 's' for example)
No initial caps for job titles – managing director
Colons instead of commas before the start of speech
Line space between each paragraph
% sign not per cent spelled out
Numbers are spelled out up to and including nine, numerals thereafter
Dates: 4 June 2005
Money: £4 million (can be abbreviated to £4m in headlines only)
Government: The Government; a government initiative


Finally…
Welcome once again to one of the most exciting forms of media, and we hope you enjoy working on MEETINGS:review as much as we do. Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any queries.

Cheers

Ian and Pete
Joint editors in chief
:review

ian@eventsreview.com
pete@eventsreview.com


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