First, thanks for thinking of us!
TLNT is the Human Resources profession's invaluable destination to explore topics that matter to HR practitioners.
Our articles come from a variety of contributors - everyone from professional journalists, to subject-matter experts, to columnists, commentators and HR practitioners themselves.
We value this diversity. Curating content from as wide a group of writers as possible is what makes TLNT such a valuable resource for the HR profession.
However, we only want to publish articles that are timely, insightful, and thought-provoking.
Our high-quality, original and information-packed content is what makes readers come back to us again and again.
So if you want to submit an article for publication — but are unsure what we look for — be unsure no more!
We've compiled the following guide to take you through some of the most commonly asked questions:
Give us your elevator pitch first. There's nothing worse than you writing something that you think is great, but which doesn't quite work for our audience.
Avoid this disappointment by giving us your quick two or three sentence elevator pitch. Concisely explain your big idea (can you sum it up in a great headline? - that typically catches our eye), including what you want to cover and why it matters now.
If we like the sound of it, we'll get back to you, and ask to expand on it. If it doesn't quite hit the mark, we'll maybe suggest how there's other ways you can refine it. The key is the idea. It may just need tweaking, but at least we have something we can work on.
Give us the "why?". Any idea needs to have relevance to our readers — that is, HR professionals: people who work in talent management, development, training, benefits etc.
It's essential your piece has a reason for being. Ask yourself — is this something that impacts HR people's lives, and why do they need to know about it? Typically this means you might be able to demonstrate new thinking about a particular topic, new research, new legislation, etc.
Have readers heard about it before? We get it, certain topics are recurring, and it's important that they are regularly covered. But if you're writing about a familiar HR topic, it's even more important you give it a new slant.
TLNT's reputation for presenting new ideas, and creating content readers won't have seen elsewhere is what keeps visitors coming back to us. They'll switch off if they're finding generic, rehashed ideas that they can find anywhere else. If you're presenting familiar topics, they need a new spin; ideally your submissions need to surprise and delight, by presenting a totally new idea.
This is not about you, so no sales pieces please! OK, if you're a columnist, it is about you, but broadly, any submissions need to think about the reader and what useful information we can give them that they can take away. Articles shouldn't be marketing puff.
We get lots of proposals from providers — often because they really want to sell a product of service. But, if you're a provider of an HR product or service, submissions need to be smarter than that. We can spot plugs for your services a mile away so don't do it! The best way to sell yourself is as a thought-leader about a particular topic. That will give you kudos. A sales pitch disguised as an article will not!
Don't be dry; be authoritative; try to sparkle. We want content that's readable, but authoritative.
Unless you're an actual journalist, we're not expecting journalist-quality copy. That's what we're here to do in the editing process. What we do ask, however, is that your pieces have a certain gravitas about them - one that conveys authority and that it comes from a subject-matter expert.
Giving us access to someone is just as likely to get you noticed. Sometimes you don't need to write anything at all! Granting us access is just as good.
Some of our best pieces come from exclusive interviews with people about a particular topic. So, pitching us an interview opportunity with your CEO or HRD, or head of L&D is also music to our ears (and less work for you).
Think ahead. If you're presenting an idea, will it land with us at the right time? For instance, is there new HR legislation landing in the next month that we could coincide your piece with? Is there an awareness month coming up? etc.. If you can time your article with something relevant, it helps us plan a publishing date.
Word counts matter, but it's the idea that counts most. We run pieces in a variety of lengths — so if you've got a piece that suits more of a long-form article, that's fine. Similarly, if you have a shorter piece, that's fine too, as people like variety. It's the idea that matters most.
OK... we sense you still want guidance about word-count. Typically articles are a minimum of 750 words. Most hover around 1,000-1,200. But don't feel like you need to stick to that. Our best advice is to write your piece to a length that it naturally finishes at. Padding out a piece to hit an arbitrary word count won't improve it.
Send pictures with your pieces. If you can give us everything we need, all at once, you get elevated to super contributor status! It's just better being sent everything in one go: pictures, author headshots and supporting graphics.
- Use data and charts and empirical evidence. Stats, data, and research typically mean your piece has something new to say, and also gives the article a visual lift.
- Interview experts. If you can pepper your piece with expert comments — other HRDs, academics, etc., that's all the better.
- Use real-life examples. Case studies bring stories to life. If you can show real-world examples, it gives your articles more color.
- Fact check. We edit very carefully, and will check to ensure submissions are factually correct. But help us by checking your content before it comes to us.
- If you quote data, provide the source.We like hyperlinking to relevant sources, so include any data sources you provide.
- Deep-dive. One topic dealt with in detail is better than glossing over lots of topics quickly.
- Send us stuff that's already on your own personal/company blog. We don't want recycled copy. If your content is already up online somewhere else, we won't republish it.
- Ditch the old '5-ways to...' trick. We're finding people are moving away from this type of article, because it typically doesn't tend to say anything new, and often recycles existing content that's already out there.
- Overpopulate with too many links to other sites. We'll typically point people to research, or any useful sources, but we prefer not to link back to suppliers' sites.
What are you waiting for? Get in touch…
If you're still reading this, you're clearly someone that has an eye for detail.
So what are you waiting for? If you think you've got a brilliant idea, and a flare for being able to write about it in a clear and non-salesy way, we definitely want to hear from you.
We look forward to hearing from you!