writing guidelines


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WRITING GUIDELINES a. Defer to G3 Editorial Style Guidelines (below) first, and then use AP Style, unless the client specifies otherwise. b. Do not indent paragraphs; include an extra line between paragraphs. c. Follow the approved abstract/outline supplied by your project’s Managing Editor (ME) as closely as possible. If you determine during the research/ writing process that the first draft will not closely follow the abstract/outline, please consult your ME for instructions/ advice as soon as possible and before completing the first draft. d. At the start of the project, confirm whether or not the project sponsor/client will be directly quoted in the paper. Is the paper a neutral, thought leadership piece or is it a sponsor-oriented piece?

e. Identify all third-party sources that will be cited, either via interview or previously published quotes or stats. Let the ME know if you have trouble reaching sources referenced in the abstract/outline. f. Unless otherwise specified by the project sponsor/client (and confirmed by your Managing Editor), do not reference competitors and/or customers/case studies that are not customers of the project sponsor/client. g. Send first draft, by stated deadline, to your Managing Editor, who will then review/edit the piece and send it to the project sponsor/client or send it back to you for additional work. h. Double check spelling of all company names and interviewee names quoted in the paper.

EDITORIAL STYLE GUIDELINES Common Terms: B2B best-in-class click-through E-book E-commerce email (one word, lowercase, no hyphen) high-tech Internet (should always be capitalized) Internet of Things smartphone lead generation (or lead gen) lead nurturing lead scoring website white paper Commas & Punctuation: In a series of three or more, do not use a comma before the word “and.” Example: The company offers loyal customers targeted deals, discounts and coupons. In a bulleted list, use semicolons at the end of each point, the word “and” after the next-to-last bullet and a period at the end of the final point. Example: Here are tips to optimize your sales and marketing alignment: • Enable marketing to focus on building higher-quality relationships with prospects and higher-quality leads for sales; • Make sales more efficient and effective; • Create a “single revenue cycle;” and • Create higher customer satisfaction.

Numbers: Spell out numbers one through nine, and use numerals for 10 and above. However, when listing statistics and percentages, use the number (8%, 5.4%, 400%). For example: The company streamlined its inventory operations and increased sales by 7% in Q1 2010. Symbols: Use the % sign; do not write out the word “percent”. Reserve use of the ampersand (&) only for headlines and subheads – but on a very limited basis. (Try not to use it.) Do not include ampersands in body copy, unless it is part of an official product or company name. For example: The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation increased leads by 50%.

Attribution: • Use past tense (said, not says). • List a person’s title after his or her name, and capitalize the title. • Abbreviate common C-level and seniorlevel executive titles. Spell out companyspecific titles. For example: CEO, CMO, SVP or Chief Revenue Officer. • Refer to the source by last name only in all subsequent references. • Italicize the names of reports and research studies. In its May 2011 report, Business Intelligence Command and Control for the Chief Supply Chain Officer, The Aberdeen Group found that best-in-class organizations share common characteristics pertaining to internal data roles and the use of technology. • Do not start a sentence with a person’s name unless that person is a prominent individual and would be the draw for a person reading the sentence. Instead, write the key information, then attribute after.

First reference example: “We believe less than 25% of those who have marketing automation are taking full advantage of the system’s functionality,” said John Neeson, Founder and CEO of B2B Company. Always attribute after the first sentence. For example: “When I was the president of a marketing software company, people bought the technology thinking it would miraculously transform content,” said Ardath Albee, BtoB Marketing Strategist. “It just doesn’t work that way.” Upon second reference (and every reference thereafter), attribute this way: “In order for marketing to do its job, your website has to be reoriented for your buyers,” Albee said.

Miscellaneous Style and Wording Guidelines: • When using a dash within a sentence, use the em-dash ( — ) with one space before and after. • When writing out a date, spell out the months: March, April, May, June and July. Otherwise, abbreviate them: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. Examples: July 11, 2011 or Nov. 11, 2011 • Time-Date-Place Rule: When composing a sentence, follow this general rule. Pacific Sunwear will begin its holiday sale at midnight on Nov. 25, 2011, at the Garden State Plaza Mall. • Use “its” rather than “their” when referring to a company. (Duane Reade opened its flagship store on Wall Street.) But generally try to avoid using “its;” instead, rewrite the sentence another way. (The Duane Read flagship store recently opened on Wall Street.) • When referring to quarterly results, use Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4. Do not write out the word “quarter”. The company doubled its revenue in Q2 2011. • Subheads should be initial caps and boldfaced: This Is The Correct Way To Write A Subhead • Do not use the term “We” (“We” meaning “Retail TouchPoints,” “Demand Creation Specialists,” etc.) when describing what to expect in the white paper or E-book. Find an active way to describe the concept.

• Do not start a sentence with the word “And”. • It is OK to correct bad grammar in a quote. • Do not use possessives when referring to a company (JCPenney’s, for example). Find another way to write the sentence. • Please always do a “spell check” before sending a document draft for editing. • Always double check company and source name spellings before sending a document draft for editing. • Use “more than” instead of “over” when referring to numbers or percentages. • Use “approximately” instead of “about”. *Note: Client preference supercede these guidelines in some instances. Questions should be directed to the ME. *Note: Writers may generally follow AP Style, unless otherwise noted on this style sheet.