FORUM Guidelines

Writing Guidelines

To maintain the high quality of FORUM, all writers are asked to adhere to the writing guidelines below and to have their article proofread by at least one adviser and one Chapter member before submitting it to the editor in chief.

Please discuss the topic of your article or infographic with FORUM@prsa.org before submission to ease the writing and editing process for all parties. To become familiar with the types of articles FORUM publishes, review current and past issues. The FORUM team can also respond to questions about deadlines and other FORUM-related topics.

General Article Guidelines

  • Shoot for shorter, 300 – 500 word articles. Quality trumps quantity, so take extra time to edit articles of anything except the most valuable information.
  • Include a photo submission with each article if possible (See photo guidelines below).
  • Be creative. Incorporate bulleted lists, infographics and other visual elements.
  • Follow the PRSSA Style Guide and AP Style.

Style and Voice

  • Be professional and conversational in your tone. Stay clear and consistent. Show, don’t tell, your topic.
  • Always write in an active voice, using strong, active verbs. (Don’t say: “There was a presentation given by Matt.” Say: “Matt gave a presentation.”)

Citations and Facts

  • Ensure accuracy by double-checking names, confirming spelling, and including institutions responsible for, and dates of, any research or surveys cited in your article.
  • Attribute all quotes and properly identify the speaker.
  • When citing a survey or statistics, provide the proper name of the survey, who conducted it and the release date.

Grammar and Organization

  • Stay organized and focused. Be creative with subheads, lists and visual elements.
  • Vary sentence structure, providing a mix of simple, compound and complex sentences to avoid being redundant.
  • Be aware of agreement. (Refer to a company as “it,” not “they,” because “company” does not take the plural form.)

Photo Submission Guidelines

It is requested all writers consider submitting a photo with your article. Photos may also be submitted by those who have not written an article for future use in the publication.

If you have any questions about photography, or would like to submit photography for publication consideration, email FORUM@prsa.org.

  • Do not submit photos that appear blurry, out of focus or pixelated.
  • Do not submit photos with low megapixels or low quality. Submitted photos should be taken at the highest or second highest quality for the camera’s capabilities.
  • Photos should have a good balance of light (not too little or too much).
  • Be active! Get people and actions in the photos.
  • Get close. Photos can be cropped, but quality will be lost.
  • Try to use the Rule of Thirds for all photos.
  • Stay within the regular formats of photos when submitting. JPEG images are preferred.
  • Name the photo file in an understandable manner so it can be easily identified (ex. “PRSSA National Conference President’s Lunch.jpg”).
  • ALWAYS include a caption. Photos without a caption will not be used. Captions should be written in an active voice and cover the 5 W’s & H. Please include the photo credit for the photographer.