Content guidelines

Our platforms it-executive.nl (Dutch) and cioday.com (English) are aimed at C-level decision-makers at the largest companies and institutions in the Benelux region with an affinity for IT, digitization, sourcing, and leadership. These websites provide this audience with background stories, interviews, and opinions.

Target group

Please keep our audience in mind. Make sure your text matches content and language with decision-makers at C-level, who do not necessarily have a heavy technical background. It is good to remember that from the perspective of a decision-maker, the supplier usually plays a supporting role. A provider that positions itself at the forefront will cause annoyance rather than interest. When you focus on the challenge of our target group, your story will be read better.

A paid post may not have direct commercial intentions. If you want to propagate a purely commercial message, an advertorial is an appropriate medium.

When the editors believe that an article is very current, relevant, and neutral, we may publish it without the ‘partner article’ notice and it will become part of the editorial content (indicating author information including company/organization, weblink, and LinkedIn profile).

Our publications are in Dutch and English. We do accept articles in other languages and can have them translated, for which we charge market rates.

Conditions

By submitting an article to the editors for publication, you agree to the following:

  • the author retains full copyright to the work;
  • the article has not been published before;
  • publication does not violate a duty of confidentiality;
  • the author will not publish the article elsewhere without written permission from the publisher (Rob Beijleveld, ICT Media).

Please note, these conditions do not apply to advertorials.

Content

We would like to see the following in submitted content:

  • Preferably opinion-oriented.
  • An approach or point of view should be central to your piece, not the company or the stakeholder.
  • A logical structure of the story (from gripping introduction to conclusion).
  • Narrative form. Keep bullet lists (like these) limited.

What we’d rather not receive from you:

  • Stories in interview form or interviews with someone from your organization or yourself (you could do this in advertorial format, but this is rather unusual). An interview with a customer for an interesting case is the exception, but then we would like to see that the interview has been conducted by a professional third party so that it is neutral.

Editorial matters

You can specify the exact subject in consultation with the editors (using a synopsis).

For an online article, our rule of thumb is 900 words (just under 2 A4), for an online column, 500 words.

There are no hard deadlines. We do, however, look for the best publication moment, taking into account previously published articles by the same author or partner.

Changes and corrections

We reserve the right to reject articles and/or request a revised version and to make changes that we may or may not communicate depending on the importance of these changes.

For example: if we think substantive changes are necessary, or delete complete sentences or rewrite them completely, we always submit the revised text for approval before we proceed to publication.

If we simplify sentences to make them easier to read or make changes to punctuation, capitalization, or spelling, we will not notify you. We might change headings as well, all without further notice.

Style

Use a neutral writing style, preferably written in the third person (singular or plural).

As far as possible, avoid the passive voice and avoid wordy sentence structures. This makes a text more accessible and concise.

Avoid academic formulations, such as references to the article itself, such as in the following sentence:

In this article, we will look at the three common approaches to this problem.

Keep it a little more casual:

Below we discuss the three common approaches to this problem.

Headings, intro, paragraphs

We are happy to receive a headline, but the editors decide. Provide a short, catchy headline that contains as many of the keywords you use in the intro as possible. Leave company or product names out completely.

Keep the intro ultra-short and to the point so that readers immediately see what your story is about. Incorporate three or four keywords in the first sentence, if possible. An intro is ideally no longer than 50 words – like this paragraph. We add the excess to the body text.

On-screen, readers are more likely to skip large chunks of text. Therefore, keep paragraphs short. This comes down to a maximum of 5 lines (about 65 words); about half of what is usual for printed texts. You can add subheadings, based on your keywords, for readability and SEO.

Author’s credit

We state the author’s name at the top of the page and again at the bottom of the text, together with job title/role and organization, in the following format:

[First Name Last Name] is [job title] at [Organisation]. We write the job title in lower case. As a rule, we do not mention academic titles.

With partner content, we can list the partner organization as ‘author’ at the top of the article, while at the bottom we include the author’s information (name, job title, and company/organization).

We like to make an exception for very well-written articles: we place them preferably directly under the name of the author, with the author’s information clearly showing the function and company/organization at the bottom. In all cases, the name of the partner organization is included as a tag for findability.

Please note that we cannot publish an article that has not been written by the editorial team while mentioning (anyone on) the editorial team unless there are several authors. In that case, we will briefly mention these in the intro and more extensively at the bottom of the piece (job title and organization and possibly links to LinkedIn).

Footnotes and links

We do not post footnotes. Please use external links instead, but don’t overdo it. Links to content-relevant parts on a website of your organization are fine (such as a blog post, report, or white paper, but preferably not a general page). Try to balance these with links to third parties, this is beneficial for the SEO.

Text frames

Indicate any framing texts in the text using <FRAME>…</FRAME>. These texts should be no more than a fifth of the total word count.

Format

Only use plain text with at most some words in italics where this makes sense, avoid underlined and bold text and ALL CAPS (in headings for example).

Images

We require a royalty-free image with a minimum width of 1080 x 608 pixels. If necessary, include the name of the photographer or creator at the end of the file name. The editors and the designers check the quality of this material. We cannot guarantee its publication.

Please note that we do not post photos of authors, infographics, or logos as the main image for an article.

We do need either a square company logo or profile picture of the author at 200 x 200 pixels though.

 

Common missteps

We often receive drafts that need quite a bit of work. Try to avoid the following:

  • A long introduction instead of a catchy intro.
  • The first sentences consist of clichés. Come straight to the point instead and offer more context later on if necessary.
  • Formal language.
  • No real conclusion. Please note: a simple summary is not a conclusion. A conclusion with the core message, in which the opinion is incorporated, is often sufficient.

Four things that save us a lot of work:

  1. Use capital letters only for proper names and never for nouns (agile, cloud, big data, smart city, smart factory, scrum, et cetera).
  2. Spell out numbers under 10, and use digits for numbers that are 10 and above.
  3. Write currency names in lowercase (euros, dollars). Do not use currency signs.
  4. Write ‘percent’ and do not use a %-sign, except for percentages in parentheses.