For any member of staff or volunteer (‘Contributor’) of the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal (‘CIUSSS’) who proposes an article for 360.
The periodic publication representing and serving over 10,000 staff members and 2,000 volunteers from sites throughout our healthcare network requires standards to ensure quality, accessibility and timely publication.
Articles featured in the internal newsletter should give staff from throughout the CIUSSS a sense of belonging while also reflecting their diversity. The Editor-in-chief (‘Editor’) is responsible for ensuring that 360 content has the widest possible relevance, and is informative, interesting, inspiring.
Potential Contributors who wish to propose a topic or submit an article that they have written for publication may not be well-acquainted with the raison d’être and style criteria of 360, and are seldom trained as writers, and may therefore benefit from access to instruction(s).
360 articles are written in a neutral narrator’s voice, free from editorialization. If a judgment is made or opinion expressed (eg. ‘this outstanding program was developed by remarkably dedicated team members’), this must be attributed via quotation. Information reflecting clinical or technical expertise must also be delivered in a quotation by a qualified professional.
A potential Contributor should ideally contact the Editor or Site Editor (a member of the Department of Communications and Media Relations (C&MR) who is the site-specific contact for Contributors) via Outlook to propose an article. A typical delay in publication of the article following this initial contact is 4 weeks.
If they mutually decide that the Contributor will write the article, the Editor/Site Editor will discuss with the Contributor the best presentation of the topic to ensure that it is timely, relevant, interesting etc. to staff CIUSSS-wide. Technical requirements will also be addressed.
Note that the Contributor must obtain the consent of their supervisor at the earliest possible stages, ideally before the article has been written.
Submissions that have been pre-approved by the Editor/Site Editor will be prioritized over articles submitted without prior notification. The newsworthiness of the article is a factor in the Editor’s selection, with a delay of up to 3 months. For instance, if an event has taken place or program has been launched in January, the related article should ideally appear no later than a springtime edition.
Deadlines are determined on an individual basis, and communicated to the Contributor by the Editor or Site Editor. If the Contributor cannot deliver all the material needed for publication before the agreed-upon deadline, the Editor or Site Editor may delay publication of the article.
Once an article has been written, either by the Contributor, Editor or Site Editor, a draft will only be returned to the Contributor for their review at the discretion of the Editor. To avoid delays to publication, the Editor will return an article for revision only if there is any doubt as to factual/technical content. The Contributor must revise strictly for factual a/o technical content, and not modify the style of the article. If the Contributor forwards the draft to other members of their team for comments, s/he is also responsible for integrating any changes requested and returning a single draft to the Editor. It is the responsibility of the Contributor to submit the revised article to the Editor by an agreed-upon deadline so that it can be published in the agreed-upon timeframe. If the changes are substantial and not in keeping with the accessibility requirements of the newsletter, publication of the article may be delayed.
Instructions to Contributors
Contributor to confirm upon initial contact with Editor or Site Editor:
• Length (approximate word count)
• Accompanying material (photos, graphics, URLs)
• Authorship / voice (eg first person, third person address)
• Deadline to submit all material
• Authorization from Director, Associate Director or supervisor
Quotations by staff members greatly enhance the appeal of an article, and are necessary if opinions are expressed or professional advice provided. Tips for including quotations:
• Favour staff ‘on the ground’ to managers
• Use colloquial language, free from jargon and abstractions
• Provide credible examples drawn from direct experience
• Ensure that staff member quoted has authority to speak on the matter
• Provide full bilingual title and name of staff member quoted
Contributor must supply all employee names in full and correctly spelled, along with English and French job titles (to the discretion of the Editor to include). If no official English version exists, a translation will be provided by the C&MR.
Contributor must specify any official titles or names of departments, units, groups, campaigns, projects etc. in full and correctly spelled, in both English and French.
The Editor advises Contributor to provide contact information (eg Outlook address, telephone number) for readers who wish to contact / follow up with Contributor / source.
All acronyms must be spelled out in full on first mention and provided in both languages.
Contributor should avoid technical terms or jargon that would be obscure to readers outside of their field of specialty, offer definitions, explanations and specific examples.
Roles and responsibilities
The Editor and Site Editors of the publication are responsible for providing guidance to staff members seeking to contribute articles to 360.
The Contributor is responsible for conforming to Instructions (*see 5). Respect for agreed-upon deadlines is paramount. The Editor will send one reminder email a/o leave one reminder telephone message if there is any material forthcoming. Failure for the Contributor to respond may delay publication of the article.
The C&MR Translator will be responsible for all French content to ensure consistent style and accessibility. Articles submitted in French will be fully revised by Translator in conformity with 360 standards. Articles written in English will be translated into French by Translator.