Staffing Management

Workforce Magazine Guidelines for Writers and Contributors

By Staff Report

Sep. 7, 2011

Workforce Magazine Guidelines for Writers and Contributors

    In print and online, Workforce Magazine covers HR issues through news, blogs and feature stories. In features, we often focus on how organizations manage a major asset—the company’s people—to maximize contribution to the bottom line. This is HR that is focused on business results, not on HR for its own sake. In our print publication, we write to senior-level human resources executives and C-level leaders who make workforce management decisions for the 20,000 largest corporations in the U.S. Our online content speaks to a broader HR audience, but the intent is always the same: We believe that there is no more critical element to a business and its success than its employees.

    What we want from freelance writers, contributors and PR people pitching story ideas

    Most of our stories are written by our staff, with contributions from other Crain Communications publications. We do work with a small group of freelance writers, and are always on the lookout for journalists who can craft stories for our very specific audience. Our stories are timely and news-driven and offer insights to our audience on how they can better do their jobs as strategic HR leaders.

    If you are a publicist for an organization with a great HR program, we want to hear from you—an e-mail outlining the story idea is best. You might also consider applying for the Workforce Magzine Optimas Awards, which recognize outstanding HR initiatives that drive bottom-line business results.

    If you are a PR person for a company that markets HR products or services, and the company’s clients have impressive stories to tell concerning their success with those products and services, we’re interested in hearing about them. While we do not publish publicist-written case studies, we do read them as background for developing our own stories, if you are willing to share them with us on that basis.

    Before pitching us, freelancers and publicists should become familiar with our Web site and our print publication. Please read our stories—several of them—to get a sense of what makes a Workforce Magazine article work. Here are some examples of what we consider signature Workforce Magazine articles. (If you’re not a registered user of our site, you’ll probably need to register to access these stories; registration is free, and just takes a minute. You’ll be redirected to the registration page from the article links if registration is necessary.):

here). Our Web site readers run the gamut, from high-level HR leaders at big companies to managers working in organizations of fewer than 500 people, so we look for clear, nontechnical, nonpromotional, jargon-free writing and a count of 1,000 or so words. Here are some examples of good commentary pieces:

A Benchmark Is Not a Scalpel

Is It Time to Reboot Your Defined-Contribution Plan?

Employer Stock in the 401(k) Plan: Handle With Care

Zero Tolerance for Jerks

Bearing Blame

Sharing Blame

Legal articles

    We publish contributed articles on employment-law topics on our Web site, in the channel called Legal Insight. These are most generally written by attorneys, but mediators and other HR law experts also have been contributors. We are interested in articles on timely issues in labor and employment law that are about 1,500 words long, without footnotes or case citations. The article should be in plain English, without legal jargon or "bizspeak."

Editorial calendar

    Although we continuously cover such topics as benefits, recruiting, HR technology and training both online and in print, we also feature stories in these areas in our print publication in keeping with an editorial calendar, which writers and publicists should consult. Please pitch story ideas about three months before the issue date.

   The 2010 editorial calendar is here.

    Payment: For freelance articles, fees are negotiated with each writer, depending on the complexity and length of the story.

    Rights acquired: All rights

    To query and for questions, contact executive editor Carroll Lachnit at or editor John Hollon at  

Workforce Magazine/ Blogging Policy

Conflicts of interest, real or perceived, should be avoided. If you have conflicts of interest, do not blog on the topic or topics related to the conflict(s). Disclose conflicts that cannot be avoided (i.e., your spouse/significant other is in HR or works for a staffing company).

Disclose any gifts, payments or other gain related to anything or anyone mentioned in a blog post.

Tell the truth. Acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly. Disagree with other opinions respectfully.

Blogs and blog posts authored by Workforce Management/ staff members are subject to editorial review and copy editing. Blogs authored by affiliated bloggers are not edited by Workforce Management staff, and the views and opinions stated by affiliated bloggers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of Workforce Management or its staff.

Promptly reply to e-mails and comments when appropriate. Comments will be deleted only when they are spam or off-topic. As a rule, we do not delete posts without a strong, compelling reason (i.e., libel).

Stay on topic. As with all articles written for Workforce Management/, strive for accuracy and high quality.

Link directly to online references and original source materials. Anonymous sources should be kept to a minimum; sources should be name whenever possible.

Think before you blog. Keep private issues and topics private. Discussing private issues could jeopardize personal and work relationships. For staff bloggers, respect the sanctity of the newsroom and any debate that may take place there.

Workforce Magazine/ expects its staff bloggers and its affiliated bloggers to adhere to these guidelines. Affiliated bloggers not directly employed by Workforce Management/ have been vetted to the greatest extent possible by the management of Workforce Magazine/

Schedule, engage, and pay your staff in one system with