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Durham University

Internal Communications

Editorial guidance

The production of the award-winning printed Dialogue magazine stopped due to the pandemic, but communicating with staff and students in a positive way now feels more important than ever. We are excited to be back and have now the opportunity to create a digital solution with one of our framework partners Kit-Studio. With the new Digital Dialogue with want to engage with staff and students and encourage them to contribute more of their inspiring content to the magazine. We want to see a true dialogue and support the Durham University brand.

This editorial guidance sets out the standards we seek to achieve with our digital magazine. It gives contributors clear guidance on the content we wish to publish.

If you have any questions about the content on this page, please contact us at dialogue@durham.ac.uk

Dialogue – helping us tell your stories

Digital Dialogue will be a mechanism to tell our stories, acknowledge our achievements and be proud of what our people are doing to achieve our strategic aims and objectives. While we have always told great stories about our University community, we will now be focusing on the people who are making a difference.

Content

In all our content, we want to show how our staff and students are doing extraordinary things through varied content, which appeals to our staff and students alike. Our content will be split into four different categories as follows:

  1. Highlights - In this section, we will publish snapshots on what is new at Durham University. We would welcome short submissions such as the introduction of a new service, a new team, new modules for students and any other new offerings.
  2. Discover my world - In this section, we are going to explore what our researchers are doing. Our research is world-renowned and we want to share these insights.
  3. Durham Inspires - This section is dedicated to staff and student success stories. We inspire our staff and students to challenge and be challenged. We would welcome submissions that challenge the readers’ thinking and offer new perspectives. We are proud of the experiences we provide our students outside of the classroom. We want to celebrate this and learn about how it contributes to producing well-rounded, highly capable and employable graduates. We would also welcome stories about student and staff volunteering and enterprise.
  4. Insights - Do you have any hidden talents? Do you write poetry? Can you paint like Picasso? This section is to share these hidden talents with us and tell us about them. This section could also be used to tell more about interesting people from the past, to build pride in our University, help newcomers know more about our heritage and more. For example who is the Christopherson room named after? Who was Josephine Butler? Who was the first VC?

Guidance:

  1. Your stories should demonstrate our values - we are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling – with respect at the core of these.
  2. We are all about our people and people love to read about other people, so frame your article around a personal experience of you, your team or another person (with their permission).
  3. Use real examples to bring your story to life. We remember people, not things.
  4. Through stories, we can demonstrate how things have happened. Instead of telling us you are the best; show us through your outstanding achievements.

Audience

Our primary audience for Dialogue is our staff and students. With this in mind, our content needs to be applicable to everyone who reads it.

Dialogue is not the place for detailed operational information about our processes, policies or procedures. Please use Dialogue Signposts for operational messages. We also can’t share confidential information that is not available in the public domain.

Plain English

We want everyone to be able to enjoy Dialogue, regardless of their background, native language or academic credentials. Therefore, we use Plain English. For a great guide on how to write in this way, visit our Identity Guidelines (p20).

Tone of voice

One of Dialogue’s strengths has always been the diversity of voices from our range of contributors. We want this to continue but we also want articles to have a consistent brand tone of voice. Our writing should be inspiring, considerate, open and confident. More guidance on this can be found on pages 10-12 of our Identity Guidelines.

Narrative

Our brand narrative – the important factors that are core to brand storytelling – should be a key consideration in our written content. Look at pages 7 and 13-19 of our Identity Guidelines for how you can draw the brand narrative into your content.

Images

A picture tells a thousand words. Use photos, images and infographics to help tell your story. Photos should be high resolution, at least 300 dpi. Look at the Identity Guidelines (p52) for helpful hints.

Word count

Less is more. We like to keep our articles short and fill our pages with pictures and infographics that we know appeal to our readers.

Editor’s call

We sometimes receive more content than we can use for Dialogue, so your article may not make the publication. If we believe it is newsworthy, we will endeavour to put it in a future publication or find another communications channel that is more appropriate or timely.

The editor will edit stories to fit our style and criteria as necessary, and has final say on what is published.


Get in touch

If you have any questions, want to run content ideas by us or seek guidance on Dialogue, do not hesitate to drop us a line at dialogue@durham.ac.uk

Dialogue Editorial Guidance

Have a look at our guidance.