Approved October 2020
Please do not download this document, since it will be regularly updated and we would like to ensure that you have access to the latest version.
Please ensure that you read the entire document at least once.
We do appreciate your comments and suggestions Email [email protected]
Table of Contents
- General Advice for Writing For the Website
- Website Requirements:
- For Your Group’s Landing Page
- The Basics
- Compliance and Legal Restrictions
- Events Listing
- General Style Issues
- Advice and Common Mistakes in U.S. v U.K. Styles
- Spelling, Abbreviations, Acronyms
- Abbreviation of Democrats Abroad – Specific Guidance
- Sources for Images
- Recommendations for Publishing Decisions
- Specific advice about posting on the DAUK website
- Quick Summary
- Working with WordPress and the Navigation Pro theme
- Useful Links
- Get Advice and Help
General Advice for Writing For the Website
- Ensure that your coverage of topics, language, tone and the range of images used reflect the diversity of DAUK and the Democratic Party and that it promotes an inclusive ethos.
- This is the official public face of DAUK.
- At all times It’s important to keep in mind that we are speaking as DAUK,
- Anything we say could be viewed as a statement by the Democratic Party.
- Careful wording matters.
- Keep in mind ‘who you are writing as,’ your purposes, and your target audiences.
- One size does not fit all!
- Each DAUK Group has distinctive purposes, emphases and ethoses, and will organize and develop their individual sections to reflect them.
- We will see different approaches and hear different types of voices.
- Even within your own section, different types of content and tone may appeal to different segments of your audiences.
- Appreciate different styles and learn from one another!
- We have developed guidelines to ensure consistency in some areas across the website, for example in the use of common fonts and font sizes, banner placements, etc.
- Some groups already have or will develop specific guides for their authors, for example, the Women’s Caucus. Please share them!
- People will read your pages and posts on a variety of devices,
- please choose content that will display well on different types of browser,
- check when posting that your material presents well on each type of device.
- Always check that your hyperlinks work. You will need to re-check them frequently.
- Always ensure you meet the rules under the Compliance Dashboard for Contributors to the DAUK Website document before publishing your post or page.
For Your Group’s Landing Page
Please ensure that you include:
- A description of your mission, purposes and role in DAUK and DA;
- An outline of the types of activities you undertake;
- Contact details for the Committee:
- only use official @democratsabroad.org.uk email addresses;
- Names of your leadership team;
- The key images that you think ‘define’ your group;
- Your logo if you have one;
- Nice to have – information and a link to your next upcoming event;
- Nice to have – photos from your events or of your Committee team.
Compliance and Legal Restrictions
Always ensure you meet the rules under the Compliance Dashboard for Contributors to the DAUK Website document before publishing your post or page.
- DAUK must operate within the U.K. laws governing copyright, GDPR, libel and defamation, and the UK Equality Act 2010, as well as U.S. laws governing campaign finance. DAUK will be liable for any violations;
- DAUK must operate within the policies decided by the Democratic Party; Committee Abroad (DPCA), commonly referred to as Democrats Abroad;
- It’s important to keep in mind at all times that we are speaking as Democrats, and anything we say could be viewed as a statement by the Democratic Party. Some key issues include: (but see lots more!);
- We cannot comment on any non-US politics, including UK politics;
- We must remain impartial during Democratic Party primaries;
- We cannot solicit donations for any Democratic candidate, PAC, SuperPAC or third-party organization.
- People will be reading your pages and posts on a variety of devices – desktop, smartphone, or tablet. Always check that your material presents well on each type of device.
- Use a layout that facilitates skimming, for example, effective headings, and offering choices to Read more, e.g. by using teasers.
- Try to be as concise as possible
- People will read lengthy material if organized and presented in a clear and engaging layout.
- We would recommend using:
- Clear subheadings
- Bullet points / lists where possible
- Breaking up chunky blocks of text with images where possible and appropriate
- Use images purposefully! Think about what you use and why. Visuals are very effective in making things engaging and memorable, as well as drawing attention to the content. Think:
- Does the image demonstrate a key activity or principle of the group?
- Does it reflect the concepts or issues mentioned in the piece of content?
- Is the image in line with/reflective of your group?
- Does it show your usual members?
- Would the image be inclusive of our diverse Democrats Abroad community?
- Please refer to the Events Approval and Promotion form provided by the Comms team
- We will use the copy submitted to the Comms team via that form.
- Make sure you include the essential information laid out clearly:
- Title of event, Date and Time, Venue, Ticket cost and RSVP or booking link.
- Include the short eye-catching description – 125 words – with, if appropriate the relevant ‘buzzwords’.
- Eventbrite links: ( we now almost always use the Democrats Abroad website for rsvps and booking tickets)
- Always put in the short Eventbrite link; ask the Tickets Team for the “Your Event URL” e.g. https://dauk-film-2019-rbg.eventbrite.co.uk.
- Do not try to copy and paste a link from the newsletter or your personal email.
- Images for Events:
- You will need to submit an image to accompany your text.
- This can be your group logo or an appropriate photo or image (N.B. copyright issues) specific to the event listed.
- Please email a 400 x 400 pixels to [email protected]
- You will need to submit an image to accompany your text.
General Style Issues
- Always use American English
- Keep your language professional, respectful and never use profanity
- Consult the Associated Press Style Guide if you are uncertain about particular issues
- Fonts: Do not change fonts set as the site-wide defaults for posts/pages and for headings.
- Make sure you are using consistent font, font size, bullets, etc. (including details like whether you use a full stop at the end of bullet points, or not).
- Small details may not be noticeable at first, but small issues – especially on size and font – can add up and make the page look messy!
Advice and Common Mistakes in U.S. v U.K. Styles
Spelling, Abbreviations, Acronyms
- Use “ize” instead of “ise”, as in organize, finalize,
- Use “or” instead of “our”, as in color, neighbor, flavor
- Use p.m. instead of PM
- Do not use the 24-hour clock, instead use:
- 7 p.m., 8:30 a.m.
- 6 to 11 p.m.
- Put the date after the month: Wednesday, September 30, 2020
- Except for obvious cases, spell out the full name of organization on first reference. After that, use acronyms. For example, use Democratic National Committee for your first reference and then DNC subsequently
- In general, use the U.S. and U.K., not US and UK. The exception is Democrats Abroad UK
We use the Chicago Style Guide:
|Author/Date Style||In-text Citation||Bibliography|
|A book||(Pollan 2006, 99–100)||Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin.|
|An article in a print journal||(Weinstein 2009, 440)||Weinstein, Joshua I. 2009. “The Market in Plato’s Republic.” Classical Philology 104:439–58.|
|An article in an electronic journal||(Kossinets and Watts 2009, 411)||Kossinets, Gueorgi, and Duncan J. Watts. 2009. “Origins of Homophily in an Evolving Social Network.” American Journal of Sociology115:405–50. Accessed February 28, 2010. doi:10.1086/599247.|
(Source: Official Chicago Manual website)
- Use double quotation marks for direct quotes: “Speechmarks are good.” N.B. In the United States, commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks, and colons and semicolons (dashes as well) go outside.
- Use single quotation marks only within double: “Speechmarks are ‘an especially tricky device.’”
- One space after a period is the correct punctuation.
Abbreviation of Democrats Abroad – Specific Guidance
- Always put the Country Committee first, then the Chapter or region: e.g. DAUK Scotland, DAUK Oxford, DAG Berlin.
Sources for Images
- You must ensure that you have the right to use any image that you use on the website.
- See the Guide to Copyright and Sources for Images for the Website
- You will find a good and growing list of wonderful sources, including official US government sources.
Recommendations for Publishing Decisions
We suggest that you discuss and decide:
- What types of content would best serve your own Group’s purposes;
- What ‘rules’ you want authors to follow regarding content that will fit your Group’s purposes and ethos;
- About types of posts to put up – e.g. whether to have blog posts, temporary/changing posts, relatively static pages.
- Think about what you and your Group and feasibly maintain – if it will be difficult to regularly create blogs or update posts, then aim for a static page that needs less time / attention
- Any style recommendations or constraints you want to establish, e.g. tone, word count, etc.
- The process for publishing material:
- Where Contributors and Authors should post their copy (text and images) – e.g. directly on the website or in a storage space such as Dropbox or Gdrive;
- Whether Authors’ copy requires approval by the Group editor before the page or post can be published;
- Who does the final proofreading the material before it is published.
- Who is responsible for what?
- Will you have a copy editor, or will authors be responsible for final, proofread copy?
- How will you ensure compliance with DAUK, DA policies and UK laws?
- Will you recommend people test their copy (with other group members or friends) before submitting it?
- Respect your authors
- Have a clear policy whether (and what kind of posts) are signed or attributed.
- Always discuss copy edits with the author from your group before agreeing to the final copy. There is usually a good reason for the choice of phrasing or description. For example, changing a word may change the tone and accuracy of the post – e.g. using ‘conversation’ rather than ‘debate’ or particular words or phrasing may be very specifically chosen because of usage in specialist fields.
- Encourage different types of voice as long as they abide by style and compliance guidelines.
Specific advice about posting on the DAUK website
- Use the standard fonts provided; please do not try to change the font on your pages and posts.
- Ensure that your authors have your agreement about any customized layout they want to adopt for posts and pages.
- Provide a featured image for your page/post in 400 x 400 format
- Ensure that your pages or posts have been proofread, meet DAUK compliance and work across various devices before publishing.
Working with WordPress and the Navigation Pro theme
- About WordPress and the NavigationPro theme
- WordPress tutorial:https://wordpress.com/learn/
- Navigation Pro tutorial: https://wpbuildingblocks.com/navigation-pro-theme/
Get Advice and Help
- About using WordPress and other technical issues by:
- Posting in the DAUK Slack channel “planning-website” (fastest response)
- Emailing [email protected] (checked less frequently)
- Brett hopes to set up a Community Forum where we can share ideas and information, develop answers to FAQs. For now, you can use the planning -website channel in the DAUK Slack Workspace or DM the team in that DAUK Workspace
This guide includes material drawn from guides produced by the the Film Committee, the Women’s Caucus, and the DAUK Comms Committee. Elaine Capizzi and Eva Rangel created and produced this this on May 5, 2020
Updated on February 2, 2021 by Asha S, Elaine C, David W, Brett, Emily K, and Eva R. Style updated on February 7, 2021 by Eva Rangel.
Additional edits by Kathryn Cyr , DAUK Comms Chair. Approved by DAUK Chair Inge Kjemptrup and Comms Committee Chair, Kathryn Cyr in September 2020.