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Article Guidelines

CustomerThink is dedicated to maintaining an authoritative, but conversational, voice. When we evaluate prospective articles for publication, we are seeking new information, new insights into the business-customer relationship or a cogent explanation of an aspect of customer management strategy, practice or technology.

Articles are not appropriate to simply express your point of view; use blogging instead.

Your article is more likely to be accepted if it conveys new information that’s relevant to our community. Before submitting an article proposal, review our major topics to learn about subjects that fit our site. Also take a few minutes to search articles on the topic you have in mind to see what else has been previously published.

Articles are more work than blogging, but keep in mind that most articles are featured as Editor’s Picks, which means they are promoted in our weekly newsletter to 40,000 subscribers globally. As a result, on average an article gets five times the views of a blog post.

Guidelines

In general, articles must 1) be relevant to our audience of business leaders; 2) include substantial supporting evidence and 3) be written in a neutral, educational tone that does not promote the author’s company, products or services. More specifically:

  • Only single-author bylined articles will be accepted, to facilitate a conversational style and help the author engage with other CustomerThink members leaving comments.
  • We strongly encourage the use of first person with good examples to “tell a story.” Use active voice to make your article more conversational. In other words, instead of saying, “It is believed,” say, “I believe” or “industry experts believe.”
  • Articles should include supporting evidence such as industry research or examples of how an organization has succeeded in the steps you advocate. Unless you make it clear that an example is hypothetical, it must be true, but company names may be kept confidential if necessary.
  • Where possible, write your article for a specific role within our community. We publish content for CEOs and General Managers and executives/managers in marketing, sales, customer service and IT job functions.
  • Do not “pitch” your business, products or services in your article. The author bio can include brief information about you and your firm, including a link back to your web site.
  • You should cite your sources including research statistics and quotes, including those that were not made directly to you, including as much information as possible: the date, author name, publication and article name. Work this information into the body of your article, and include a link to online sources.
  • Most articles are approximately 1,000 words long. However, the length depends on the scope of the topic and depth of content. We can run articles up to 2,000 words if appropriate.
  • A CustomerThink author account with profile must be set up, including a short bio. The author’s own email address must be used, to facilitate conversations with readers if they comment on the article.

Proposal, Approval and Submission Process

If you’re interested in submitting an article, please send a proposal via email to the managing editor. Include the following information within the body of the email.

  • Your name, title and company name
  • Proposed topic and working title for your article
  • Leadership role(s) targeted
  • Summary of main messages
  • Examples and research that will be included

You’ll get a response from the managing editor with comments or questions about your proposal. If accepted, the next step will be to submit a draft for review. The editor will provide feedback on any changes needed to meet CustomerThink’s standards. Please allow time for feedback and rewriting. Most articles require a couple of edit cycles.

If the author approves the final edits, we assume that all necessary approvals from others (e.g. sources quoted) have been secured by the author. CustomerThink does not submit to third-party approval. The author will have an opportunity to approve the final version, subject to the editor’s final copy edit and decision on article title and subheads.

Basic CustomerThink Style Notes

Please follow these conventions when writing your article:

  • Use U.S. spelling and punctuation
  • Uppercase company names (unless the company does not capitalize its name)
  • Don’t hyphenate “email”
  • Lowercase the “W” in “web” and make “web site” two words
  • Use percent signs only in tables; otherwise spell out percent
  • Place commas and periods inside quotes.
  • Italicize article and book titles as well as magazine and newspaper names
  • Spell out numbers under 10, except in percentages and currency.