By John Ruzicka and Laurel Skurko. Do you have a story, news or an upcoming event to share with 9,000 Information Technology (IT) colleagues and others working with technology and technology teams across 19 University of California (UC) locations?
The UC Technology community is looking forward to learning more about you, your team and your work and welcomes you to share any news that you find relevant to our community. This engagement helps our members build their skills and networks to support innovations in their work and their career-progression as well.
Since 2013, we have accumulated a library of ~1,000 articles. Benefits to the readers and writers include finding those addressing similar issues, recognition, and more. As one community member put it during the UC Tech 2022 Conference, “It’s the only systematic way I can hear what’s going on across the university in IT.”
Please join our growing community of regular contributers.
- If you have an upcoming event, send it our way.
- Were you or a team member in the news recently? Did you receive a recognition? Let us know!
- If you would like to create a story for this blog, or have us convert someting you published elesewhere, feel free to consider some of the blogging tips, below.
- Would you like to share best-practices in marketing and growing your audiences? Contact us!
Timeline: We hope to finalize your blog the month before it is published here, if possible. Once you submit, we provide some editing suggestions, then return it to you for a final approval before scheduling it.
Guidelines for stories:
- Angle/Approach: Consider your angle – “How To” and “Lists” (i.e. 3 ways to…) posts perform well
- Length: 500-1,500 words is ideal, with the shorter pieces getting the highest readership.
- Lede/or lead: The first sentence is an important/attention grabbing fact that summarizes the article
- Images/Video: Please include at least one main image and a bio shot of each author. Each image must include a caption. For the bio shot, include the name, title, department, institution, UC campus. For any video (optional), please consider embedding multimedia (YouTube is preferable currently) videos into your blog post.
- Title: Your title should be 40-60 characters long. We often lead with the name of your location.
- Call to Action: Encourage people to learn more and/or engage with you by sharing a website landing page, your social handles, etc.
- Language complexity/Editorial Direction:
- Write for a high school student vs for someone with specialized knowledge in your topic.
- Acronyms? Use acronyms only after using the complete words/names in the initial reference.
- Naming conventions for university locations include: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Hastings Law San Francisco, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UCSF, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego,
- The blog editors use the University of California Style Guide (based on The Associated Press Stylebook). Common questions include:
- Capitalizing Titles: “titles, academic and administrative: In general, capitalize formal or courtesy titles — president, chancellor, senator — before names. Lowercase titles after names of individuals.”
- Location Names: “In body text and heads, use campus name: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UCSF, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego…In tables and other vertical lists, and in subheads, use city name: Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles…”
- First and last names: In the first reference, the first and last name appear together. After that, the last name alone is used.
- “Dr. NAME” (Please indicate whether MD or PhD and use this designation after the name vs “Dr.”)
- Voice/tone: The blog brand aims to be “business professional.” We assume a well-seasoned business audience, maintaining a tone that is professional – how you might write to someone if you were applying to a job. The editors work to ensure minimal use of conjunctions, explanation points, and error on the side of using slightly more formal words choices and syntax, etc. Similarly, the team also avoids terms like “we” and “our” to help be clear to audiences. The blog is written the UC Tech/ UC IT audiences and works to reinforce those terms in the blogs. The editors enjoy working with writers to write to the “professional” persona and use the methods described here to do this, as the consistency supports the blog over time. Thank you for helping us do that and for providing your feedback as well, as each member of the UC IT community is typically both a writer/content creator and a audience member as well.
- Promotion: Once we publish, feel free to share a link of your post via email and/or your social networks to increase engagement. We will also post on the UC-IT Twitter and/or our LinkedIn Group page and hope to connect with you there as well.
Events – We can add upcoming events to our Events page any time. Please use this Events Form to submit. After each event, we welcome your stories as well (see “Publishing your own stories/content,” below)
News & Resources – already published – We can add your recent published news to our News & Resources page any time. Please use this News & Resources form
Publishing your own stories/content – We can work with you to craft that. Please email us, or use the above News & Resources form, as you wish.
Timing – more details for you: The blog is released each week, typically on a Wednesday. We can add your story any time, but the more lead time you provide us, the better, and one month prior to publication is ideal. During that time, we work to ensure that the piece meets your needs, while being clear to our subscribers (about 70% have a technical background, and 30% do not, there is also turnover among subscribers, with new people joining our community daily).
NB: Time-sensitive stories are more appropriate during certain windows. We do our best to capitalize on the incremental amplification that is associated with the right timing. For example, if a larger news team picks up your story, you can expect visbility to multiply by 10x or more. Don’t hestitate to let us know what timing works best for your news story and for your team.
Know that some teams create their own content and we edit it, whereas others ask us to interview them and create the pieces from our end. Either way works well.
Questions? Please contact UCITblog@UCOP.edu
John Ruzicka is a Business Analyst, Information Technology Services, UC Office of the President.
Laurel Skurko is Marketing & Communications Specialist, Information Technology Services,
UC Office of the President.