Over recent years, members of our district have had articles published via our external PR Consultant, Chantal Cooke. This is a wonderful opportunity to raise the profile of Toastmasters, increase public awareness of this organisation and also for the writer to gain recognition.
District 71 Toastmasters International Article Writing Brief
The overall aim is to raise the profile of Toastmasters across the UK and Ireland. And the bonus is – it will also raise the profile of the author as you will be credited on all your articles e.g. Jo Smith of Toastmasters International. We have had a lot of coverage and previous authors have benefited a great deal from the additional exposure.
The article needs to be 1000+ words long and advice heavy. (no shorter than 950 words please)
Subject needs to reflect what we learn from Toastmasters i.e. subjects related to communication and leadership. Suggested topics for 2018/2019 include:
- How to present when you’re the only man/woman in the room (i.e. your audience is made up entirely of the opposite gender)
- How to sell at the end of your presentation
- X ways to open and/or close your speech that will give it real impact (Submitted)
- X ways to close your speech that will give it real impact
- X of the best, unusual and most effective props to use when delivering a presentation (Published)
- How to prepare for presenting a podcast
- What to do when your presentation goes horribly wrong (Published)
- How to deal with an audience of zombies – what can you do if they are giving you no feedback at all
- How to add humour to your speech/presentation – even if you are not a comedian
- How to give feedback when someone has done a truly dreadful job (Published)
- How to judge a community event and not have to leave town afterwards
- How to develop a coherent argument to ensure your speech will change your audience’s mind
- How to prepare for a job interview/a promotion interview
- How to build an employee’s confidence through appropriate feedback
- How to deliver a speech which is giving the audience bad news (e.g. redundancies, or no pay rises this year, or a large order has been cancelled, summer holiday leave is cancelled, the MD is seriously ill etc.)
- How to avoid presentation pitfalls and make more sales (Published)
If it is solely a pitch/marketing the Toastmaster brand this will fall under the title of advertising and not go to press.
Please speak to Daniel in the first instance, before you start writing – so we can be sure two people are not writing the same article! (As we can only use one version). Daniel is your first port of call
Note: Chantal Cooke is our professional PR consultant promoting our articles. She may edit the piece to suit the publication. The publisher may also edit the piece.
Here are a few sample publications for reference:
[See media centre #ChantalCookePR] and others
(website readership 1.1 million) 30 March 2015
(FT readership 2.2 million) online and print version April 2015
(FT readership 2.2 million) online and print version March 2015
(FT readership 2.2 million) online and print version January 2015
(readership 173k also in top-consultant Australia readership 100k)
Sandy was quoted by Josephine Fairley in the Telegraph:
(Telegraph readership 1.2 million) November 2014
Websites taking our articles include training and personal development sites, business sites for small businesses, Executive Secretary, HR sites, career sites etc. We are regularly in top business websites in Northern Ireland and have featured in sites in Scotland and the north of England.
Our authors have also been asked to write exclusive articles by specific publications/website e.g. Nursery Management Today (in the magazine and now on the web as a Special Report nmt-magazine.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/p40-41_Special-Report.pdf), companybug.com www.companybug.com/how-to-be-a-confident-presenter-essential-tips/#more-5253
In addition, we had radio coverage as well as national newspaper coverage (in both the UK and Ireland) and national glossy magazine coverage.
From July 2017 to June 2018 we’ve had articles in publications with readership totaling 422million.
What else do I need to send with the article?
We also require details of the author’s Toastmasters club, and roughly where you live (not your address, but your local town/area), a brief bio of about 30 words (maximum), and a hi-res head shot of you and, if you have it, an action shot (speaking!). Please note, a high-resolution (over 1mb 300 dpi) headshot is essential. It must be a professional headshot – not one of you at a party!
If you submit a piece it is important that you are available to be contacted for any follow-up interview, articles or radio shows. If you have a holiday planned or know you will be unavailable – please let us know. This is important as we don’t want to send a piece out to the press and then find you are unavailable to speak to them or provide more information. If you know you are going to be unavailable we can schedule your release around you – but we need to know in advance!
Please note you will almost certainly be asked to write additional commissioned articles based on your original – it is important that you are able to do so, and that you meet the deadlines set for these commissioned features. Once you have committed to delivering an article to a deadline – this must be met. Missing deadlines, pulling out, or refusing to write a commissioned article severely damages the Toastmasters International brand with the media and makes it much harder for us to gain media coverage in the future.
Some other notes
There is some commonality between the titles of our articles – there will be re-use of ideas – but the articles do need to feel different. Just cutting and pasting won’t work! We need an article ready for publication every month.
IMPORTANT: the articles must be new and unique and must NOT have been used elsewhere – including on your own website. Please do NOT post the articles on your website or blog or anywhere else (see below for when republishing is acceptable).
Please note, Toastmasters International is the client and the articles are credited to you as the author and as coming from Toastmasters International. Articles cannot credit your business or link to your business.
What happens after your article is published?
A link to the article will be posted on the District 71 and TM UK and Ireland Facebook pages www.facebook.com/d71toastmasters.org/ and www.facebook.com/ToastmastersUKI , Twitter @ToastmastersUKI, and on the District 71 website Press Room d71toastmasters.org/media-publications/.
The writer will get the links to any publications where the article ends up. Ideally the author’s local club will promote the article on whatever social media and websites they use and circulate the link to interested parties.
You can add the links to your published articles on your own website if you wish. Please do NOT post the articles themselves on your website – as this will stop journalists publishing your (and other Toastmasters) articles.
Approximately six months after we have sent your article to the press (NOTE: not six months after you delivered it – but six months after it was sent to the press) you can use the article on your website or elsewhere. Please do not use it any sooner than this. Thank you.
If you’d like to write an article we suggest you ask Daniel to run it past Chantal first – we’d hate you to write a full article that can’t be used for some reason. Chantal will need the title (clear, not clever) and a one paragraph synopsis of the proposed contents. Please send this to Daniel
Once agreed please confirm with Daniel when you will complete the article. Please be realistic about this – once you have set a date it is VERY IMPORTANT that you deliver by this date. The on-going coverage for Toastmasters relies on you delivering on time. If there is a problem – please give us plenty of notice.
To use your article, the additional info (bio, photo etc.) must be delivered at the same time – we cannot use the article until we have all the information/images. Chantal will always need a high-resolution headshot of you to go with the article. This must be clear (not blurry), in keeping with the Toastmasters International brand (e.g. not one of you in the pub, or in a fancy-dress costume – yes, really, we’ve been given those!), at least 1mb in size (anything below 1mb is almost certainly unusable), and 300dpi (i.e. suitable for print publications).
Chantal will liaise with you re changes, journalist interviews and requests, and will send you (and the rest of the Toastmasters team) links to coverage. If you want a copy of print coverage then it will be your responsibility to source your own copy. Unfortunately, journalists do not supply copies.
Please, under no circumstances, contact a journalist direct unless asked to do so by Chantal. Daniel is the initial points of contact (for writing the article), and then once the article has been distributed Chantal should be the point of contact in all cases.
If you spot coverage of your article that Chantal has not told you about – please let us all (including Chantal) know. Often the publications don’t say they are using an article, so we don’t always spot all of them immediately.
Toastmasters International contacts for further info
Subject to approval at District Council
When a District 71 member is successful in having an article published via Chantal, they will be entered into a draw for a conference ticket. Please note that travel and accommodation is not included.