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Contribute: Share Your Perspective

Rural Marketing MATE Guidelines

We categorize content into five types:

1. R&M Mate is our signature feature where you get context and insights about the rural markets. The

context piece explains the background of the issues and its importance. Other articles are longer and

present a plurality of perspectives on the issue. Typically, they comprise 1,000-1,800 words.

2.Opinion refers to articles on various issues that range from 800-1,500 words. We regard every article as a

potential starting point for a new R&M Mate analysis.

3.Point of view provides an examination of an issue in detail or an extensive overview of recent developments

such as our weekly report that gives a snapshot of key developments in rural markets. This may comprise

1,500 – 2,000 words.

4.Our blog comprises informal reflections and ruminations on issues that are faced by rural people. It is

written in the first person. Your blog must not exceed 500-800.

5.Multimedia means content in video, audio, photo essays, infographic, SlideShare and any other interactive

form.

Articles

Context articles for R&M

1.They should be 500-800 words long.

2.They are the centerpiece of rural analysis and will comprise two subheadings.

I.Background

II.Why is [the issue] relevant?

3.Under the first subheading, explain the background of the issue under discussion.

4.Under the second subheading, explain the relevance of the issue to our audience.

5.The context has to offer a succinct and clear explanation of the issue under discussion to anyone with

minimal knowledge of the subject matter. The context has to be objective and balanced.

6.Note : These articles are commissioned by Rural &Marketing only.

R&M Mate

1.For R&M Mate articles, the word limit is 1,000-1,800. Opinion pieces should be 800-1,500 words long.

2.They should offer clear perspectives and new insights.

3.It is important to develop arguments and adduce evidence. Mere iteration of facts or bald assertions will not

suffice.

4.They should have :

I.A reference to historical, economic or social context as applicable.

II.A “big picture” perspective: Remember not to get buried in minutes or technical detail.

Evidence and statistics are important to present a point and not important by themselves. The best pieces

make connections between seemingly disparate elements and offer explanations that are highly insightful.

III.Anticipate, if possible, what is likely to happen in the near future.

5.They should be written on issues, events and trends of rural significance.

6.Personal opinion is welcome, but it should not overwhelm the presentation of the context and the facts of

the issue.

Point of view

1.These are meant to be 1,500-2,000 words

2.Remember, only substantive issues deserve an – depth examination.

3.Extensive reviews of key developments.

Blog

1.Ideally, these should be 500 – 800 words

2.This is meant to be a personal reflection or rumination on rural area, its relates technology, economy, social

etc.

3.Whilst blog pieces are meant to be more informal and personal than in other categories they are most

effective when the writer is close to the subject and had a close encounter with the situation.

Multimedia

This includes content in all forms such as photo features, infographics, videos and audio. The key here is to

make a point and point it well.

Guidelines for Photo Features

1.Use a catchy title and tell a compelling story.

2.Ideally, use 10-15 photos to tell your point. This is the optimal length for the internet.

3.Draft a one or two line description to place each photo in context.

4.Click here to send us photos via email or upload them to Dropbox and share the link with us by clicking here.

If you do not use Dropbox but would like to, then contact us to receive instructions on how to do so.

5.Photos should be over 938(w) x 450(h) and under 2mb in size. The file type contact should be jpg

or png.

Guidelines for Videos

1.Make sure the sound is good so that you can be heard.

2.Decent lighting is desirable so that people can see you.

3.Describe topic – tell people what you will be talking about.

4.Explain why your topic is important

5.Express your perspective – be succinct, lucid and logical.

6.Summarize your perspective in a paragraph.

7.Do all of this in a minute if you can and, in any case, do not exceed three minutes.

8.Upload your video here, where you will find further instructions.

Guidelines for Audio

1.Make sure the sound is good so that you can be heard.

2.Describe topic – tell people what you will be talking about.

3.Explain why your topic is important.

4.Express your perspective – be succinct, lucid and logical.

5.Summarize your audio discussion in a paragraph.

6.Send us your audio file by clicking here.

Writing Tips

Below, please find advice that will help you to accentuate your work hoping that it will garner wide audience,

stimulate discussions and dialogue.

Title and Article Summary

Your title should be ten words or less, it should incorporate active words. It should also refer to the important

issue or region or topic it covers. A punchy phrase is NOT enough. Capture the context so that your article

shows up in search results and Google News.

Each article must begin with a one sentence summary (the “lead”) that uses the active voice. Think of this as

a trailer. Do not say, “an analysis” or “commentary”- tell us the salient finding from the analysis.

Examples of Good Titles

1.Mobile Technology: Shaping Agriculture

2.Small Cities, Big Opportunity: CDIT Boon in rural India

3.Innovative Warehousing: Reducing Post-harvest Looses

4.10 Marketing Mistakes to avoid in rural

5.Rural Youth: Key to a food secure future

6.Organic Farming: The Way Out

7. What’s Trending in Rural India: questions to ask?

Style Guidelines

1.Please avoid colloquial or vernacular language.

2.Please avoid endless fact- writing without flow or structure.

3.Remember, R&M is an analytical magazine. Your opinions or arguments should be well organized and

carefully constructed.

4.Facts should be stated clearly. If you make an inference from a fact ensure that it follows the fact.

5.Remember, readers will not have the same knowledge of the issues as you do. So please be clear, simple

and accessible.

6.Certain facts that may appear obvious to you will be unknown to readers. So explanations and transitions

are critical.

7.Back your arguments by using citations. Ideally, hyperlink the source of your citation or the evidence for a

fact. At the very least, put this source in brackets in the same sentence.

General Principles

1.Be thrifty. Make every word count. Remember, less is more.

2.Be clear. Watch out for long sentences. They are a sure way to lose readers. If a sentence is more than two

lines long, restructure it. If you can not shorten your sentences, your argument is probably not tight enough.

3.Avoid cliches. Metaphors lose their impact if they are too familiar. Be inventive.

4.Please limit the use of rhetorical questions.

5.Please remember that the content is read by an international audience.

Grammar and Punctuation

1.Use quotation marks, not inverted commas.

2.Use one space after a full stop.

3.Capitalize organizations, institutions and definite geographical places.

4.Italicize foreign works, newspapers and publications.

5.Dashes : Use the dash with spaces either side (e.g., “ Things have changed a lot in the last year — mainly

for the better”). Do not use more than one dash or a pair of dashes in a sentence. Once in a paragraph is

enough. “A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon and more relaxed

than parentheses.”

6.Use a semi – colon instead of a full stop if you want to link ideas.

Articles will be edited for :

1.Grammar

2.Length

3.Clarity

4.Accuracy

5.Adherence to our House Style

Contributor Agreement

You agree to :

1.Be available to our editors to answer any question; request for clarification; request for sources or fact

checks about your articles. We will try our best to do this in a timely manner.

2.Abide by the editors’ decisions. We may amend headlines and create sub – headings so that the article is

compliant with R&M style.

We request that :

1.Your article should preferably not have been published before.

2.Your name, your sources, so that your assertions can be verified. For us, accuracy is essential.

We get more articles than we can publish, so please be patient. By contributing an article you cede to us the

right to edit it, have the final say on edits and, in some cases, not to publish the piece.

Rights to your work

All articles, multimedia content and other materials, creations, works of authorship and inventions submitted

by you will be your sole property, but you grant us a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide right and license to use,

copy, reproduce, adapt, publish and distribute the content in any form. Full details are available in our full

R&M Mate.

Anonymous publication

If you are at risk for expressing certain views under your real name, please click here to write to us. Please state that you wish to write under a pseudonym or an alias and provide an explanation of your particular personal situation. Your information will not be disclosed to a third party without your prior consent unless we are legally required to do so.