How to write for the Digital.govt.nz blog
Guidelines, tips and advice for guest bloggers.
We’re keen to publish timely, thought-provoking blog posts on discussion-stimulating topics to show what’s happening across the government digital space.
And that’s where you come in. We want you to tell us about what you’ve been working on — in your voice. But you don’t have to do it alone. We’ll guide you through the process and work with you to get your blog post ready to be published.
Send us an email if you want to contribute, ask a question or just chat about your great story idea.
Why we want blog posts
The purpose of the Digital.govt.nz blog is to:
- share stories and experiences of government’s digital transformation
- show how government innovates and iterates to build better services
- highlight best practices, innovative ideas, transformative trends and project lessons particularly when these have an all-of-government (AoG) focus
- advocate for best practice across government
- communicate information with a wider, cross-government audience.
Who the audience is
Our audience for the Digital.govt.nz blog includes:
- government web practitioners and enthusiasts
- service designers
- digitally-minded public sector communications teams
- government employees in other jurisdictions who are interested in AoG projects.
When we publish
We aim to publish blog posts every Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
How to get your blog post published
Check your idea with your communications team and manager
Before you write your post, check with your communications team and make your manager aware. You may need to get managerial sign off.
Contact the digital.govt.nz team
Whether you’ll be contributing regularly or writing a one-off blog post, email us:
- a brief summary of what you want to write about
- a proposed date for when you expect to have a draft ready for review.
Schedule when you’d like your post published
The Digital.govt.nz team manages the blog schedule and can suggest dates for publication. Once we’ve agreed a date, you’ll need to send us your blog post a week in advance for review and approval.
Write your blog post
We suggest your post follows this structure:
- Page title — let the reader know what to expect and why they should read on
- Introduction — why the work is important and why you’re talking about it
- Body — explain the work, give facts, details and support with images or video
- Conclusion — what you learned, why it matters and what’s next.
- Contact details — who to contact to find out more.
Aim to write 500–800 words. If you’d like to contribute a longer blog, we can publish in 2 parts (or more).
Break up your blog post with lots of headings to make it easy for readers to scan.
Make images, graphs and videos accessible
We’re responsible for meeting the New Zealand Government Web Standards. We take this seriously, and we won’t publish anything inaccessible. But you don’t have to be an expert — we’ll help guide you through what’s needed.
Complex images and video need to be accompanied by long descriptions to make them accessible.
A transcript of any spoken content will also need to be provided for video.
Write your bio
Tell readers a little bit about yourself (approximately 60 words). Your bio should include:
- your name, position, team and organisation name
- a summary of what you do day-to-day
- the focus of your work
- any relevant qualifications.
Take a profile photo
Send us a clear, head and shoulders shot. It can be your favourite, non-work selfie but not an avatar, cartoon character or a random image.
Here’s an example:
Send us your blog post when it’s ready for review
Send your post to email@example.com (along with your bio and profile photo) at least a week in advance, or earlier, to give us enough time to work with you to prepare it for publishing.
Work with us to prepare your blog post for publishing
We’ll work with you to:
- identify any unclear content or gaps/missing information
- present your message clearly (for example, plain language)
- structure your blog logically
- ensure content is accessible (for example, alt-text for images)
- add links to supporting information.
The goal is to make your writing the best it can be. What we don’t do is change your ‘voice’, message or the intent of the post.
Share your blog post
Your blog post will be published on the day it’s scheduled.
Be sure to share your post with your team and anybody else who might be interested.
Our Twitter handle is @DigitalGovtNZ if you’d like to tag us in your social posts.
Digital.govt.nz is managed by Government Information Services (GIS) team at the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).