The Naturalist, HAS Website and E-Newsletter Guidelines
The mission of the Houston Audubon Society is to "promote the conservation and appreciation of birds and wildlife habitat."
Our publications are a reflection of the Houston Audubon Society itself. They serve 3 purposes:
- Provide information about the activities of the organization such as field trips, events, programs, and meetings; its members, volunteers, and donors; its sanctuaries; birds and birding activities; as well as habitat/natural resource conservation/preservation.
- Provide an educational experience with informative articles about birds and their habitat and the conservation and preservation of their habitat.
- Provide information and organizational positions on complex and often complicated advocacy issues that impact both the mission and activities of the Houston Audubon Society.
Anyone can submit articles for publication without having to hold membership in the Houston Audubon Society. Articles should be relevant to our mission. Articles must be well-written, adhere to commonly accepted standards of grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc., and be supported with data, facts, and reference sources where appropriate. If an article concerns an advocacy issue or one of obvious controversy, it must conform to Houston Audubon 's existing policy regarding that advocacy issue. If the Board of Directors has not or will not take an official position on an issue for any reason including because it does not directly relate to Houston Audubon 's mission, then that advocacy issue may be published at the discretion of the Executive Director and with both the authors ' by-line and a disclaimer that the opinions do not represent the position of the Houston Audubon Society. Articles must approach any advocacy issue positively in an effort to coalesce rather than polarize, and must also present specific, well-defined solutions rather than a list of grievances.
The Executive Director of the Houston Audubon Society has final authority to approve or reject an article.
Houston Audubon’s blog is where bird and nature enthusiasts find expert information on birds and conservation issues, learn about birding in Houston, and keep up with the happenings of Houston Audubon.
Our goal for this blog is to reach a new audience and to keep existing followers engaged by sharing information that educates the public about birds and conservation efforts, as well as keeping them informed on what Houston Audubon is doing to help. Posts should be easy to read for all audiences, including the lay person that is not already familiar with our work. Posts should relate to birds, wildlife, or conservation.
200 to 600 words ideally, but exceptions may be made as we figure out what works for our blog.
Format for sharing
Email a Word document along with 2 – 3 photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
● Craft a catchy headline for your post. We can help you come up with this.
● Use headers and sub headers to break up your post when relevant.
● Avoid big blocks of text (short paragraphs)
● Use bullets or numbered lists when relevant.
We LOVE images – please include at least 2 – 3 photos. Ideally, we include one image at every scroll depth, so an image is always visible.
● Make sure you have documented permission to use photos that aren’t your own and photos with the faces of children. Please include a credit to the photographer.
● If you’re in need of bird photos, HA has permission to use Greg Lavaty’s photos with credit: https://www.pbase.com/dadas115/birds (photos of birds always do really well!)
Give credit and cite sources
Check your facts and quotations. Cite the original sources (not the source that quoted the original source) and give photo credits.
Author bio (optional)
● Feel free to include a short bio (2 – 3 sentences) or let us know if you’d like your title included.
● Send us your social media accounts if you’d like us to link to them in your bio.
Please double check your grammar and spelling. We may edit your post or bounce it back to you for revisions.
If the post is time-specific, please submit it 7 days prior to your scheduled run date. Otherwise, posts may be sent to us and we will schedule them as they fit into our calendar.
Please be available to respond to any comments on your post on the blog or on our social media.
We encourage you to promote your post throughout your social networks.
• Create an engaging introduction.
• End with a question or call to action or a question to encourage comments and engagement.
• Choose a topic that interests you, and feel free to use your voice when writing (keeping in mind that we want to have a friendly and informative tone).
• Link to relevant happenings (upcoming event, volunteer opportunities, ways that people can help or get involved that relate to your post).
• Have fun with it! You can include emojis, gifs, funny bird photos, etc.
• Edit your blog post. Make sure to avoid repetition, read your post aloud to check its flow, have someone else read it and provide feedback, keep sentences and paragraphs short, don’t be afraid to cut out text or adapt your writing last minute.