Employee News Guidance

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Employee News Online is produced by the Office of External Affairs, Public Affairs Division at 500 C Street, Washington.

Employee News Online is a medium that communicates timely and important information that is relevant to a majority of FEMA employees. The Employee News Online editor will edit copy for appropriate style and use of plain language, and provide updates to the site on a daily or as-needed basis.

Each week, Public Affairs will distribute to all FEMA employees an email bulletin containing a digest of content that has been highlighted all that week as well as announcements for upcoming events and activities. FEMA leadership encourages employees to check Employee News Online regularly.

The Employee News Online editor will edit submitted content for appropriate style and language, and may reference and link to items that appear in greater detail on the agency blog, recent Agency news releases or other DHS component sites.  

Please see previous articles to learn more about the type of material suitable for publication for Employee News Online. To access past issues, go to Featured Articles or Announcements.

Employee News Online submission form

You may submit your articles and announcements to FEMA-Weekly@fema.dhs.gov for inclusion to Employee News Online, FEMA Weekly Bulletin. Please allow 24-48 hours for your article or announcement to be posted.

Featured articles submissions

Featured articles must consist of a brief title, a lead sentence that should include who, what, when and where. The second sentence should be used as a bridge to provide additional information that ties the lead to the body, or subsequent paragraphs. Authors should attempt to state the more important details first and lesser important details last (inverted pyramid style).  Paragraphs should be short, and consist of no more than two or three sentences. Content should be written at an 8th-grade level.

Avoid alphabet soup or the unnecessary use of acronyms. Although there are certain universally-recognized logos like FEMA and DHS, all other names or phrases should be spelled out on first reference and referred to by a nick name or acronym on subsequent references. For stories, do not state an acronym or abbreviation in parentheses immediately following the first reference.

The editor will make any needed corrections to date and city/state formats.

We highly recommend the Associated Press Style Book for offices that submit content frequently.

Story length submissions should be no longer than 500 words and must include the author’s name and office for the story byline. Style questions can be directed to sheldon.smith2@fema.dhs.gov.

A photo or image along with a caption can also be included.  The photo caption should be able to stand alone, and include important details such as who, what, when, where and tie the story to the FEMA mission. Authors should also include the name of the photographer and office or division he or she serves. Photo captions must also conform to Associated Press Style.

If relevant to the story, submissions should include a final sentence with a link to a related website or document that can provide the reader with additional information. Please obtain signed privacy releases for any stories about individual disaster assistance recipients.
Featured articles submitted to Employee News Online will be accessible by the public.

Public Affairs maintain the right to edit content that is not suitable for public release.
All stories must be written in Associated Press Style and use plain language techniques. FEMA Headquarters Public Affairs Division retains editorial authority over all submissions.

Announcement submissions:

Broadcast e-mail messages should be used judiciously and cannot impair the operational integrity of the computer and network facilities, as well as inconvenience or misinform those who receive such messages. Employee News Online is now the preferred location for announcements, opportunities for training, and calendar events.

Announcements consist of a brief title, a short description, starting and ending dates (and perhaps) times, and a short block of text of 125 words or less that provides additional information. All announcements must be written in Associated Press Style and use plain language techniques.

Announcements submitted to Employee News Online will be accessible by the public. Public Affairs maintain the right to edit content that is not suitable for public release.

Photography submissions

All images should tell a story and be submitted as an individual graphic file such as a JPG, BMP or TIFF. All photography submissions must include the name of the photographer. Captions must be written in Associated Press Style, be able to stand alone and tell a story, and list names of those represented in the photograph. Action photos are most desirable, and we discourage “grip & grin” images. All photos must also be submitted to the FEMA photo library. Offices without photographic support can send an e-mail to brittany.trotter@fema.dhs.gov for assistance.

The FEMA Weekly editor has the right to reject a photo if it is not of high quality, doesn’t tell a story and is deemed inappropriate. Photos should not reveal agency badges or other identification that may infringe on individual privacy.

Most often only one photograph will be used per newsletter story. However, if the submitter would like to present multiple images to allow for image selection, the maximum number of images that may be submitted is three. Each image must have a caption.

Helpful hints

Spell out the first use of an acronym but don't place the acronym in brackets. If you don’t know what an acronym or abbreviation stands for, don’t use it.

Dates should be written as Jan. 1 or May 1 or Dec. 24, not spelled out and the year is not used if the same year of publication.

States should be listed as in accordance with AP Style Guide and some city don't need the state listed.


For any additional questions about Employee News Online, please feel free to contact FEMA-Weekly@fema.dhs.gov.


Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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