Association editors for national associations routinely face the challenge of covering issues that may vary widely from state to state and region to region. Ensuring that articles don’t focus solely on one region and ignore the different issues faced in other areas requires careful planning to include issues, sources, and advice that recognizes the breadth of the membership.
The challenge is doubly sensitive for international associations. When the majority of magazine readership is in the U.S., the tendency is to opt for writing style and language for U.S. readers, which makes fiscal sense since producing a publication in multiple languages is not financially feasible for most associations.
When the International Erosion Control Association merged all of its regions to one organization, the magazine was read by and articles were submitted by authors around the world, the decision was made to adopt guidelines that recognized the international audience. The major changes were:
- All measurements in the scientific and technical publication are to be presented in metric and U.S. standard formats within the text. Example: …10,000 sq ft (930 sq m).
- All dates are to follow the international date format with the month spelled out. Example: 10 August 2021.
The date format was critical, especially in event calendars promoting conferences that members throughout all countries could attend. Spelling the month also reduced confusion versus just using numerals.
Because the majority of articles are submitted by academics, professionals, researchers and technical experts, editorial guidelines were rewritten to describe these changes in detail – saving time and effort for association editorial staff who did not have to edit or rewrite.