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Contributing to the Catalyst 101 – start here!

Ashley Ryneska

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This is your crash course in story submission for the St. Pete Catalyst. Relax – zero journalism background required.  

If you’re active on at least one social media platform, you’re already mastering the art of content & attention.  Every day, we act as reporters from the front lines of our lives, straight from the trenches of our civic and professional empires. All that’s really missing is a professional byline. 

This process might feel a bit different from posting on your personal blog or promoting a Facebook event for your favorite nonprofit. The Catalyst challenges you to look a little deeper, at both yourself and what’s happening around you, and to articulate it in a compelling and objective way.  Think about your daily professional life: you do important work, share ideas, observe your reactions, learn what you care about – ultimately crystallizing a strong voice that is uniquely native to you. A good ‘gut check’ practice: think about the issues or topics that come into consciousness during your morning commute, at the end of a long workday, or in the middle of a long jog. There is likely something unresolved or unspoken about these issues, something missing from our collective social consciousness.  That something is you  and it’s that insight we want to amplify to the St Pete Community. 

Let’s Get Started: 

  1. We’ve Got Your Back: Want to kick the tires on a story idea?  Email us at spark@stpetecatalyst.com. It’s okay to start gradually. Submit some shorter articles or announcements. Ease into lengthier submissions, if needed. 
  2. Objectivity is the Name of the Game: Be passionate, but demonstrate expertise through objectivity. Opinions and perspectives are welcome, but biased agendas likely belong somewhere else. 
  3. Find What You’re Passionate About. Go Do That. Then Write About It:  Our most successful contributors share two basic qualities: they are business/civic-minded and they are actively involved. Read other Catalyst articles for inspiration — you are amongst a collective of thinkers, movers, and connectors. Allow this process to be life-enhancing.
  4. News Doesn’t Stop at Reporting: Sometimes the most profound ideas germinate “post-event”. Your news consumption shouldn’t be a closed-loop experience. Tell us how a local issue or news announcement affects your business and industry. Connect the dots for our readers, while validating your own user experience. 
  5. Don’t Sweat The Editorial Stuff. See #1.  We’ve employed journalism professionals to review spelling, grammar, etc. Rest assured, we remain wholly committed to preserving the integrity of your content during the publishing process. 
  6. Focus on Solutions: Contributing to a public, community sourced platform might feel intimidating at first, especially with sensitive topics. The sole antidote to fear is truth. Focus on solutions in helping your community break free from disillusion, denial, apathy or lack of awareness.
  7. Be Nice. Be respectful with your submissions and comments. Dignified and thoughtful dialogue is encouraged and supported. Disruptive, unproductive contributions are prohibited.
  8. Let’s Talk Topics: To use an attire analogy, we are business professional/ business casual. Encouraged topics include civic issues, local news stories,  professional profiles, business matters, culture, art, science, tech and literature. 
  9. Stay in Your Lane: Don’t compare or compete with other writers- find your own voice. Social influence has its place, but you can’t stay locked into your rails while looking over your shoulder, to the left, or to the right. You’re at the table for a reason. 
  10. Every photo needs a story. And every story needs a photo.  Connecting words to an image increases absorption of your content by your readers.  If you can take or find a photo that enhances your message, please do.  The contribution center includes the option to upload documents, photos and media files. 

We are creating something really special with the St. Pete Catalyst. We value our powerful partnership of ideation and connection and we can’t do it without you.  Thank you for contributing your spark to the fire that continues to fuel advancement and enlightenment for our great city.   Now head over to our contribution center

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The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us: spark@stpetecatalyst.com

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