Write for telos


[expand title="What We’re Looking to Accomplish" tag="h3 style='text-align: left;'"]

As the telos institute continues to grow, we are looking for ever more ways to share our story, communicate our value, and increase our reach. One way to do that is to develop unique content. These can be articles, mini-presentations on a subject, blog posts, infographics, videos and so on. As we look to create more content that prospective and existing clients can interact with, we need to pull from a broad pool of talent, as well as a chorus of diverse voices. That talent pool, that chorus is you – our consultants and partners. Many of you have compelling stories. You all have unique perspectives on leadership and other competencies critical to success. We’d like to tap those experiences, skills, and narratives in a way that elevates all of us. We’re asking individuals to submit a story, blog, and other news ideas. In return, we’ll help you to share and promote your unique take on strategy, leadership, or change. We’ll assist with editing, formatting, and production. We’ll provide the platform for your ideas to be seen and heard.[/expand]

[expand title="Why You Want to Do It" tag="h3 style='text-align: left;'"]

It’s really difficult to get above the noise. It can also be challenging to frame and package our best most inspiring ideas so that they’re approachable, interesting, and consumable. What’s more, even once you do all that, the challenge is getting it in front of an attentive audience. Our team can help overcome all of those obstacles. Not only can we help you to refine and polish your thoughts with conscientious editing and design, we’re looking to promote those ideas as a way of creating more value for all of us – clients, consultants, and the organization as a whole. One immediate benefit to you is the positive impact on your personal brand as more people from a wider audience get to know you, your passions, and your expertise.


[expand title="The Process" tag="h3 style='text-align: left;'"]

If interested, please submit one of the following:

  • A story / blog post idea including a short explanation of why it will be interesting to our audience as well as a brief outline
  • The above with a few paragraphs of text
  • A completed article or blog post ready for editing


Also consider if you’d like your piece to be:

  • Short article: 500 – 800 words
  • Featured post: 1300 -1900 words
  • Multi-part feature: variable

Submissions and ideas can be sent to James Van Doren, who currently heads our marketing and digital engagement efforts. Please send any ideas or documents to james@thetelosinstitute.com.  When sending an email use the subject line “Blog – Article Submission”, which will make it easier for us to hone in on those emails.

Alternatively, you can scroll down and use the submission form on this page.


[expand title="Types of articles" tag="h3 style='text-align: left;'"]

Articles may cover a variety of topics within the realms of strategy, leadership, or change. Potential subjects include discretionary effort, mindfulness, and conflict. Please keep in mind it’s important to provide a unique perspective on your subject. Further, consider bounding your writing. For example, addressing the singular component of mindfulness as a tool for preventing office stress from entering your home keeps your writing focused and action oriented.

A blog post doesn’t have to be a lesson or exploration of a competency, per se. Many interesting articles invite the reader to think about and explore the complexities of a subject in different ways – often without landing on one specific answer. For example, a story about the challenges of staying focused in the face of social media doesn’t have to solve the problem. Creating the awareness and space for discussion is often enough.

Finally, blogs and news stories can be personal. Readers find it compelling to learn why an issue affects the author or someone close to him / her. These narratives create a bridge between the author and reader, often inviting readers to explore their own feelings on the topic. This type of writing can feel risky, and not everyone will feel comfortable sharing in this way. For those who are, a personal narrative creates a powerfully relatable story that emphasizes the shared human experience as much as the author’s intellect and expertise.[/expand]

[expand title="Components to consider" tag="h3 style='text-align: left;'"]

While some can simply start writing, for many, it’s helpful to have a roadmap. Below we’ve outlined a few writing components that may help as you create an outline for your piece.

There are a number of ways to approach the various components below. One method is to create a traditional outline format and capture bulleted ideas to get the ball rolling. For those who prefer little less structure, consider laying these components out on a page and writing a few sentences (or paragraph, if appropriate) under each one. You can then go back and write your connective sentences.

Lastly, for those who prefer to dive right into the writing, these components may be useful as you go back through your piece. Perhaps try to identify where in your article each of these components reside. This way you’ll see if you missed something or if re-ordering your written piece might be helpful.

Lead in: This is an introductory sentence or two that is meant to grab the readers attention and draw them into the piece. It isn’t necessarily the reason for the piece. In traditional news article or magazine features, you might recognize it as the quote the story starts with or the description of the setting. For you, this might be a short anecdote, or even the beginning of a story/narrative that you’ll finish in your conclusion.  Feel free to get creative here, because we’ll help you make sure it all comes together.

Hook: Your hook is your unique persepctive on the story or subject. To some extent, this is the answer to the unasked questions “Why should I care?” or “What makes this relevant to me?” Sometimes your hook or angle is the same as your lead-in, but not always.

Introduction to topic: Since our blogs are a mix of opinion and information, you’ll want to ensure you’re introducing the overall topic in a way that is meaningful and digestible. Most of the time this can be done with a fairly straightforward sentence or two that signals to the reader, “Alright, we’re about to get into the meat of this.”  But didn’t we just introduce the topic in the lead-in and hook?  Well, maybe. More likely those components communicated why the topic was interesting (directly or indirectly) and your specific angle or perspective on the topic.

Important points: Throughout the piece you’ll want to ensure your readers can easily find, identify, and digest your important points.  Sometimes these get buried in a longer sentence or string of sentences. If so, periodically summarize your points simply and succinctly (either before or after the explanation).  If you can, try to remember to tie some of these points back to your hook or lead-in if/when appropriate.

Sources: While many things may come from experience, and that’s a wonderful source, it helps your reader feel more confident and adds credibility if you are able to link to corroborating sources. This is easy to do after the fact if you don’t have anything readily available.  To make it seamless with your story consider using sentences:

“On (date) researchers published their findings corroborating X behavior.”

“Similar to what John Doe said in his book YYYY, I’ve found that….”

“In fact, XYZ Paper recently published an article talking about ABCD, which relates to what we’re talking about here.”

Sentences like those above are easy ways to reference sources and add credibility without breaking the flow of your own story. And as long as you can provide us the links, we’ll be sure they’re properly embedded in the story.

As an aside, referencing and linking to well read sources are also more likely to increase your own readership…and we all want that!

Visuals: Visuals are important. They help break up a wall of text. But, more importantly, they also provide a different way for people to interact and consume the information you’re providing. Don’t underestimate the power of good visuals in bringing your story to life. We can definitely help you find visuals, and if there are pictures or graphics you’re really interested in using, be sure to include them or send us a link. The latter is better, since we want to ensure we aren’t using something proprietary. And if the graphic/image/hart you really want is proprietary, we can help by creating a similar one or finding an alternative.

Conclusion: So you’re finally at the end. You already know you need a conclusion, and we want to ensure you consider crafting it in such a way that it leaves a great impression on your reader. Ideally the conclusion circles back to your original hook, perhaps re-summarizing it. It can also link back to your lead in. For example, if you started your article with a storytelling narrative about a meeting or a coachee, here would be the place to finish it. Alternatively, you can use the conclusion to clarify/share your own “ah-ha” moment which keeps you as an expert, and also makes you more relatable.  If you’re struggling with a conclusion don’t worry – this is also a place where our team can help.[/expand]



[expand title="Do I have to be a great writer?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

No, you do not. You do need a good idea though, and be able to flesh it out fairly well. A great place to start is an outline using some of the above points. Our team can then help you finesse it![/expand]

[expand title="If I’m interested, what’s a good first step?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

Feel free to reach out by phone or email to James Van Doren and pitch your idea. He’s reachable at james@thetelosinstitute.com or 216-952-2899. He can help you flesh out your idea, and help make sure you have a good hook or interesting take. Also, he can let you know when we’d want/need it by.[/expand]

[expand title="What kinds of topics are good?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

Anything on strategy, leadership, or change. We try to avoid political OpEds, How-to’s, and anything that is exclusively focused on life skills. That said – if there’s an interesting idea or take on a topic we want to see it and explore it, even if it’s outside of what we normally focus on.[/expand]

[expand title="Will I get paid if I write an article? If so, how much?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

Yes. Similar to a magazine or professional blogspace, we pay a fair per word rate. For shorter articles (approximately 800 words or less) telos pays $0.05 per word. For longer articles, we pay $0.07 per word with a cap of $140 for a single article. That’s 2,000 words. Your article can be longer than 2,000 words if necessary to properly communicate your idea. Please note, we do have a cap on payment for a single article.

Payment is based on the length (word count) of your article pre- or post-publishing, whichever is shorter. This helps you if you don’t have a fully developed idea or if we help make your language a bit more concise and focused. Further, our publishing of your article elevates your personal brand and there are other intangible rewards. And we won’t charge you for all our editing or promotion![/expand]

[expand title="You mentioned editing. Will I see the final version before it’s published?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

Yes. We absolutely share the final version before publishing on our site and/or social media. We’re partners in bringing the articles to light, and while we want to ensure that the articles reflect well on the organization, they’re your words, so it’s important that we have your buy-in. Generally, you’ll have a minimum of 72 hours to respond and let us know if you feel there may be some inaccuracy or an editing error. If we haven’t heard from you, we’ll always reach out 24 hours before hand to let you know it’s about to be published online. If you don’t respond, we’ll assume it’s OK to publish.[/expand]

[expand title="If I really like the finished piece, can I also publish it on my personal site or LinkedIn page (or Facebook, whatever)?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

We definitely want to promote your articles and increase readership! However, since we’ve paid you for the article, we reserve sole publishing rights for it. We’d invite you to link to the article on telos’ website or on the social media page where we post it (we’ll send you links each time we publish something you write). We ask that you do not post directly on your site or social media or submit it anywhere else for publishing.[/expand]

[expand title="If I can’t post an original and must link to telos’ site, does that mean my name isn’t on it?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

No. We absolutely provide attribution of authorship to you. We want to promote your ideas and insights at the same time that we promote the values that telos brings to the table. That said, if an article requires heavy editing or re-writing, we may contact you about adding editor attribution in addition to your name as the author.[/expand]

[expand title="Once I submit an article or idea, how long before it’s published?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

That depends on the pool of articles and the topics we’re focusing on. Initially we’ll be looking at a rhythm of once per quarter to once per month for consultant created content. If there’s enough interest from both you, our consultants, and the reading public, it could evolve into more frequent publishing. We’ll keep you in the loop, regardless![/expand]

[expand title="I have a question that isn’t covered by the FAQ. Where can I find more information?" tag="font face=verdana" rel="faq-highlander"]

Please contact our associate director of marketing, James Van Doren at james@thetelosinstitute.com or 216-952-2899.[/expand]

Pitch Your Idea

Call, Email, or Use the Form Below

We invite you to use the form below to share your ideas for an article. Although, we use the term “pitch” you shouldn’t feel pressure to make a hard sell or case. We want this to be a collaborative process, where we fully nurture your ideas and help make them a reality.


Write for telos: Pitch

This form is for use by telos consultants, staff, and affiliates to pitch ideas or complete articles to consider for publishing.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • What are you pitching? Select from the check boxes below.
    Broadly speaking, what category does your article/idea fall into?
  • You can use the space below to pitch an idea, explain your premise, or copy and paste an article. However, for full articles, it's advised you consider uploading a word file, and reserving this space for your pitch.
  • You can send us a draft or the full article, for consideration if you like.
    Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 32 MB.