Welcome to Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance’s PLAN Washington initiative. As you’ll see, PLAN Washington is an ambitious and non-partisan strategic plan for the state pegged to Year 2025 performance goals and emerging strategies for achieving them. Catalyst seeks guest articles and opinion pieces, multimedia, and content partnerships. More details in the following Q+A.

Q: What is the purpose of Catalyst?
A: Catalyst explores the key policy areas of PLAN Washington: Economic Development, Education, Environment, Governance, Health and Transportation. The aim is to provide insight on how Washington can become a top-performing state by 2025. Here’s a chart summarizing key PLAN issue areas, measures, and strategies.

Q: What types of content do you publish?
A: The approach ranges from opinion/analysis, to data-driven news, to features. Content forms currently include text, video, and data visualizations.

Q: What about other types of multimedia?
A: We welcome volunteer contributions from individuals skilled in shooting and editing video, podcast engineering, and animation. To these contributions we can add story ideas and news writing and editing skills, as well as publishing, distribution, and promotion.

Q: Whom do I contact?
A: After reading this post in full, contact editor Matt Rosenberg at matt (at) wabusinessalliance (dot) org with story proposals or questions.

Q: Can my contribution promote my organization at all?
A: There is definitely room for organizations to promote their work so long it is made relevant to challenges the state faces in key policy areas, as defined either by PLAN Washington, or others.

Q: How can I make my submission especially strong?
A: We greatly appreciate good writing, clear logic, plus the use of data and statistics, and supporting links, although the latter two are not required.

Q: Do you help with the editing process?
A: Yes, and we are happy to do so. We often work closely with contributors to ensure the final product is as strong as it can be.

Q: What type of audience should I be writing for?
A: You’ll want to connect with a knowledgeable audience of business and opinion leaders – yet still also be compelling to engaged young adults and college students.

Q: What are the formats and other technical requirements for submissions?
A: Please submit articles in Google Document form with matt@wabusinessalliance.org credentialed as an editor. In an email or at end of article, please provide an author bio. Provide a .jpg format author photo (headshot) and if possible, at least one other .jpg format photo related to the article topic, taken by you or someone connected with your organization. Provide photo credits.

Q: Can you provide specific examples of types of articles published at Catalyst?
A: Yes. Examples of key content types follow, with links.

a) Craft opinion or analysis pieces on key issues accented in PLAN Washington. Suggested length is 750 words but longer is possible. Be provocative, but classy. Back it up. (Example; Example).

b) Write shorter pieces of 250-450 words, on news, or new publications or data, connected to themes in PLAN Washington. (Example; Example).

c) Explore topics in economic development, education, environment, governance, health, transportation or other key policy areas that are not stressed in PLAN but do deserve attention. (Example; Example).

d) Relate success stories or challenges related to key PLAN topic areas; and specific performance measures and strategies if possible. (Example; Example; Example; Example).

e) Contribute your skills using tools such as Tableau Public or Tableau Desktop to create data visualizations bringing to life performance data connecting with a key topic area of PLAN Washington – such as economic growth drivers, or transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. We will often be able to dig up the datasets in Excel or CSV format, and provide assignment framing, beta testing and writing, plus publishing, distribution, promotion. You build the viz, culminating in embed code we use to craft the related blog post. (Example; Example).

Q: How can I help promote Catalyst?
A: Several ways.

a) Follow WaBA on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, RSS – and share our posts including those which stem from our blog Catalyst. Especially if you or your organization has authored it.

b) Share the blog through word-of-mouth and email – conveying the web address of http://wacatalyst.org.

c) Link to Catalyst at your organization’s or company’s web site if possible; or link to articles from the blog selectively, at your site or blog.

d) Suggest to organizations which may share some of WaBA’s interests that they contact us to discuss content partnerships.