Checklist for contributors

This is a contributor’s checklist for every post to the Philly Soccer Page. It includes both a guide to getting your post set up, a style guide, and a list of general tips.

PSP Contributor Roles:

  • Managing Editors
  • Daily Editors – Edit posts submitted on their coverage days. Edit according to AP style guidelines, factual accuracy, newsworthiness and civil discourse.
  • Priority Event Writers – Post articles on Union and UnionII for:
    • Match Previews – Deadline 10 a.m. Day before Match
    • Match Reports – Deadline 0:30 Post Match
    • Player Ratings – Deadline 10 a.m. Day Two after Match
    • Match Analysis – Deadline 10 a.m. Day Three after Match
    • Press Conferences – Deadline 0:60 after Presser
  • Beat Reporters – Produce newsworthy posts related to a Beat on a regular basis, at least twice a month.  Beat posts are not scheduled in advance but are highly values. Beat reporters are expected to keep tabs on what’s happening in a Beat; develop authoritative sources; check out websites; call contact numbers; get placed on media mailing lists and interview players or coaches who have received awards, reached milestones or achieved something of recent significance. Aggressively follow leads and stories will follow. Develop timely posts according to issues and events regarding:
    • US National Teams
    • USL2 Eastern Conference Teams
    • Union Academy
    • Philadelphia International Unity Cup
    • Philly College Soccer 7
    • CASA
    • West Chester High School Soccer
    • Wrexham A.F.C
  • Photographers – Produce photos and photo essays after each Union and UnionII match. Submit photos related to Beats at will.

Daily editor and reporters rotation

Starting February 2024, Daily Editors and Priority Event reporters will be assigned by email at least two weeks in advance of their assignments.

Beat writers will submit posts in a timely fashion whenever news breaks on their beats

Guide to posting

1) Headlines
  • Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns.
  • Your headline must be interesting enough to prompt people to click, or they’ll never click in to read read your post.
2) Excerpt

Write an excerpt of less than 45 words in the Excerpt box, which is found below your Post box further down on the page.

This will appear on the front page beneath your headline. This is what entices people in to read your post. NOTE: If you don’t see the Excerpt field, go to the Screen Options dropdown at the top of your post page and click the Excerpt box to enable the Excerpt field. 

3) Featured Image

Here’s how to set the featured image that will appear for your post on the front page. All posts need one.

  • Click the button for Set Featured Image (under the headline, Featured Image).
  • Search for and select a photo from the Media Library.
    1. Some photos don’t turn up in the search because they have not been properly indexed by the names of players or teams. So an alternative way to find photos is to look through the photo essays, either in the dashboard or on the site itself.
    2. If you can’t find an image this way, select an image from our Flickr page, save it to your hard drive, and upload it via Set Featured Image. Include in the description the names of players and teams shown in the photo, as well as the photographer’s name.
    3. A final option is to look to other sources, such as the home, Twitter and Facebook pages of Philadelphia Union and Bethlehem Steel. They are options because they are OK with us using their photos, typically. Never use photos from newspapers, magazines, Getty Images, or other photo services, because they will come after us on copyright issues. U.S. Soccer can be problematic as well.
  • Credit the photo in italics at the top of your post. Example: Photo: Nicolae Stoian.
  • Note: Featured photos should we ones that are longer horizontally than they are vertically.
4) Twitter

Under the Twitter section at the bottom, write a short phrase that will be posted to Twitter when your post goes live.

5) Grammar & spelling
  • Spellcheck. There is spellcheck button on the dashboard above your posting box. (Identify the button from the ABC on top of a checkmark.)
  • Proofread. Reread your post to catch language errors.
  • Use only one space after a sentence, not two.
6) Subheadlines

Subheadlines should be done in Heading 5 format, with boldface. You can set this by dragging down from the Paragraph menu.

7) Format options

Studies have shown that online readers skim more than they read. You need to pull them back into the post with clear formatting that makes your post more than just one big wall of similar text. Here are some suggested options:

  • subheadlines
  • bulletpoint lists
  • numbered lists
  • boldface images
8) Categories

Select what category your post falls into. Typically, it’s no more than one or two categories.

Examples: Union, Match Reports, Local, Philadelphians Abroad, Player of the Week.

9) Tags

Tag any proper noun you think would be searched online. This increases visibility on search engines.

Examples: Philadelphia Union, Amobi Okugo, Subaru Park, Columbus Crew, Major League Soccer.

10) Feature on Home Page

Click the box that says “Feature on Homepage?” under Post Options.

11) Save draft, add note to headline and email editor(s)
  • Do NOT hit Publish unless you’ve been advised to.
  • Put a note on your headline like this: “TUESDAY — Union sign Fafa Picault.” The day should be the day your post is due to run.
  • Save your draft.
  • The afternoon/evening before the post goes live, set your post’s Status as Pending Review. (i.e. If your post is scheduled for Wednesday, at some point after 1 p.m. on Tuesday, please set the Status as Pending.) You’ll find this option under the Publish section near the Publish button.

Details to include when uploading photos

When uploading a photo to the site, please include the following details:

  • Name(s) of player(s), coaches or fan base in the photo
  • Name(s) of team(s) in the photo
  • Location (Name of stadium, City, State, Country)
  • Date of the photo
  • Name of photographer
  • Any other details that seem appropriate (Example: WSFS Sportsplex , parking lot, etc.)

This will make the photo searchable in our media library, which means the photo will be more likely to be used as a featured photo in subsequent posts. If that info isn’t in there, it becomes very difficult to find and use the photo later.