SNO Editorial Guidelines

Editorial Values

1. Introduction

Great travel experiences are at the heart of everything we do, and this can only be achieved by an unwavering commitment to informing and enthusing, at every stage of the travel cycle. From the initial research phase, through selection and booking, to the life-enriching experience of travelling, and then later in sharing that experience to inform and enthuse the next iteration of travel and traveller… Our imperative must always be to share useful and impartial information and guidance.

2. Editorial Values

The approaches we take, in creating valuable and unique content, must balance the twin claims of being both enthusiastic and being also genuinely useful. We recognise that travel information and inspiration can only be genuinely valuable if it is effective, and this means more than being superficially “believable”… it can only be effective if it is authentic. To be clear, we don’t do “brochure-speak”. While enthusiastic (we do love travel after all) our tone must remain authentic, if the information is to be effective in encouraging and facilitating further valuable travel experiences for those we serve.

3. SNO purpose

At SNO we believe that universal access to travel is (after universal access to healthcare and education) the third great boon of our age.

Travel facilitates understanding, increases toleration and promotes respect between disparate peoples.

In a dangerous time of increasing insularity and mistrust, travel has the potential to help keep us on the path to international friendship and global cooperation. A mutually beneficial coexistence based on better understanding.

Using the Guidelines

1. Introduction

SNO editorial guidelines apply to all our content, whoever creates it and wherever it’s consumed or shared. Where we hold the content we create ourselves to a different standard to that of our customers and websites users (UGC or user generated content) that standard will always be higher. Any UGC will be clearly labelled as such, in order that our audience may easily distinguish, and judge/use accordingly.

2. Roles and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of each contributor to ensure the voracity of all information presented, through detailed research.

Principles and Practices

1. Accuracy

The basis and structure of any commissioned piece must come first and foremost from well researched facts.

Accuracy must take precedence over all other imperatives including, for clarity, that of entertainment.

We should not distort known facts.

We should be clear in the event of something that we do not know, and not present conjecture as fact.

We must never knowingly mislead.

While information is kept as accurate as possible, we must be careful not to promise any experience will be a certain way for our audience. Weather, environment, personal experience, local business changes and other features cannot be controlled, and our content can be online for a long time. We must aim to provide the best possible idea of likely circumstances and experiences, remaining clear that this is not a guarantee.

Where possible, we use official sources (e.g. Tourist Office website, government websites, suppliers) to collect information and statistics on topics such as locations, climate and public transport. In cases of accommodation, our product information comes directly from the supplier. Information should be confirmed to be accurate at the time of publishing, although subject to change. While we regularly check and update the information, we cannot guarantee that all information will be correct nor in perpetuity.

We must correct mistakes at the earliest practicable opportunity.

2. Opinion

Where opinion is used it must be clearly labelled as such, using appropriate language such as “we think…” or “we love…” etc.

Where a statement is conjecture, it must be clearly presented as such.

Believing informed opinion to be of considerable value, we will not avoid the use of opinion within our content, but we will be careful to ensure that our (and our contributors’) opinion is not presented as objective fact.

3. Fairness and Impartiality

We exercise editorial freedom to produce any content that we feel is in the interests of our readers, customers, the travel enthusiasts in SNO and the travelling public in general.

We will attempt to reflect a broad range of perspectives and opinions, provided that they are consistent with our imperatives to be accurate, useful, enthusiastic and crucially to not purposely offend or denigrate.

4. Contributors, Privacy and Consent

We will obtain consent from contributors, before using their contributions either online or via any other distribution or broadcast channel.

Customers and the public at large who do not wish to contribute will not be coerced into doing so.

Customers and the public at large who wish to contribute, but do not wish to be identified, will be helped to do so wherever practicable and not in conflict with editorial guidelines.

Where any content includes allegations of incompetence, iniquity or wrongdoing, or lays out a strong and damaging critique of an individual or organisation, those criticised should normally have a right of reply, unless there is an editorial justification to exclude it.

5. External Relationships, Funding and Content

Where content is funded by external parties, we will make this clear and ensure that opinions and information are either our own, or clearly labelled as originating from the external party.

Only images/video/media representing the destination or property is used to illustrate it. Photos/footage that does not belong to SNO is provided through official sources and used with permission from the tourist office, hotel or other travel supplier. When editing, we must not make any changes that could mislead. Any media added from external sources should be removed if deemed inappropriate. We understand that due to natural changes, infrastructure developments and refurbishment, the appearance of destinations and properties displayed on SNO will change, and should endeavour to keep our media as up to date as possible, including updating quickly when changes or inaccuracies are brought to our attention.

6. Harm and Offence

We will not knowingly cause unnecessary harm or offence to any contributor, subject or business, but will equally not avoid the disclosure of negative information or opinions, if we feel this is valuable to our customers, SNO travel lovers or the general travelling public.

The word “unnecessary” is important because this guideline must not be used to silence useful information, such as personal opinion or product and destination reviews.

7. Editorial Justification

We will endeavour to ensure a well thought through judgement in each case, which balances the editorial purpose of our content, with their impact on our audiences and the people included within the content and, where relevant, those closest to them.

We will not avoid tackling difficult subjects but undertake to do so with fairness and an eye towards the utility of the created content to the travelling public as a whole.

8. Tone and Voice

While we hold ourselves to high editorial standards, it’s important to ensure that our tone matches that of SNO, by reflecting both our enthusiasm for all things travel and our irreverent way of describing the world we explore.

Our writing style mirrors in many aspects that of a journalist, focussing on a combination of extreme utility and great enthusiasm for the subject matter.

To get a feel for the kind of tone that suits SNO content, read the kind of wry/knowing features found in the likes of socialite commentators Tatler or journalist-owned Welove2Ski dot com.

9. Style

While our tone is informal, the style must remain accurately and consistently punctuated.

Content should be written in Word and all grammar and punctuation errors corrected before copying into either the website or any other distribution medium.

10. Length

We prefer to commission, research and produce long-form content, which goes into a subject in as much depth as any reader or travel research might reasonably want to delve.

On sno.co.uk, a page must only be allowed to go live with short content, if it is clearly aimed at satisfying a product-based query (i.e. when it is filled with travel product as its main purpose).

11. Uniqueness and Originality

We will always seek to add more information to any subject, within the sphere of travel information and guidance.

Where we are creating content about known/existing topics, we will always seek to combine all of the best information, across all other research resources (to create the definitive “uber resource”) and then also add further to this pre-existing knowledge.

Our guiding principle is to create what has been termed “10X Content” which is an order of magnitude better than what is already available.

The voice of SNO is never generic or derivative - it is uniquely that of the informed, smart/savvy and above all super-enthusiastic travel lover.


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