If we are not missing deadlines, what’s the problem? This is a popular mindset among publishers when it comes to editorial workflow management.
The truth is, there are a lot of old-school workflows in the publishing industry. Often they are accepted as “normal.” Many publishers continue operating with separate processes they could easily consolidate into one harmonious workflow.
If this is you, take a moment to quantify what you lose when you “get by” with how things have always been done. Today, you have every opportunity to improve it and get immediate results. A modern workflow is efficient, centralizing content where permitted individuals can easily collaborate and from which you can publish it once – and distribute it everywhere at the same time.
Here are seven signs your editorial workflow is a good candidate for improvements that will save time and cut costs:
In some cases, publishers maintain an inefficient workflow because they don’t have high expectations for it in the first place. If there is no deadline pain or routine errors, they don’t see a problem with a circuitous workflow in which content is touched multiple times. Others are reluctant to change or expect their staff will be reluctant to change. For many, there’s simply not enough time or resources to dedicate to designing more efficient processes.
In the grand scheme of things, if your workflow is inefficient, you’ll have reduced editorial output and won’t get maximum value out of your resources. A modern, streamlined workflow allows you to produce more content at higher quality.
Your team can get more done and dedicate themselves to great work, rather than spending time taking tedious extra steps that don’t add value to the end-product. Each of the seven signs of a poor workflow cost you more than just wasted time and effort. With improvements, not only will you get more great journalism, your team will enjoy the process more.
Invariably a proper 21st-Century workflow includes one central editorial repository for your photos, videos, PDFs and other graphics, acting as a digital asset manager (DAM). This creates an asset of great value and enables more ROI from your content investment. Writers can easily search previous articles and photos on the topic they are working on today, accessing to previous research, reporting and sources that make it easier to put out more and better material.
Simply put, a modern editorial workflow takes the least effort possible to produce excellent output. Everything is available to relevant team members. Those team members can easily collaborate and track changes. Then, once an article is finished, you only have to touch it once and can then use it any way you like – print, on the website or in a newsletter.
To accomplish this, you need:
Improving your workflow is about delivering better quality content to your readers. It is also about extending the life of that content. If you haven’t revisited your workflow in several years, the time is probably now to take action.
Take the following steps:
Are you using separate documents in your editorial workflow? Do staffers experience bottlenecks? After content has been published in one channel, does anyone have to spend time to get it into a newsletter or any other channel? If so, it may be time to at least look at what you’re missing. It may be time to look at a proper, sophisticated, collaborative editorial system that will do more for you.
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