How To Transform Your Editorial Department into a Profit Center

January 27, 2014

Traditionally, many publishers have treated their Editorial Department as a cost center.  Valued? Yes.  A Core Competency? Certainly.  But it may be difficult to wrap your head around the idea that the editorial department could become a profit center. You probably are accustomed to the idea that it will only ever be treated as a necessary cost. But, what if Editorial had tools empowering them to create new products or designate content as pay-per-view, along with reducing the cost of producing content for your publications and website? 

With an Enterprise Publishing System (EPS), your editorial department can generate revenue.  It’s all about increasing efficiency, eliminating technical obstacles to innovation and monetizing more content to remedy the deadly sins of editorial:

  • Retyping the same content to deliver it through more than one delivery channel: newsletter, website, email, etc.
  • Cutting and Pasting: related to retyping, it is an indicator that your content can be managed more effectively
  • Sharing content by attaching a document to email; losing control of the working version of an article, whitepaper or post
  • Relying on separate systems to compile content, media, SEO and any other other component of the same article or post
  • Finding unapproved content up on your site
  • Dependence on IT for content to appear on your site

You've probably got your own list, but you get the picture.  You've got to start by reducing friction, eliminating silos and helping Editorial operate with profit in mind rather than simply keeping up.


1) Increase Editorial Efficiencies. It’s true, an EPS can significantly increase your editorial efficiencies and this is where you can start to shave costs.

  • Consolidate: Give everyone access to a unified dashboard to manage articles, blogs, video, images, events: ALL content for your publications, websites, eNews.  How many hours per week will you save if your stringers uploaded their post or article into your editorial system instead of sending a Word doc?
  • Automate: Tying your eNewsletter workflow to your eMail system eliminates cutting and pasting. Articles, images, video and ads all flow into email templates; email lists are associated with one or more eNewsletters; you can even send test email and automate Alert emails.  Bottom line: a newsletter that once took hours to build now requires mere minutes to create and send.
  • Repurpose: Why recreate the wheel for every change to your website?  Or depend on IT to create a template or page?  With an EPS, daily and weekly columns are created in templates—giving editors the tools they need to post content, with no programming expertise required.
  • Control Editorial Standards: One taxonomy system makes sure your semantic tagging is applied consistently, but with room to adapt to new subjects and content types, similarly, editorial tools require the same article elements - headline, teaser, page header, friendly URL - before any can be published.
  • Global management: an EPS provides control over permissions and authority to publish. You can give access to all, one or a suite of tools for every user. Freelancers and bloggers are coordinated and managed from the same place as well.

If this makes you curious, you can read more about how editorial efficiencies add value.

2) Build Efficiencies, Company Wide.  Eliminate functional silos across your company, with your EPS acting as the glue that connects your publications to the larger organization. You can apply editorial best practices across publications and across departments.

  • Share best practices
  • Manage company styles and standards
  • Repurpose content without duplicate entry or separate systems
  • Enable your marketing department to manage products, offers, pricing and landing pages—and contextually relate products, events and lists to editorial content

What’s more, the editorial hours saved can translate into hundreds of more hours per month that your directors can apply company-wide, to monitor and manage the work of more far-flung enterprises. Your EPS can function as a management asset, with reporting to identify inefficiencies, while recognizing, developing and rewarding top producers.

3) Employ a Web-First Strategy. There is no denying that web-first is the way of modern publishing. An EPS allows you to create your content once and deliver it via multiple channels.  Adopting the strategy will only keep you ahead of the game, and ultimately not only save you money, but also allow you to deliver more so you can generate more revenue.  Gone are the days when you develop your content for print and then must adapt it for the web. Your content flows to your website, RSS, email, social media, tablet and mobile, digital and print editions.

4) Leverage Multiple Revenue Streams. With an EPS, you aren’t limited to one or two revenue sources anymore. At one time, you probably relied on subscriptions and advertising to keep you afloat. But now you can test and innovate, with pay per view options for articles or issues, subscriptions, memberships, site access, premium content access, sponsored listings, events, ads, buyers guides and more. And remember, it’s all managed from one place, so additional revenue streams do not equate to additional work or new inefficiencies to grapple with.

We’ll continue in our next post by discussing how to further monetize your content and increase editorial value with an EPS.  Stay tuned.