What is “anytime publishing”? It’s the ability to publish content to any platform at any time. The concept may seem simple enough, but it takes solid rework and realignment of content processes and expectations, as well as some leading-edge risks, to successfully implement it.

Rethinking content workflows, teams, roles, and content itself can provide the path to content optimization for digital and mobile. Here are three core objectives to consider in order to shift your thinking about content workflow approaches and achieve anytime publishing capabilities.

Workflow chart from iStockObjective 1: Reduce or eliminate multiple reviews, and get to commitment and completion early and effectively. In a mobile and digital strategy, content needs to get up and out quickly. Aim to create content that’s fully developed and complete as quickly as possible. Yes, it needs to be planned, formulated, and vetted, but the objective is to produce content efficiently and move on. Organize your processes and work methods around this objective, and avoid dragging development decisions out longer than needed. Get away from the elaborate and lengthy processes of buffing and polishing content and step into a “get it done” mindset.

Objective 2: Structure content to always be “publish-ready.” Content needs to be structured (i.e., styled and tagged) from the point of initiation, with content elements clearly defined. Content elements are buckets or components such as headline, deck, byline, body, or sidebars. Structure also includes metadata , taxonomy, and categorization to enrich the content for search functions.

We often hear that publishers are hesitant to rock the boat with their contributors by invoking these content template practices, but many have made the transition successfully and are reaping the benefits of agile content.

Objective 3: Invest in current-state best-practice tools to support new work methods. Nothing is more challenging than trying to change the way content creators work if you don’t provide adequate tools to support that effort. Tools that provide visibility and accessibility to all content that is in development or has already been published are essential to enabling a smooth transition to new ways of thinking about content. Additionally, putting tools that centralize and simplify the content development process directly in front of content creators—rather than leaving it up to them to seek them out—can make or break an “anytime publishing” process.

By stepping back and rethinking process, content structure, and tools, there can be many options for creating content in more flexible approaches. Take the time to brainstorm this with your teams; the results may be surprising—and positive.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.