Publishers of all kinds are struggling with greater content demand, fewer resources and tighter deadlines than ever before. Not to mention the myriad of publishing formats and channels to target with that content. It’s generating a complexity for published content that’s exponentially greater. Creating and publishing content with the status quo approach just isn’t working any more for many organizations, so based upon our recent work with clients we are sharing some things to consider to reinvent your content workflow.


  • What are you publishing content for? That mark has most certainly moved for most publishers, but many are still working in the same process models and have not taken a fresh look for how they can work better. Clarify your publishing objectives and be sure that everything you do points at those objectives, not some older objective from years ago – aim to meet your mark.


  • Have you taken a hard look at roles? Is your staff still working in the same way, performing the same tasks, as they have in years past? If they are, you need to take a hard look at why. Dynamic publishing organizations have had to take a hard look at who does what. They also need to look at content creation demands. Who can best contribute to the creation of content and what point in a process? How can you minimize the number of interactions any individual needs to have with content being created? Are certain roles performing “supporting” tasks that other roles could do directly on their own to reduce duplication of effort?  Every role needs to be accountable for creating more complete content, and rely less on a support team to assist with completion of content. Ask your teams what they think they could be doing differently – you may be pleasantly surprised by the feedback.


  • Does your process still suit the content demands you have today? Content creation is now most certainly multi-channel. Publishing teams need to step away from the creating for single presentation model. Every content aggregation opportunity needs to take all potential uses and formats into consideration to maximize the value of effort expended on content development. Think about how you can leverage an editor or designer’s interaction with all related forms of content for a particular story or topic at once, so that while they’re in the moment, they can make best use of that focus, be done with it and move on.
  • Prepare for create once, publish many. Break out of the mindset that states that you are creating a one time masterpiece that will live in a page (or screen). Retrain your teams to understand that this is just the first stop on the content conveyor belt (yes, how many times have you all heard me say that?). Think about the content being created in a broader perspective, and plan for a longer life-cycle when” cultivating” it.
  • Condense your process and reduce unnecessary involvement. Few publishers still have the luxury to continuously adjust or refine content to their liking until they decide they are done. This approach is disruptive to all involved, and counter to today’s content demands. Focus on content completeness early on, so that editing and “refinement” can occur with all the necessary pieces and parts intact. This opens the opportunity to reduce the interaction required in later proofing processes by the whole team, and allows the content  “development” team to move on to the next set of new content. The goal is more relevant content with less effort.

Keep the business demands and shifts visible. Your teams will be much more invested and willing to change if you are clear about where the business needs to go. If performing tasks differently, or contributing in a different way helps to drive the bottom line, keep layoffs at bay, and strengthen the potential for direct financial benefit, people get it.

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.