Faster Release Tips for News Organizations: How to Reduce Friction

*Partner content: The news industry is more competitive than ever, and more and more people — especially younger generations — are now turning to social media for the latest news rather than traditional sources. This means that online publications must launch stories as quickly as possible to secure clicks, increase views and gain more subscribers.

One of the most successful ways to reduce the average “time to release” metric for a digital book is to scrutinize the entire production process, including software systems, and remove steps and tools that create friction. Outdated and cumbersome content management systems are often the culprit, holding back newsrooms in a number of small but significant ways, delaying reporting for hours (and sometimes days), but by focusing on three key areas, organizations can Published at record speed.

Simplify your workflow

The ease with which editorial teams can create digital content is often the most important consideration, and while the news industry has evolved considerably over the past decade, many custom publishing systems are still catching up. As a result, more and more publishers are now choosing to take advantage of the power and flexibility of WordPress, making it the number one CMS for news websites.

In addition to offering continuous innovation and best-in-class security, the open-source platform features a built-in block editor that greatly simplifies the self-publishing process for non-technical users. Leading WordPress agency Big Bite has long championed the benefits of time-saving tools and is focused on enabling global brands and enterprise organizations to use it to their advantage. “Block Editor has revolutionized the way teams organize pages and posts,” said Big Bite CEO Ian McPherson. “By using it to build a reusable, on-brand suite of components for every organization we work with, we enable journalists, copywriters, and editors to publish on-brand content in a quick time frame, saving a lot of time and resources our client.”

These include The Sun, which has reportedly seen a 60% reduction in publishing time since adopting the block building method. “We’re now able to publish breaking news stories in two minutes, compared to five minutes with traditional WordPress,” confirms Joel Davies, Head of Editorial Operations at News UK.

Eliminate bottlenecks

Reducing reliance on other departments and external resources can also enhance the content creation process, especially if well-designed features can bridge the gap, such as Big Bite’s Collage Creator and LiveBlog plugin for the New York Post. The Collage Creator feature enables editorial teams to easily create custom images for articles directly within the organization’s WordPress CMS, eliminating the need for a photo deck, saving a lot of time. Likewise, the LiveBlog plugin enables editorial teams to quickly and easily publish news snippets in a live feed format without involving the technical team, a first for the WordPress platform.

“While WordPress provides the ideal foundation for publishing, in order to really fine-tune the process, we designed and developed custom plugins to make life easier for journalists and editors. Even small additions can have a positive impact, in some cases Now — where the team was previously relying on external technical resources — we’ve reduced the average release time by 400 percent,” says Iain.

Strengthen cooperation

Careful subediting and fact-checking set newspapers apart from many other sources of information, and while these steps are critical to maintaining quality and accuracy, they can also slow down publishers if workflows become disjointed. User-centric features can address this issue while also facilitating stronger collaboration, a prime example being the editorial annotations feature developed by Big Bite on behalf of The Wall Street Journal. This feature enables authors and editors to add, edit, reply to, or delete comments on articles directly within the publication’s WordPress CMS, without the team needing to highlight and discuss changes outside the system. This feature continues to save the team at The Wall Street Journal significant time and has been adopted by other publications at the publisher.

“The more editorial teams can do directly in the CMS, the more time they can save overall, so we work closely with our clients to iteratively improve the publishing ecosystem so authors can focus on copy rather than content management”, said Ian.

“Of course, organizations can extend or improve a custom CMS with the same goals in mind, however, the key difference is that by leveraging the capabilities of an open source platform such as WordPress that is continuously updated by a global community of contributors – changes and improvements can be made in the Achieved in less time, enabling publishers to respond more effectively to rapidly changing needs and expectations in a fast-paced industry.”

*This article was published in association with Press Gazette business partner Big Bite. To learn more, contact Big Bite at [email protected] or visit their website today.

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