Another guest viewpoint by Alix Paultre, editorial director, Power Systems Design

Alix Paultre, editorial director, Power Systems Design (on a visit to Bath)

Alix Paultre, editorial director, Power Systems Design (on a visit to Bath)

In publishing a magazine (and by extension, producing a website) there are a lot of things in motion all the time that have to converge at one spot in order to accomplish publication. And it’s not just traditional publishers that face the challenge. Through their content marketing activities, many B2B electronics companies are becoming publishers too. Contributors and other sources provide content, text must be prepped/screened/edited, images must be manipulated, and the resulting items must be formatted and put together in context to create the feature with appeal to the audience. This goes for every method of distributing information, from a flyer to a webcast.

Juggling and organizing information components is also a part of content strategy and development. For every new feature, an audience must be determined, an intellectual approach must be chosen, a format must be created, and content must be found. Once created, the feature turns into a standard production item.

The rub is in understanding the logistics tail for both the intellectual component and the procedural infrastructure when creating content so as not to be overwhelmed by its scope once created. Too often very good ideas are rendered useless through ungainly process or lack of good content in sufficient quantity to create the material in the frequency required to properly serve the content and maintain the audience.

That is why controlling deliverables is a primary skill in proper editorial management. One must balance resources and skills to not only create the material, one must also be able to integrate projected required resources into the initial creation of concept. It is easy to do something great for the audience once or twice, but in order to maintain a minimum once-daily (once weekly at the extreme maximum for production-heavy material) content flow one must be able to properly plan for the labor and resources needed on an ongoing basis.

The danger here is that many editors are scrambling for their brand’s life, and it is easy to overpromise the sales staff on new content that will help maintain and grow target audiences. In addition, the more an editor explains and discusses the logistics requirements of content with management; they will have a better relationship than if one simply said “it can’t be done”. It is better to say, “we can’t do that, but we can do this”, and even better to say, “if you gave me this, I could do that for you”.