Overcoming bottlenecks in the digital editorial process flow

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Executing a successful digital content program is no easy task. Editorial teams need to be both able to generate valuable pieces of content and manage every level of the process from ideation to execution. One of the most important—if not the most important—pieces of this puzzle is the need for streamlined workflows and solutions that ensure all teams and individuals involved in the digital editorial process have clear roles and responsibilities, and can be held accountable.

Common challenges addressed through effective editorial process flows

There are two common challenges that often arise when organizations and publishers do not have effective editorial process flows in place.

First, when editorial teams are tasked with developing materials associated with specific campaigns or programs, it’s critical that everyone involved is on the same page. Editorial teams need to take ownership of the content they are creating, while ensuring that the work is high-quality and will ultimately position the brand in the most impactful light. Without establishing a workflow that simplifies the steps in which content is reviewed and approved, it’s more difficult to identify where missteps might be happening, and the individuals or teams who may not be producing work that reflects your brand correctly. This increases the likelihood of publishing poor-quality content, or worse, publishing false or sensitive materials by mistake.

Secondly, another common challenge that can be solved through the integration of effective workflows is the lack of understanding teams may have surrounding their roles and responsibilities within a digital content program. It’s all too common that projects become stuck in a bottleneck if teams aren’t clear on where their work has landed, or who is responsible for ultimately reviewing a piece of content and giving the greenlight for approval. With a structured workflow, teams have visibility into who in the process owns what task, and can more quickly communicate with those who may be creating bottlenecks to keep projects on track.

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Inside Brightspot: Workflows overview

Tactics for creating workflows that work for your editorial process flows

Every organization is different, but there are a variety of workflow components that can be integrated at any level to create processes that not only streamline content programs, but also facilitate stronger team collaboration and communication.

  • Connect each workflow to team and/or individual KPIs: When tasks are associated with larger goals, it motivates those involved to work efficiently to get projects completed, such as reviewing content that’s been assigned to them or hitting a certain goal for the number of content pieces required to go live for a specific campaign. A recent case study from the Special Olympics highlights how establishing KPIs, particularly at the onset of a project, can help better measure success once you’ve crossed the finish line. 
  • Leverage teams across projects with hours and bottom lines in mind: Using a customized workflow allows for decision makers to clearly see who is assigned to each specific task, how many tasks individuals have at any given time, and if work is not being distributed fairly or effectively. For example, if a manager can see that one aspect of ongoing tasks takes some team members longer than others, it can be an indicator that more training is required or that some people have more or less downtime than others. This is often an “invisible bottleneck” where editorial teams don’t realize they are underutilizing or overutilizing their people.
  • Regularly audit workflows to identify recurring bottlenecks: While some platforms allow for a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach, it’s critical that teams evaluate the success of projects or workflows regularly so adjustments can be made in real-time as opposed to once or twice annually. These evaluations can help illustrate breakdowns in a system or specific team members who are not performing at their ability. These audits can be either performance or system-based, dependent on which seems most appropriate for a given project.

How Brightspot optimizes and improves your editorial workflows

Brightspot offers two solutions specific to workflow management, Assignment Desk and Media Desk—both of which are informed by the end user and can be customized to best suit your business needs.

  • Brightspot makes it possible to easily create, assign, review, and publish content using customized workflows. This creates accountability at every level and ensures that teams are meeting deadlines, work is being reviewed and approved in a timely fashion, and people are being leveraged efficiently across the organization. 
  • Using permissions, previews, and notifications to keep teams on track through each step of the publishing process is simplified through Brightspot. These tools also allow users to ask questions, see current project statuses, and seek out help at any point in a project’s lifespan, all while also keeping track of these communications for wider visibility. 
  • Brightspot’s workflows are publisher-informed and publisher-focused—each step in the publishing process can be customized to fit the specific needs of an organization, and allow for preferences on a team and/or individual level to be addressed to allow for desired levels of collaboration or autonomy. This also makes it easy for workflows to be changed at any time, especially if processes go through regular audits. 

Overcomplicated content review processes and unclear roles and responsibilities are two bottlenecks to establishing a successful digital editorial process that can have a direct impact on the bottom line. Fortunately, establishing effective workflows is made easy when the right solutions are in play. By using these solutions to connect workflows to KPIs, leverage teams across projects and regularly audit processes, organizations and publishers can encourage stronger collaboration and communication across every level.

Start building in a free trial environment, see a demo, or talk to an expert—select one of these paths and start however you would like to!

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About the Author
Meredith Rodkey is VP of Platform Product Management & Solutions at Brightspot. She has focused on product management for nearly 10 years, contributing to major Brightspot engagements from U.S. News & World Report to Arizent and Healthgrades. In her previous life, Meredith worked as a homepage editor and writer for AOL.com, curating a daily experience for millions of users.

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