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Tips for managing the publication process. Communications Workshop October 23, 2003. Agenda. Introduction The role of a publication Typical publication process, with tips and tools Presentation of recent print and web project Designer, writer, printer, project manager, PSB advisor

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Tips for managing the publication process l.jpg

Tips for managing the publication process

Communications WorkshopOctober 23, 2003

Agenda l.jpg

  • Introduction

    • The role of a publication

  • Typical publication process, with tips and tools

  • Presentation of recent print and web project

    • Designer, writer, printer, project manager,

      PSB advisor

  • Questions and discussion with presenters

Process team l.jpg
Process team

  • Monica Lee, director, Publishing Services Bureau

  • Bara Blender, advisor, Publishing Services Bureau

  • Victor Park, new media designer, Publishing Services Bureau

  • Tania Schlatter, advisor, Publishing Services Bureau

  • Chris Sherrill, team leader, Web Communications Services

Introduction l.jpg

  • The role of a publication

    • Sends messages

    • Invites action

    • Identifies organization

    • Marks time

The publication process l.jpg
The publication process

  • Sample process for print and web publications

    Stage 1: Assess and plan

    Stage 2: Create

    Stage 3: Produce

    Stage 4: Launch

    Stage 5: Measure and plan

  • General activities and typical steps for MIT publishers

Stage 1 assess and plan evaluate l.jpg
Stage 1: Assess and plan • Evaluate

  • Audience

    • Determine what is valued and needed

  • Messages

    • Determine if current messages are up to date and meaningful

  • Format

    • Determine what is appropriate and accessible

  • Imagery

    • Determine what attributes are appropriate to portray visually

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Stage 1: Assess and plan • Solicit input from colleagues and “users”

  • Gather informal feedback

  • Distribute questionnaires

  • Hire market research for substantial changes in department mission or philosophy

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Stage 1: Assess and plan • Establish priorities, goals, scope and timeframe

  • Determine what is needed

  • Establish a preliminary schedule

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Stage 1: Assess and plan • Define budget range

  • Review available funds

  • Review typical cost ranges

  • Review the MIT procurement process

Tool 1

Stage 1 assess and plan build a team l.jpg
Stage 1: Assess and plan • Build a team

  • Establish internal team

    • Designate project manager, core team members

    • Identify key stakeholders

  • Review MIT resources

  • Determine external team needs

  • Solicit / review vendors

Tool 2

Stage 1 assess and plan build a team continued l.jpg
Stage 1: Assess and plan • Build a team, continued

Tool 3

  • Develop a request for proposals (RFP)

    • State needs; provide vision and direction so vendors can propose solutions

  • Evaluate the proposals

    • Judge for appropriate fit with your project

    • Review prices

    • Meet with the finalists

  • Award the project to vendor(s)

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Stage 2: Create • Kick off the project

  • Review roles, expectations and goals

  • Develop project schedule

  • Provide information about your organization to creative vendors

    • Forward market research, informal feedback, existing publications, competitors’ information

    • Set up interviews / tours

Tool 4

Stage 2 create re establish project parameters l.jpg
Stage 2: Create • (Re)Establish project parameters

  • Document key delivery and sign-off dates

  • Review roles and responsibilities

  • Establish method for communicating feedback

  • Confirm project scope and goals

  • Generate requisitions

Stage 2 create continued l.jpg
Stage 2: Createcontinued

  • Develop creative approach

  • Develop content outline

  • Develop information architecture (web)

  • Arrange for a usability review (web)

    • Provide access to sample audience members to serve as testers

  • Create initial design

  • Gather existing images or create imagery

  • Check postal regulations

Stage 2 create continued15 l.jpg
Stage 2: Create continued

  • Review with stakeholders

  • Provide feedback to creative vendors

    • Focus on objective goals, not subjective preferences

    • State concerns, not solutions

    • Keep a written record of all feedback and approvals

  • Refine design and copy based on feedback

    • Proofread during each round of revisions

  • Give final approval on design and content

Stage 3 produce l.jpg
Stage 3: Produce

  • Set up files for printing

    • Provide final logo and/or image files

  • Release files and final specifications to the selected printer

  • Set up files for web programming

    • Conduct a code review of sample pages

    • Populate the site with content

    • Proofread complete site

Stage 3 produce continued l.jpg
Stage 3: Producecontinued

  • Plan for launch and promotion

    • Schedule mailing services

    • Order mailing lists and arrange for postage

  • Review proofs

    • Get approval and sign off from the core team

  • Attend press checks

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Stage 3: Produce continued

  • Conduct web accessibility testing

  • Test web pages across platforms and browsers

  • Plan for launch and promotion

    • Request spotlight 2 months in advance (web)

  • Plan for ongoing production and maintenance

    • Evaluate / purchase equipment and software

    • Assign staff / conduct training

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Stage 4: Launch

  • Mail printed publications

  • Register with search engines (web)

  • Request site indexing (web)

  • Promote the publication

  • Prepare staff to handle audience response to publications

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Stage 5: Measure and plan

  • Establish methods for soliciting and tracking feedback

    • Survey cards

    • Web surveys

    • Develop questions to ask when speaking to audience members

    • Keep track of informal feedback

  • Begin planning for the next print revision or web update

  • Evaluate the publication development process

    • What worked

    • Opportunities for improvement

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Tool 2

  • MIT resources

  • Communications resources

Tool 5

Summary l.jpg

  • Create the framework within which innovative publications can develop

    • Designate a capable project manager / champion

    • Establish a team of internal and external experts

    • Inspire the creative team and share your vision

    • Create a publication plan to guide the team

      • Outline goals, agree on roles and schedule

    • Manage the process

      • Minimize surprises, maximize opportunity to deliver on time and within budget

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For more information

  • Communications Workshops website:

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Case study

  • The Picower Center for Learning and Memory

    • Brochure

    • Website

  • Project team

    • Martha Eddison, writer

    • Lora Gunsallus, printer

    • Alice Hecht, designer

    • Tom Pixton, PSB advisor

    • Kelly Powell, external project manager