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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


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    1. Tips for managing the publication process Communications WorkshopOctober 23, 2003

    2. 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 • Questions and discussion with presenters

    3. 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

    4. Introduction • The role of a publication • Sends messages • Invites action • Identifies organization • Marks time

    5. 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

    6. 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

    7. 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

    8. Stage 1: Assess and plan • Establish priorities, goals, scope and timeframe • Determine what is needed • Establish a preliminary schedule

    9. Stage 1: Assess and plan • Define budget range • Review available funds • Review typical cost ranges • Review the MIT procurement process Tool 1

    10. 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

    11. 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)

    12. 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

    13. 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

    14. 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

    15. 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

    16. 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

    17. 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

    18. 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

    19. 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

    20. 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

    21. Resources Tool 2 • MIT resources • Communications resources Tool 5

    22. Summary • 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

    23. For more information • Communications Workshops website: http://web.mit.edu/commworkshops

    24. 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