With multiple newsrooms, a new content management system for Straits Times publisher SPH means not only helping staff serve important and relatable information, but ensuring that all touchpoints with customers are intuitive.
Innovation manager Fred Lai told GXpress that Singapore Press Holdings is in the final stages of awarding a vendor. “We chose proprietary system offerings that offer as much flexibility as possible to accommodate the workflows of multiple newsrooms but without the need for too much customisation to minimise the amount of time needed to get it up and running.”
In an INMA post this week, he explained how a digital-first mindset had been promulgated for years, putting audience and customers at the heart of things.
“To aid us, we have relied on best-in-class tools that serve the various functions, such as customer service, analytics, research and social media, just to name a few,” he says.
Turning the focus internally back on newsroom processes, they looked at ways newsrooms could serve their audiences efficiently, and decided work processes had to be tweaked, with a move on from the trusty CMS.
Lai says a start was to find out what issues were bugging other newsrooms, and what processes they had found laborious on a day-to-day basis. “This might include how content is being uploaded, and how it travels across the production flow for the various platforms across digital and print.”
And after reaching out to media counterparts around the world to learn from their own CMS journeys, “We then put together what we envisioned were the ideal workflows that suit the needs of the newsrooms and began our search.”
Following a tender process, solutions capabilities have been evaluated both from a technological and editorial lens. “Through workshopping and deep-dive sessions, we were able to list and weigh the pros and cons of the solutions, formulating our preferences in the process,” he says.
The solution needed to be faster and give smoother access to digital publishing, able to move content and assets across platforms, and be adaptable enough to mitigate future technological changes. “We’re asking what our current processes are like; what works and what doesn’t; why was it designed the way it was; what are the downstream impacts of the workflows?”
He says it’s tough to go deep and uncover the ‘why’ and keep asking if there is anything they can do better. “It is also challenging to change the way we have been working. However, if change brings about higher efficiencies and better focus on the core of our business, then it is necessary.
“Simply put, if there’s a better way to do it, we want to be doing it that way.”