Case studies
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Rapid and effective integration into VRM’s corporate workflow

The technological centralisation and the integration of the two newsrooms into a single workflow is carried out in record time

A robust, efficient and user-friendly solution like MILENIUM has proved to be of crucial assistance in a news company’s expansion. This is the case of the German publishing group Verlagsgruppe Rhein Main (VRM), Protecmedia’s client since 2009, which recently acquired the Darmstädter Echo newspaper, leader in the Hesse southern region. The integration of the new newsroom into the corporate workflow that was required by the new work context was done in record time, thanks to the excellent management of the project and the fact that the MILENIUM solution is very easy to learn.

Echo Medien, GmbH publishes the Darmstädter Echo, founded in 1945, which is a benchmark for news in the south of the German region called Hesse. It has a central newsroom located in Darmstadt and four local newsrooms -Gross-Gerau Echo, Odenwälder Echo, Ried Echo and Starkenburger Echo- which edit 5 editions of the main newspaper Darmstädter Echo, various weekly supplements, 18 editions of free ads newspapers, 5 magazines and special supplements. The total number of journalists is one hundred.

In 2015, VRM acquired the company as part of its expansion plan and proposed the full integration of the new newsroom into its corporate workflow to make the most of all types of synergies.

Rapid installation and start up of the MILENIUM editorial solution in the new subsidiary.

Give the recently acquired company the same editorial tools that VRM’s journalists have to facilitate the coordination of diaries and resources between the different editorial areas of the group.

Optimize the editorial process to save costs and increase the quality of its products by centralising the editorial platform, using Protecmedia’s editorial solutions MILENIUM and QUAY (DAM).

Access the new system through a single intuitive interface which allows new users of ECHO MEDIEN to participate in the editorial process at the same time according to predefined permissions, regardless of where they are physically.

A schedule of 6 months was drawn up to execute the whole project so that VRM’s new subsidiary was capable of tackling the editorial production of all of its publications in the new work environment. The management of the project was entrusted to MEDIENSERVICE RHEIN MAIN, subsidiary of the Group which has a team of 12 technicians, managed by Mr. Reinhard Küchler. Protecmedia provided support as its technological partner.

The following phases were established:

Prior analysis

The whole editorial process of the Echo Medien publications was evaluated with respect to:

Designs and sources according to the requirements of the newsroom.

Management and preparation of sports tables and cultural events through complementary tools, which were already being used by VRM’s journalists.

Preparation of dummies of the publications and editions of ECHO MEDIEN.

How to equip VRM’s new subsidiary with the document archive.

Definition of the profiles who would take part in the editorial process.

Parameterisation of MILENIUM and QUAY

8 new types of publications were then created, of which 5 were to be produced in print versions.

The page templates were prepared in view of the requirements laid down and the MILENIUM and QUAY solutions were configured.

A test environment was created to recreate the real production scenario.

A training schedule was drawn up for journalists according to their profiles. In this regard, the gradual planning and the involvement of the whole editorial team were key factors in the project’s success, thanks to the prior knowledge that the team of technicians had of Protecmedia’s solutions. The relevant training documentation was also prepared.

Meticulous planning and the involvement of the whole editorial team were key factors in the project’s success

Production start up and training

18 training sessions took place, aimed at 100 users of the new MILENIUM editorial system and the new document archive solution QUAY, as well as other tools that VRM’s journalists use at the group level such as sports databases, cultural events and the fees module.

The training cycle was taken advantage of to transfer the newsroom of the most general sections of the ECHO MEDIEN publications to the main office of the VRM Group in Mainz.

At the same time, production in the new MILENIUM environment started slowly, a first print edition of the free ads newspapers coming out on 17 June. The remaining publications were published on later dates.

The 100 professionals with different profiles were successfully integrated into the corporate workflow, fully functioning and on schedule. The joining together of their efforts with those of more than 300 journalists in the VRM group led to an enrichment of the editorial products and the planning of the editorial tasks.

The centralisation of the technological platform optimises the administration and management of resources, without prejudice to the autonomy of the different ECHO MEDIEN offices to organise their workflows and distribution of tasks. The capacity to consult and recover documents from the QUAY solution gives them an added value, which they did not previously have.

The coordination and integration of the workflows of the different ECHO MEDIEN offices into the MILENIUM system favours multichannel management

Being able to work at the same time allows the ECHO MEDIEN journalists to distribute better their workloads and be much faster. They also save a considerable amount of time thanks to the numerous automated processes that are done with the same solutions.

The coordination and integration of the workflows of the different ECHO MEDIEN offices into the MILENIUM system favours multichannel management and the fast and error-free publication of contents.

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