Case studies
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La Dépêche Group speeds up its digital transition with automation of its print editions

Streamlining processes and saving time were the key objectives of the La Dépêche Group in its transition to a newsroom 3.0 with the same quality and proximity of its hyperlocal news.

The Dépêche's enormous digital transition challenge was closely tied to the value proposition of its readers whose loyalty is based on the newspaper's ability to provide them with high quality, local journalism. This compromise with local information would not be possible without the work of an extensive network of up to 700 freelance writers, whose management is complex and costly.

La Dépêche Group publishes 10 newspapers in 14 departments in the Occitanie region and has 4 local television channels. Its publications include 6 print newspapers with their own websites and their own app.

La Depeche's core mission is to support the economic growth of the group which is threatened by the decline of the print press. This area of its business, which accounts for 80% of its activity, is experiencing a slowdown due to rising paper costs, and declining revenues from circulation, advertising and subscriptions.

Through a complete redesign of its editorial workflow coordinated with our MDXP system and the implementation of the Print layout automation tool, Aida dxp, La Depeche has managed to optimise its processes and draw up a solid and promising plan for the future. The industry interest of this story is such that a dedicated webinar at INMA and a full article about it are available on the INMA´s website.

Compromise with the local information demanded by its readers.

Decline in Print business, which accounts for 80%.

Transition to a Digital First model in the newsroom

“We have more than 700 journalists and local contributors and a commitment to our readers to provide local coverage for all the territories in the region.”

Michaël Bourguignon, Group Director of Revenue, IT and Digital Development, La Depeche du Midi.

Need to facilitate the work of over 700 contributors to the local print press.

Streamline the process of publishing more than 1,200 articles a day.

Automate the layout process to speed up the transition to the digital first model.

“The most important thing was to optimise the production and publication of local correspondents”.

Christophe Juliá, Production Manager at La Depeche du Midi.

In phase 1 of the project, the MDXP platform is used to establish a fixed slot for each region based on templates for each day of the week that are renewed on a weekly basis. In this way each editor of a specific region and a fixed slot in each template on a weekly basis.

The planning and deployment of phase 2 includes the automated layout of articles with a drag and drop system from the web CMS to be implemented throughout 2022.

“Today we have already implemented optimisations for the export of production content from web to print”

“But that was not enough, there was still too much manual intervention for journalists in the Print publishing tool. Then Protecmedia suggested a project to optimise this export: Aida dxp.”

Michaël Bourguignon, Director of Revenue, IT and Digital Development of the group, La Depeche du Midi.

The change in the planning has led to a reduction in production time.

A 30% decrease in manual tasks to date.

Successful implementation of a template system that will serve as a basis for developing a higher level of automation with Aida dxp that is estimated to result in an additional time reduction of at least 20%.

“The key to success is to be able to continue developing a strong audience to increase potential subscribers and advertising business and the only fuel to drive this engine is quality content”

Michaël Bourguignon, Group Director of Revenue, IT and Digital Development, La Depeche du Midi.

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