Integrating print, online challenging

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Although online and print work flows tend to be vastly different, production departments increasingly are being given responsibility for both. Lisa Parks, VP-production for Prism Business Media recently led her company through this merger of responsibilities.

MB: What would you like to see from your department?

Parks: I really would like to see us make progress on having a shorter production cycle. I see that as a revenue growth initiative rather than a cost-cutting initiative. I'm sick of cost-cutting. If we could move magazines through our cycle faster, the selling window would be longer and getting the advertiser to the market would be quicker.

MB: Are you happy with your current work flow?

Parks: Yes. It was designed and built in-house. We were lucky to have that talent already here. We did that because we only needed a pretty narrow group of tools to use rather than putting money into one of these huge, intricate systems.

MB: What are some recent challenges to the system?

Parks: We became responsible for production support on e-mail newsletters this year and that's a whole different thing from print. Our goal is to provide advertisers with a single point person for all media, and I think that's admirable, but I think publishers will have to ask themselves if e-mail and online initiatives should be grouped together with print? Are they the same at all? Do skill sets in one department match up with the other department? It's a tough call. Right now, webinars and Web sites still reside in the Online group here, while we took over the e-mail newsletters.

-Mark J. Miller

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