Daily Racing Form (DRF), "America's Turf Authority Since 1894," has provided horse racing fans with industry news and deep statistical analysis for over 116 years. Beginning as a four-page broadsheet publication, DRF now produces up to 2,000 unique pages of statistical and editorial copy every day, in as many as 25 daily editions.
DRF looked to DPCI to help develop a comprehensive plan for its editorial and publishing processes across print and digital channels. This included updating and integrating the company’s workflow management system, Web content management system and digital asset management system in an effort to improve creation, delivery and discoverability of content. In addition to modernizing DRF’s technology platform, DPCI helped the company develop a strategy for single source authoring of content for print and Web.
DRF management wanted to provide fresh and timely content to its customers and improve search engine rankings to help attract a larger audience and grow the business. To meet these goals, DRF needed a more efficient publishing workflow that would provide reporters, editors, designers and production staff a single set of tools to create and publish content for print and Web in parallel within a fast-paced news environment.
DPCI helped DRF elicit then document an organizational strategy for delivery of content to print, Web, and mobile devices. Then, DPCI helped DRF develop a scalable technical architecture that would support the organization’s needs around multi-channel publishing. The primary components of the new architecture included the Drupal Web content management system version 6, tightly integrated with the vjoon K4 Publishing Platform version 6, an editorial workflow management system used by editors, designers, and production professionals to collaborate more effectively.
Modernized Workflow Management
DPCI met with DRF executive management, editorial, design, production, and IT staff stakeholders to elicit business and functional requirements and define appropriate workflows that would help all stakeholders collaborate efficiently for rapid content publishing to print, Web and mobile devices. DPCI then documented a strategy to improve the organization’s editorial workflow.
The essential aspect of this consultation was to help editorial staff rapidly publish content to print and the company’s Website. At the time, DRF was using a product called Scoop, which offered a clunky and error-prone interface into QuarkXPress layout software. Multiple versions of layouts were created, so editorial and design staff resources were often confused about which version of a layout or article was the most recent.
DPCI helped migrate DRF’s editorial operations over to the vjoon k4 Publishing Platform, an editorial workflow system that works with Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy software. First DPCI subject matter experts met with the editorial, design and production staff to analyze the current workflow and uncover impediments in the process. Throughout the workflow analysis process, DPCI offered insight on how to improve the editorial process with workflow adjustments.
Next, DPCI met with DRF editors, designers and production professionals to elicit functional requirements, including metadata specifications, for the configuration of the K4 Publishing Platform. DPCI then installed and configured the K4 Publishing Platform integrated with Oracle Database 10g and Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy in conformance with DRF's workflow and functional requirements.
DPCI then conducted collaborative sessions to review and adjust the configuration prior to training. This review process ensured that the system conformed to the needs of editors, designers and production staff.
DPCI’s Adobe-certified Field Engineers next trained DRF staff on Adobe InDesign, InCopy and the K4 Publishing Platform, and provided support to the end users and system administrators as they transitioned to the new platform and toolset. DPCI also trained DRF editorial staff on SEO best practices and the use of article metadata in vjoon K4 to enrich and categorize content for publishing to the Website.
Editorial content for both print and Web is created within Adobe InCopy and vjoon K4. Once content is edited and enriched with metadata, an automated task within vjoon K4 delivers the content to Drupal using vjoon K4 XML Exporter and DPCI’s K4-to-Drupal module. This new content is automatically imported into Drupal and posted online.
The entire DRF editorial team now has a hand in writing content and enriching articles with SEO metadata for stories that appear both in print and online. Breaking news stories are filed within vjoon K4 and appear online within minutes. DRF’s daily paper has an improved clean look, taking advantage of Adobe InDesign and InCopy’s superior typography controls.
In the words of Alex Lorberg, the Daily Racing Form’s CTO: “Following DPCI's proven methodology of careful requirements gathering, process and resource evaluation, and analysis, DPCI helped us transform the publishing infrastructure. This provided DRF with a lean and efficient print operation while allowing the company to quickly push relevant content to the web site and allow for addition of various e-commerce elements that promote impulse buying.”