ppi Media delivers StoryBox content portal for Schwäbisch Media

Multimedia portal for local and regional user-generated content

Schwäbisch Media publishing building in Ravensburg design by Wiel Arets Architects (WAA) (Photo Roland Rasemann/Jan Peter Steppat)
Schwäbisch Media publishing building in Ravensburg design by Wiel Arets Architects (WAA) (Photo Roland Rasemann/Jan Peter Steppat)

ppi Media has developed a new content portal for Schwäbisch Media known as StoryBox, a structured system that allows sports and music clubs, schools, churches and other local institutions to provide the editorial team with content for the regional editions of the Schwäbische Zeitung. User-generated content in the form of reports from local institutions such as clubs, schools and churches are an important feature of the Schwäbische Zeitung and its regional editions – both in print and digital. In the past, users would send this content to the Schwäbische Zeitung ideally via email, but sometimes even by post or fax, which meant the editors had to spend a lot of time manually processing the content within their editorial workflows. The texts and images had to be manually imported into the editorial system, and then complex adjustments usually had to be made to the text lengths. Furthermore, it was often difficult to clarify the legal basis for the use of images.

The StoryBox as a tailored project development

That’s why Schwäbisch Media’s long-standing technology partner, ppi Media, was commissioned in spring 2021 to develop a digital user portal that could be used to submit content to the editorial team in a structured manner. The features, user concept and design were jointly coordinated in workshops before the final product was implemented. Following an initial trial phase in the summer months, the portal went live in the fall. The browser-based StoryBox allows users to send three different lengths of articles to the editorial team. The portal contains explanatory information as to which format is suitable for each type of article. It is also possible to submit image material; a sufficient resolution is ensured and users have to confirm that they are legally entitled to use the content before uploading it. Once the material has been uploaded, the content is automatically imported and made available as a complete article in the editorial system.

Hagen Schönherr, Editorial Transformation manager at Schwäbischer Verlag
Hagen Schönherr, Editorial Transformation manager at Schwäbischer Verlag

“We’re thrilled with the new portal. Our editors now only need around a fifth of the time to create a full newspaper page from content submitted by local sports clubs or other institutions. We commissioned ppi Media to develop the portal, because we’ve been really impressed with the company’s customer-oriented services for many years. The StoryBox project was implemented as another custom development in the quality we’ve come to expect from ppi Media,” says Hagen Schönherr, Editorial Transformation manager at Schwäbischer Verlag GmbH & Co. KG.

Following the go-live, ppi Media’s team remains on hand to offer the operators sound advice and support for the StoryBox. This will continue to ensure reliable operations for this important component of daily production in the future.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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