In the Fall of 2014, The Brunswick News (Brunswick Ga.) debuted a revamped website powered by TownNews.com. A major selling point for the paper was the ability to create a mobile-friendly, multimedia e-Edition right alongside their web, print and mobile publications—in a single, easy workflow.
In BLOX Live e-Editions, The News sees an opportunity to improve reader satisfaction and grow their subscriber base.
"Many readers enjoy e-Editions, and we believe including an interactive Live e-Edition can help boost subscriptions," said Nick Nichols, new media director at The Brunswick News.
As new media director, Nichols offers website technical support, ensures online stories post correctly, updates the website layout as needed and manages online subscriptions. The Brunswick News (circulation 16,500) is published Monday through Friday with a Saturday weekend issue—every issue has a corresponding Live e-Edition. The Live e-Edition is included in all online subscriptions at The News.
"When I was helping subscribers navigate the new e-Edition format for the first time, they were very impressed at the advancements we had made," said Nichols.
Prior to launching with BLOX CMS, The News relied on an e-Edition that was a simple pdf version of their print product.
"With our new BLOX CMS site the e-Edition was much more interactive," said Nichols. "People were satisfied before, but in this industry you sometimes have to look past what is working and think about what is next. Live e-Editions allow us to innovate and be more tech-savvy, all while keeping our readers happy."
BLOX Live e-Editions combine traditional print formats with multimedia features such as photo galleries, hyperlinks and videos to enhance the user experience.
"It's great that we can add extra photos into the e-Edition that may not have made it into print," said Nichols. "We tend to use photo galleries and videos on big news stories and events, such as concerts and festivals, where we have a lot of additional photos we want to share."
Readers can view an e-Edition in two ways. The "page" view displays the print replica in a full-screen mode while the "text" view focuses on articles alongside a river of news.
"Not all of our readers want the news online, they want the newspaper online, and our Live e-Edition gives them the option to read the newspaper like they're used to while still getting clear, crisp text from the website," said Nichols.
Having an e-Edition creates convenience by delivering a digital version of the print product that is accessible from a mobile device, tablet or desktop.
"BLOX Live e-Editions brings to the table options for product delivery beyond the traditional print and mail methods. They allow readers to access the paper wherever they are, whether people are on vacation or the weather prevents delivery—they will get their paper," explained Rich Griffin, Live e-Editions product manager at TownNews.com.
"Customers can even download or print the e-Edition for offline reading," added Nichols.
The paper relies on BLOX Total CMS for their print and Live e-Edition production. BLOX Total CMS fully integrates with Adobe InDesign for print pagination and TownNews.com's BLOX CMS for web and mobile publishing. The platform simultaneously builds editions optimized for display on web, print and mobile channels.
"Through BLOX Total CMS you create your paper and that single effort feeds print, web, mobile and the Live e-Edition," said Griffin. "Any changes, updates and corrections are reflected in the Live e-Edition so the reader always has access to the latest version of the news along with the original printed version."
For The News, Live e-Editions were a decision-driver in choosing BLOX Total CMS.
"We decided that BLOX Total CMS was the best option for us, we wanted everything to flow, and BLOX Total CMS and Live e-Editions work together to do just that." said Nichols. "You create it once, in one place and it publishes to print, web and the e-Edition."
After The News chose BLOX Total CMS, a group of TownNews.com trainers visited The News’ staff and showed them the inner-workings of the system.
"The training went really well; the team was flexible and gave us plenty of notice. They were very patient and helpful—you could tell they did this often," Nichols said. "Our staff embraced the change and were receptive to the new system."
At The News, a team of approximately seven paginators create 18-24 pages daily using BLOX Total CMS. According to Nichols, adopting the system has produced big gains in productivity.
"Since we've gone live with BLOX Total CMS, laying out a page takes an average of 15-30 minutes less time than before."
Paige Ruba (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a marketing specialist at TownNews.com.