The fourth annual PubPro unconference for managing editors and publication production professionals welcomed participants from across Canada and the U.S., as it was, for the first time, offered as a workshop immediately before the Editors Canada national conference. Although not as many attendees came prepared with talks, all participants came prepared to talk, many of them stepping up to lead discussions on different aspects of publication project management. PubPro volunteers Connie Behl, Ellen Michelle Koehler, and Yvonne Robertson took notes and have summarized the sessions.
Production management software: A discussion led by Alison Arnot
Written by Ellen Michelle Koehler; copy edited by Maggie Clark
This session was a casual conversation among participants about different types of production management software. At the end of the discussion, they decided that there was no perfect system (unless everyone created one with only their own business in mind). However, they suggested many different programs, each with its own pros and cons: JIRA, Microsoft Excel, Teamwork, C2 Innovations, Microsoft Dynamics, LogiTerm, FlowFit, Slack, Basecamp, Asana, Harvest, and Tick.
The program you pick depends on your needs and preferences as well as the functions you’re willing to give up to gain other functions. The best advice was to research different programs and choose the one that best fits your business needs.
Building your audience: A discussion led by Jodi Di Menna
Written by Yvonne Robertson; copy edited by Katie Heffring
Jodi Di Menna posed two questions:
- How do you build an audience for your website?
- How do you get people to your content?
We discussed the importance of identifying who your audience is, and how and when they interact and engage with content. Tracking these patterns through analytics allows you to really know your audience and produce content for them.
Questions you should ask yourself:
- Do you want to grow readership?
- Do you want to increase subscribers?
- Do you want more website hits?
- What can you do for your loyal followers?
- What actions do you want your audience to take?
- Where is your audience most comfortable?
The content you produce will be tailored according to these answers. Suggested content included e-newsletters and a consistent social media presence, where you can share updates and content, and direct readers to your website. You can also find out more about your audience through a survey.
Using keywords, cross-linking, guest blogging, and Twitter chats will increase your online presence. Consider pitching stories to local media, or buying space in publications to publish sponsored content.
Ellen Michelle Koehler is a graduate of SFU in English with a focus on publishing as well as a current student of SFU’s Editing Certificate program.
Maggie Clark is a post-secondary student whose goal in life is to work as a professional editor. On her way to achieving that goal, she has recently graduated from Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication program. Her next step is to learn and graduate from the Editing Certificate program at SFU.
Yvonne Robertson is a freelance writer, editor, and communications specialist. After graduating from the Master of Journalism program at UBC, she enjoyed a career as a journalist for three different Vancouver publications. She currently writes and edits a variety of content, from short stories and essays to blog posts, newsletters, and articles. Yvonne is passionate about social justice and arts activism.
Katie Heffring is currently completing the Editing, Plain Language, and Technical Communication certificates at SFU. With four years of experience in the publishing industry and her love for editing and writing, she decided to pursue a career as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. She is also a volunteer copy editor for Vancouver Island’s “Take 5” magazine.